Uni is exciting, there’s no doubt about that. I myself am counting down the days until I return for my final year. But if you’re like me then you’re probably dreading the hectic nature of Fresher’s Fortnight. The fact of the matter is, there is a LOT to do and it can get very stressful. Even now, looking back on it, it was a blur to me because SO much happened. In fact, there is so much to talk about that this will be a multi-part blog. But what to write for part 1? Well, what better place to start than the beginning? Here’s a guide to surviving your very first day at uni!
The Main Guide Thingy
I assume by now you have booked your arrival timeslot on the official accommodation website. If not, you SERIOUSLY need to do that. (Here’s the website to allow you to do just that. It also provides a useful guide to your accommodation: https://rooms.le.ac.uk/student_portal/). If you want my advice, book the afternoon slot (roughly 1pm-5pm) as it allows you more time to get there.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll be given a check-conformation letter with a barcode confirming your arrival. It also provides instructions on the address, where to park and where to collect your key. Once you get there, you’ll be given the following items:
- Your key: It’s best to attach this to your existing keys so it’s safer. They’ll tell you what room number you’re in and where said room is.
- Your laundry card: Provided by Circuit, this will enable you to use the onsite laundrette. There will be instructions on the back on how to redeem it, complete with a web address
- A welcome pack: This contains information and rules about your accommodation, a map of the Student Village (assuming you’re staying there), information on how to access the WiFi, events that are happening in the Student Village and, if I remember correctly, a ticket-y thing for the welcome presentation that night (more on that later).
- Your student ID: Once you’ve uploaded your photo onto ‘My Student Record,’ you will be given your student ID on the day. Failing that, as I did, there will be days during the first week where there will be people in the Charles Wilson Sports Hall that can sort that out for you. This will be your lifeblood as you can use it to access the David Wilson Library and it’ll serve as one of your forms of ID if you want to go out clubbing at the Student Union. I’m also given to understand that this will double as your UPayChilli card which you can use for the Oadby Food Court (if you’re on a Student Meal Plan) and other food places on campus such as Dai Pai Dong, Chi and Delic!ous.
Once you got all that, you are now free to enter your room. Move your stuff there and unpack immediately to make your new room feel like home. I would advise leaving the door open so that you can meet your flatmates (I already covered how to break the ice with them in a previous blog). Once you’ve unpacked, you can access the WiFi because, let’s face it, we all need the internet or else we’ll implode (I may be exaggerating). One of the first things to do is to log on to My Student Record to see your timetable, otherwise, you’ll be lost as to what to do on Monday. You’ll also need to redeem your laundry card so you can actually clean your clothes.
The next thing you need to do, regardless of whether or not you’re on the meal plan, is to go grocery shopping for food, toiletries and other essential items. Luckily, there is an Asda nearby (if you’re in the Student Village) or a Morrisons (if you’re on campus) where you can shop for all the things you need. I shall warn you, it can get very busy on the first day so be prepared for queues and limited items! I suggest either going with your flatmates or your parents (if they’re still around) so you won’t feel too nervous.
Once you’re done with that, you can just relax and unwind until the scheduled welcome presentation, The residential advisors will help you if you don’t know where it is. The presentation itself is simply a guide on your accommodation including events, fire safety and rules on how not to annoy people. It won’t take too long and after that, you’re free for the evening. Maybe you can hang out with your flatmates or join in one of the onsite events. It’s entirely up to you and nobody can force you to do what you don’t want to do.
As always, the most important thing to remember is to not panic. Everyone will be in the same position as you and even if they’re not, as they could be in the year above, they will be happy to show you around based on their own experiences. If you get stuck, you can always ask the residential advisors or your parents for help or advise. Also, have fun! You’ll likely have a great time at uni! Especially without your parents nagging you.
And like I said, everyone has gone through this so if you’ve been through this already and you want to relay advice to upcoming Freshers, leave them in the comments below.
I will soon return with part 2 where I discuss the first week including your induction events and the Fresher’s fair. Until then, fare thee well good people of the internet!