Written by Grace Carpenter
The first few weeks of university are exciting with so many activities during orientation, moving in, starting classes, and meeting loads of new people. However, it can also be quite stressful as you move in to a new environment with so much to learn and adjust to.
This guide will help you quickly settle into uni, and therefore give you a good, smooth start to your first session.
Make friends with your roommates
Move in day is great for meeting all the first years in your dorm, and you might even find someone who is doing your course with you! At the end of orientation, before classes start, you’ll have time to meet the second and third years who will move in over the weekend.
It is so helpful to meet your roommates early on, as they can relate and help you through the stress of starting uni. Leaving your door open on move in day invites conversations with the other first years, which can automatically make you feel more at ease. Having someone to go to orientation activities with is always beneficial as you can help each other navigate this new environment too.
Another great way to connect with your dorm-mates in the first few weeks is to spend time in the common areas of the dorm. Don’t be scared to relax on the common room couches, or spend some time in the kitchen, as this will invite others to come out of their room and join you.
These are some great ways to start the year on res and will make you quickly feel comfortable in your dorm.
Meet people in your course
Finding people who are in your course will make the year so much easier as you can go to classes together, form study groups, and help each other during busy assessment times.
During orientation, there are many opportunities to find first years in your course, which means that first week of classes might just be that little bit less scary. Once classes start, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people in your classes, and reach out to form study groups and find people who you work well with.
Also, don’t be afraid to talk to second and third years who are also doing your course, as they have already been through what you are about to, and can be extremely helpful if there is a topic you just can’t quite understand.
Get involved in all activities
There are constant activities on throughout the year which are awesome to stay connected to the uni community. During orientation, the activities are designed for you to meet people and get comfortable before classes start.
Signing up for as many activities as you can will set you up for a fun start to the year, with the chance to meet so many people doing your course or one of the many others. After orientation there are still many activities, on and off campus, including dorm dinners, sports games, band performances, nights out, and more.
Getting around these activities, especially during the first couple of weeks of uni means you can meet people from different courses and in different accommodations and make some great connections.
Learn about the university
Learning about the university early on is important to making sure you settle in quickly and easily. Orientation has loads of opportunities for this with guided tours, market stalls, and welcome events.
The market stalls help you understand many components of the university, such as clubs, sports, facilities, support services, and different opportunities the uni offers. In your spare time before classes start, have a walk around and get used to where everything is so you don’t get lost on your first day!
Have a look inside the library, check out the sports fields and facilities, have a look at where the other accommodations are, and try to find all of your classrooms for the year.
There will be so much to learn about the university that it will take a long time, and that is perfectly fine, keep checking out the facilities as these can come in handy when classes get stressful.
It will be a big help when assessments get busy and you already know how to find the library and borrow books, and where the sports facilities are where you can blow off steam.
Attend your lectures
In orientation it is most likely that there will be a lecture to introduce you to your course, where you can meet current students, your lecturers for the next few years, and of course the first years in your course.
It is so important to go to the lecture as it will give you an idea of where you’ll start for the year, and where you’ll progress. Use this time to not only learn about your course and its opportunities, but also to say hi to everyone starting with you and remember who your lecturers are.
While you won’t have another introductory lecture after orientation, you will have normal lectures, and although they aren’t always compulsory, attending has so many benefits. You continue to meet more people, you become known to your lecturer which can be so helpful leading up to exams, and it gives you the chance to ask questions and have them automatically answered.
Find a study schedule that suits you
The first week of classes is a great time to learn how to organise your time for the rest of the year. Coming up with a study plan before hand and testing it early on means you will be on top of your work right from the beginning.
Having this schedule ready during the first week of classes means you can test it and adjust before you get too many assessments. Remember, during the first few weeks of uni (and all throughout the year) it is important to stay involved in the social side of life, so make sure to schedule yourself time to have fun.
Additionally, make sure your study space is all set up, whether it is in your room, or you might like to have a look for a spot in the library.
This guide can be used throughout the entire year, but if you take advantage of these opportunities during orientation or the first few weeks of session, you will be set for a smooth transition into university life.
The main message of this guide is to put yourself out there all throughout the year, and don’t be scared to get involved!