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Freshers Survival Guide:

Arrival

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Everyone experiences culture shock when they start university. Whatever school or college you come from, it is all new and unnerving – but don’t worry, almost everyone gets used to it quickly.

Here’s some general advice to help you get started.

  • Arrive in good time to settle into your accommodation and meet housemates etc before you have to register.
  • Get yourself a diary and maps – a campus map is a must but you will need a city map too. Use them to make sure you know where you are supposed to be and when (don’t rely on other freshers having much more of a clue than you).
  • Get yourself to induction meetings (IT facilities, library, students’ union etc), to enrolment, course briefings, meeting your tutors for the first time – at the right time and right place (see also Registration & enrolment). Induction meetings can bore you to death, but you will see the faces in power and you might sit next to someone interesting.
  • Find out where your lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory sessions are held and when; and where you hand in your essays etc.
  • Start making your own academic timetable for the term or semester, noting dates that assessments have to be handed in (to avoid being penalised if they are late). Don’t rely on other people on your course – they may have a different tutor, be taking different optional classes etc.
  • Then submerge yourself in the first week’s entertainment – usually a Freshers’ Fair, endless parties and bar promotion nights. This is also when all the clubs and societies will try to recruit you − but don’t be hassled and don’t waste money joining loads of them. Some people find freshers’ week a real trial that seems to last for ever. But you can always use the time to explore the locality or do some background reading as well as party.

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