Advice to Freshers

Starting university can sound exciting, scaring, stressful, fun… yes, everything at the same time and we have been waiting for a while to gain the independency and experience university gives you. But when we finally get it, we sometimes don’t know what to do with it. In this article, Daira is highlighting some specific advice to freshers!

By Daira Povez Damboa

It is alright to feel lost and homesick

Moving from home is never easy because we are leaving behind our comfort zone, our bubble of protection, and potentially really good homemade food (probably what I miss the most of not being at home, and my parents and friends of course). However, the true is that we have to do this “jump” eventually. We have to face the “real world” at some point and no matter how much you love being free, taking your own decisions or making amazing dishes for yourself; it is never easy. For some of us, it is even harder because we are moving from a different country, different culture and maybe even different language; therefore I am hearing to tell you it is alright to feel homesick, to feel lost and don’t realise how much you have done; how brave you are for taking the decision to move and start university.

Don’t be afraid to meet new people

Two people talking to a third person who is half out of frame. They are outside in front of a white building.
Everyone is in the same boat when it comes to making new friends. Image: University of Warwick.

I think I should tell you a secret; everyone is kind of scared: it could be of rejection, of finding not really nice people, bullying and much more. However, if you don’t take the risk, you will never know and maybe you end meeting your best friends. Furthermore, the truth is that is very easy to meet new people around Warwick. You can try by joining societies and attending some events; that is how I met some of my closest friends; or maybe by attending to lectures and seminars! There are many different options and very often friendships rise from the most unconventional stories!

Attend your lectures and seminars

Exterior of the oculus building at dusk. There is a road and some people in the foreground.
Many students have their lectures in the Oculus building. Image credit: University of Warwick.

this might seem a very obvious piece of advice but I swear it is more than just academic. Of course, you come to university to study, and even though for most of the degrees your year 1 grades will not count for your official transcript, it is important that you adapt to the new academic life. Also, most of the content we see in year 1 is relevant for the next year; therefore ensure you have understand all the content. However, my advice about attending lectures and seminars is because you should not miss the student experience. Before pandemic this was normality but something changed since 2020 and we are pretty used to watch videos or attend live lectures in teams. Going to a lecture should be fun; I am not lying! Going with your friends, sitting together or maybe meeting some new people. That is my favourite part of attending every class!

Explore campus

A path with grass and daffodils each side. There are some trees and buildings in the background and a blue sky.
Campus is a beautiful place to explore. Image credit: University of Warwick.

Maybe you already joined one campus tour during an open day or welcome week, or you went for walks or run: probably your first reaction was “campus is so big”. I believed the same but then after exploring and exploring it, you realise you when get lost anymore. I would highly recommend to explore the buildings as well; find your favourite study space in the library, FAB or Oculus, try some of the restaurants around!

We hope this advice is helpful and if you would like to learn more about the first year experience, check out the following blogs: Starting university this term and what is year 1 about?

Cover image: University of Warwick.

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