Freshers / Welcome / Orientation Week – Your first week at university
Hi everybody and welcome back to the Get Ready for University Channel. As you can tell by the presence of a dog, who’s sniffing a lot and the change of a background, I’m home for summer! Which means one thing – when I go back, it’s Freshers’ Week! Now, Freshers’ Week is an experience for people who have already been to university and people who are going for the first time. I have a few things to inform you of what to expect from Freshers’ Week. So, every university has a different time for Freshers’ Week, but they typically happen from the start of September to the middle of October. The latest one I’ve heard of has been the middle of October. You have one at every university in the UK Every university has a different kind of set-up for their Freshers’ Week, but I’ll just tell you what I know, based on my experience. When I went to Bangor University, we had a Welcome Week diary and it outlines what to expect for that week, what you need to make sure you bring with you when you’re moving in, because obviously that’s a big event. And different things that you might not have thought of to do. Freshers week will start with moving in to Halls or your house and meeting your flatmates. You should be given information about that from your university, with regards to what time you should arrive, what day you should arrive. Have you gone through and booked your room correctly, where you need to collect your key from. So make sure you find out those things before you get there, because otherwise you’ll have 200 people asking the same question and it could get stressful! It’s very likely that there will be people at your Halls when you move in to give you advice. Past students telling you about their experiences and what’s coming up over the week and how to go about things. One of the main things that will probably be there is a Freshers’ Fair, which is where you get to learn about societies and what will be going on throughout the year. It’s your chance to sign-up for taster sessions which will happen throughout Freshers’ Week if not a little bit afterwards. So try as much as you can. You haven’t got lectures, you’ve just got nights out, which is when you need to learn to recover from a hangover! Otherwise you don’t get to do your free taster sessions! You’ll also have taster sessions for your course so you can get an idea about what you’re going to do. I regret not going to enough taster sessions in my Freshers’ Week. I know of someone who went to two every day and loved it and got to try pretty much everything. Because that week you haven’t got anything else on and it’s just focusing on getting to know the uni. That week you can also learn how to cook. Don’t binge on takeaways, you can learn to cook that week as you have the time. You should sign-up to your doctor and learning where those kinds of things are. Learning where the nearest hospital is, just in case of an emergency. So you don’t have to find out when it’s necessary. So make sure you’re registered to your local doctor, because it’s very unlikely that you’ll want to travel a couple of hours back home just to have an appointment about Freshers’ Flu! (which is something I’ll get on to) You’ll want to work out where the police station is, where your security is for your Halls. Work out where the hospital is, in case you ever need it. Familiarise yourself with your surroundings, so learning where the local shops are, where the cheapest shops are where the best clubs are and stuff like that. Welcome Week is also a time to meet your course mates and your flatmates. So make sure you spend a lot of time getting to know them. This is the first bit of freedom a lot of people have had, so don’t waste it sitting inside playing computer games moaning about your hangover. Get out and meet people and see who’s on your course and see what you’re going to be doing for the next year. It’s also a really good opportunity to talk to people who are years above you and have already done it. Another thing is to familiarise yourself with what your uni has. So for example with student services if you have a DSA, Disabled Students Allowance, and you need a personal support plan go in and sort that out in Freshers’ Week so it’s ready for when you need to start your lectures. That week is to settle in so it can be done in that week. So I’m just going to read you a few things that were on here as activities. So we had a big meet up in our Hall area. We had a barbecue and bouncy castle, sumo wrestling and stuff like that. Just to get to know each other and break the ice. We had lots of nights out. We had a formal welcome from the Dean and people who are in charge as it were. In the main lecture hall, which everyone went to to welcome you to the university. We also had a quiz night. There were walking tours of Bangor so you got to see different places. Fancy dress is a must in Freshers’ week. One of the main things that will probably happen to you in Welcome Week is that you’ll get Freshers’ flu. I did, and mine turned into bronchitis, which isn’t very nice. But you’re meeting that many different people from many different areas, and you’re not looking after yourself very well, you’re drinking a lot, not eating right and yeah, it’s very likely you’re going to catch the flu. So, it’s just a cold. It’s fine. Just come stocked with medicine. When the time is right you need the paracetamol and lemsip so make sure you have it. Also, it’s very likely that you’ll get free pizza from a certain pizza company. Watch out for that one. One final thing I’ll talk about in this video is feeling homesick when you get to uni. So it’s likely in Freshers’ week that you’ll be wrapped up in all your activities and it’s towards the end, when things start to slow down that you’ll start to feel homesick. If that happens there are many student support systems available at most universities. There was definitely at mine. And peer guides as well are available to talk to. You’ll regret it if you miss a lot of uni so you may as well enjoy it while you’re there. So I hope you have a great Freshers’ week when the time is right. So me and Barney hope you have a lovely summer and we’re looking forward to hearing your freshers’ stories. Make sure you check out my previous video on making your Halls homely, if you’re worried about packing and things. And a few previous videos from Olivia and Ashley about stress and housemates. And we’ll see you in our next video. Bye guys!