Going to a new university as a postgraduate can be just as daunting as your first day as a fresher. You’re experiencing new people, a new location and a brand new home. It may feel as though stepping back in time remembering how on earth you did this as a child. Here’s how to settle into a new university with ease.
Going on an adventure around your new location and getting to know it better is a great way to feel at home and get rid of those nerves.
You can aimlessly wander and see where your mood takes you or go in hunt of the essential places like train stations, supermarkets, good cafes and of course, pubs (some things never change about being a student).
It’s also worth switching up how you get to places around your area too. So walk it, train it, bus it, cycle it, segway it, travel in as many different ways as possible. Not only will you get to know the routes, but how long they take and what you’ll pass along the way, which is bound to come in handy during your time there.
Want to explore your new location but not on your own? Sites like MeetUp.com have lots of different events across the UK that you can join, both for a cost and for free. So whether you want to go on a long walk around your university town, go dancing or just see a film at the cinema, these sorts of sites can help fill up your social calendar.
And if you don’t see an event that you like, why not set one up yourself?
Social media isn’t just good for looking up ex partners and seeing who did badly after school, it’s also a really useful tool when you’re going to a new university.
Go on the university’s Facebook page (most of them either have an official one or one set up by a student) and start a conversation or join in on an existing one. There could even be a Facebook group just for postgraduates at your university, where you can get to know potential course mates and be confident that you’ll know some friendly faces to hang out with once you start. Again if there isn’t one, why not start one?
We don’t necessarily mean behaving like one or joining in on freshers’ week pub crawls and initiations (although there’s nothing wrong with doing that!), but more taking advantage of the events the universities put on to help freshers settle in, in particular the freshers’ fair.
Going to freshers’ fair might sound like it’s not aimed at you, but it’ll give you the opportunity to join societies, chat to the people on the stand who won’t be freshers and generally get a feel for what your new university has to offer.
To really feel at home it’s good to give your accommodation a proper homely feel. Adding things like your favourite styles and colours ensures it’s something you look forward to seeing after a hard day in the library or a boring lecture, trust us it’ll instantly make you feel better about being a new uni.
We particularly recommend taking home comforts such as your favourite pillow, photos of friends and family and anything else that reminds you of home or your old university. Although be sure to add your new postgrad memories to your house too!
Your university grounds won’t be out of bounds before lectures so why not have a look around before your course starts?
Taking a look round the buildings, finding the lecture halls, checking out the library and seeing where the student bar is will make your first official day as a postgrad less daunting. Plus you’ll be less likely to be late to your first lecture as you’ll actually know where you’re going beforehand.
Just like when you were studying your undergraduate course, having a routine is key when it comes to settling in. From what time you want to wake up to how much time you want to spend on your reading list and checking out the area, having a routine now will make being organised when you start the postgrad a much easier transition.
If you’re struggling to settle into your new university, don’t bottle it up. It’s good to talk, so whether it’s to fellow students, a friend from your old uni, someone from the SU, a lecturer or a family member who offers the best advice, you’ll feel so much better airing your problems and you may find solutions to them too.
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