Attending university for the first time can be daunting, particularly if you are leaving home for the first time. I remember my first few days at university well, and I think these five tips will serve any new university students well.
1. Show a willingness to make friends. This may seem like an obvious statement, but I think it’s so important to make an extra special effort to let people know that you’re there to meet new people, to broaden your horizons and to form bonds. University can be a lonely place without good friends and to set yourself up for good academic study you need to make sure you are in a comfortable and happy environment. That starts with a good group of friends to share the highs and lows with.
2. Be the person to make things happen. When people have just arrived at university, it’s easy to sit around waiting for someone to knock on your dormitory door and ask you for a drink, but you can show yourself to be a strong and approachable person by knocking on a strangers door and saying, “Hey, do you want to help me get a few guys together to play some touch football?” It’s a great way to make friends, and people will respect you for having the courage to ask. They might also be mightily relieved to get to know someone too!
3. Join in. When you start your course there will be dozens of groups you can join, from sports clubs, research paper writing, movie clubs, book clubs and many many more. It’s a great idea to get involved in as many of these as you can because it’s another great way to make friends. Plus, you can whittle the number down when you figure out which clubs are going to offer the most to you.
4. Bring some food! Ok so you know you’re headed in to uncharted territory. Dorm’s vary from institution to institution and other than a canteen it might be pretty hard to lay your hands on any snacks unless you venture out in to the open. Be the guy or girl who has plenty of candy to see you through to the early hours – you’ll find people knocking on your door all night once word gets out!
5. Don’t be afraid. To suddenly be on your own, not knowing any of the people around you can be a bit frightening, but you have to remember that ninety nine percent of the other people there are in the same boat. Hold your head up high, remember why you came, and enjoy it!