Fresh as a Daisy.
Well it’s good to be back. Back in Leicester, back in study mode, back with the buddies and back with the housemates.
Wandering around the campus earlier on today I couldn’t help but notice all the fresh and unfamiliar faces; seemingly full of enthusiasm -whilst also looking slightly bewildered- and understandably, rather hung-over. It reminded me of my first year, what a ball it was and how much fun I had. By this point I became slightly jealous, because for me, the experience has nearly run its course to completion. So instead of digging a hole of super green envy I began to recount the problems I had with adaptation to the lifestyle. For example the poor food, the lack of funds, the feeling of occasional alienation, and obviously the expected quality and amount of work; all of which I would argue to be intimately intertwined with the student lifestyle, thus almost completely unavoidable.
Fortunately the University offers several potential remedies for these inevitable downsides.
Combating alienation is possibly the easiest. There are hundreds of societies which you can become a part of. This is a great way to meet new people with similar interests and abilities, just be sure to dive right in, trust me the water is warm.
The poor food thing was an issue for me in my fresher days. It’s so easy to order a pizza, not so easy to pay for them all the time and almost impossible to justify filling your body with all the crap which is used to make them (more than once a week anyway). For this I would suggest buying yourself a generic student cookbook and visiting Leicester Market; super cheap, super fresh.
Funds, cash, Dollar, Lira; whatever you call it money, and certainly the scarcity of it, is a major issue for students across the spectrum, from fresher’s to postgrads. While there is no easy fix apart from getting yourself a part-time number in some bar or restaurant –which I would personally not advise- there are a number of opportunities to be taken advantage of. For example, if you read the weekly newsletter, which is sent to your student email address you’ll see that there are money making opportunities in the shape of psychology experiments. While such experiments only pay about £10, many of them only take an hour plus they are kind of interesting. It’s also well worth signing up to Uni-temps, I often receive part-time and temporary position advertisements for work in and around the University via email.
Getting used to producing undergraduate level assignments, whether essay’s or presentations, can also be daunting. Fortunately there are plenty of avenues available for the first year student who maybe isn’t as confident as he or she should be when it comes to writing their first essay or planning their first presentation. Turning up for all of your initial seminars helps, plenty of information is dished out in seminars; instructions and advice on referencing and essay structure being probably the most relevant. On top of this each student is also assigned a personal tutor during the first few weeks. Make friends with this person! They might very well be old, slightly intimidating and have a strange dress sense but they’re there to answer any questions you might have, whilst also offering help with any personal issues which you may encounter during your time here.
Good luck to all the first year sociology students.