As September begins, many of us are a bit nervous about starting in a new school, going to college, or even university. It’s totally normal, and a lot of the time, most other people are in the same boat. Don’t be too nervous – everybody is anxious to make friends as quickly as possible, so you’ll find people far more responsive than usual. The first week of term is called Fresher’s Week, and people in older years will put on events and things for nervous newcomers like you. Here are just a few of the things you might see when you start in a new place.
Firstly, there are groups called “societies”, which might be a bit like after-school clubs. Usually they’re a bunch of people who share a similar interest, so they get together and do things related to that interest. For instance, if you like playing computer games, you’re likely to find a society where you get together and play/discuss these games. But how do you hear about them? Well, universities (and some sixth form colleges) will have big fayres where each society will get a chance to showcase themselves, and recruit new members. At school, you might see adverts on noticeboards in the corridors, you might hear about them from your teachers, or even word of mouth. If you find something that interests you, go along for the first session – you will meet lots of new people, and you’ll have a brilliant starting point for conversation. After all, you already know that you have at least one thing in common!
This is also true for sports clubs. Many people enjoy sport, and do it as a hobby. University and/or college is the place to really get into that. At school, the teachers might have set up a timetable in which all students tried out various different sports. Though it was weird at the time, it was probably to try and get you interested in some form of exercise. I don’t think it ever worked for me, but each to their own. Sports clubs at university are often the most popular, and they host taster sessions, where you can try out something you’ve never done before. This is also a good way to meet people, and have a laugh at the same time. I tried out Ballroom and Latin dancing, but I was terrible – I ended up facing the wrong way. Still, I had fun.
Of course, the whole reason you came to uni/college is to learn. So what should you be expecting in the first week? Well, hopefully not too much. They’ll probably just introduce themselves, and the reading that you have to do. It’s very important you pay attention in the first lecture, so you know what you’ll be doing for the rest of the term/year. So whilst you should go out and enjoy yourself, remember that’s not really what you’re there for.
There is so much to cover – you’ll definitely be very busy in the first couple of weeks. In part 2, we’ll learn about how to put ourselves “out there”, and how to interact with strangers (or even potential friends)!
Image credit: http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/studentlife/termdates/