5 things all first-years must do in their first week of university

Freshers’ Week is well and truly upon us, and while some things definitely change year-to-year – doubtless there’ll be less Gangnam Styling and more dabbing in student nightclubs this September than a few years back – a good many things stay the same, so it’s best to be clued up on a few things that can really help you calm those nerves as you pack up and start on one of the most exciting journeys of your life.

So, without further ado, here are the five things you should make sure to do so your first week of university goes smoothly and you hit the ground running:

1. Check course and module details

This might sound like a bit of an obvious question, but what are you studying exactly? You will likely get some information outlining your course in advance, but if you’re not 100 per cent sure what your modules are going to be like, have a peek at your university website where there should be loads of details.

If you can’t find the information you need, don’t be afraid to give your school or faculty’s central office a ring; their job is to point you in the right direction. There are few ways to make a better impression on your professors than being clued up from the get go. Speaking of professors, if you want a head­start on who’s who, see if they’re listed on ratemyprofessors.co.uk. It’s like TripAdvisor, but for .professors. Clue’s in the name.

2. Make a budget

Sounds boring, yes, but unless you have deep-pocketed parents, the money that Student Finance puts into your bank account in mid­-September has to last you up until Christmas – it’s one big lump sum. At the very least, know how much your halls of residence fees are and square that away so you’re not caught short.

Freshers’ Week is well and truly upon us, and while some things definitely change year-to-year – doubtless there’ll be less Gangnam Styling and more dabbing in student nightclubs this September than a few years back – a good many things stay the same, so it’s best to be clued up on a few things that can really help you calm those nerves as you pack up and start on one of the most exciting journeys of your life.

So, without further ado, here are the five things you should make sure to do so your first week of university goes smoothly and you hit the ground running:

1. Check course and module details

This might sound like a bit of an obvious question, but what are you studying exactly? You will likely get some information outlining your course in advance, but if you’re not 100 per cent sure what your modules are going to be like, have a peek at your university website where there should be loads of details.

If you can’t find the information you need, don’t be afraid to give your school or faculty’s central office a ring; their job is to point you in the right direction. There are few ways to make a better impression on your professors than being clued up from the get go. Speaking of professors, if you want a head­start on who’s who, see if they’re listed on ratemyprofessors.co.uk. It’s like TripAdvisor, but for .professors. Clue’s in the name.

2. Make a budget

Sounds boring, yes, but unless you have deep-pocketed parents, the money that Student Finance puts into your bank account in mid­-September has to last you up until Christmas – it’s one big lump sum. At the very least, know how much your halls of residence fees are and square that away so you’re not caught short.

Also, take a look at the different clubs and societies your uni has to offer. Many universities host a Freshers’ Fair where all the societies gather in one place and advertise themselves, and it’s a great opportunity to check out what’s available. Many people make their best friends at uni by meeting like-minded people at societies. Just make sure you don’t get suckered into signing up to 100 different things at your Freshers’ Fair – societies often get bigger budgets the more people they have, so reps can get pretty pushy. Pick a few you’ll actually try out.

4. Meet your tutor

Often criminally under-utilised, everyone is assigned to a personal academic tutor or adviser who is your first port-of-call for all sorts of things, ranging from academic help to personal issues. If you’re not emailed by them asking to meet within the first week, find out who your tutor is, drop them a line, and ask to have a meeting. You don’t need a specific reason to go, even if you’re just feeling nervous about something and want to talk to someone in the know, they’re there to help.

Also, getting to know your tutor can help you far beyond your degree: upon leaving, many will be happy to provide academic or personal references to future employers. Even if you remain strangers throughout your time at uni, some tutors will answer

some basic questions confirming your attendance to employers – but it’s clearly in your best interest to get to know them so they can best sing your praises.

5. Actually do some work!

With all the excitement of moving into a new place, meeting tons of new people, and the events aplenty you’ll want to go to, it’s easy to forget what you’re doing at uni. Good tutors will email you before your first class if there’s anything they want you to have read, but if not, have a look at the module details on your university’s website to double check. There’s nothing worse than being caught out on a reading or piece of work you haven’t done, and deadlines are just that – proper deadlines. If you’re a minute late on a submission without a good reason, you may get zero for that entire project.

If, once you’ve got more information on your modules and you’re not feeling too enthusiastic about your course, stick it out a week or two and see how things go. If you’re feeling like you might want to change which course you’re on – or even drop out entirely – make an appointment with your tutor or an adviser and they can talk things through with you.

Lastly, don’t panic about the workload. There’s a lot to do, but often more time to do it in than you’re used to from A-levels or the IB. Make sure you plan ahead, use that time effectively, and you’ll make things so much easier for yourself. And, bear in mind: most first­ year modules don’t actually count towards your final degree score – they’re more about setting up foundation knowledge for subsequent years. Because of this, some of your first ­year modules might be a bit routine, but you’ll likely get some free choice of modules in later years. Enjoy your relatively consequence-free first year while it lasts.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/freshers-week-2016-things-all-first-years-must-do-in-their-first-week-of-university-a7233416.html