So you left home, dived into Welcome Week and are starting to find your way around campus. I hope you are finding that it is great to be able to mix with people in real life again rather than through Zoom and you are finding that university has a vast amount on offer. As the studying beings I hope you will start to feel the rhythm of university life with the mix of social, sport, lectures, reading and coursework. I hope you are also finding friends, having great conversations (some serious, some absolutely not!). So my first tip for those who started uni this year.
You’ve got a long time at university so don’t worry that you feel you might be missing out. You don’t have to go to EVERY society, sign up for EVERY (socially distanced) pub crawl or play ALL the sports. You’ll have a marvellous time but mostly you’ll get the most out of university by taking time with the things you really love to do. So make sure you aren’t rushing from one thing to another without time to hang out with your fellow students. You are in an amazing crowd so take time to get to know some of them. You’ll probably never be surrounded by so many people with the same sort of interests as you again. So learning about their outlook on the world is a vital part of the experience. In fact it’s a really crucial part pf what you are gaining from university.
Yes I do think you should join in. There are vast opportunities to play sport, expand your horizons, volunteer, gain work experience and learn about the world. But pick a small number that you are really excited about and really dive into those. This is so much better than skimming across the surface of too many options.
And reflect on these. Think about what you are learning from these experiences. What is your response to them? What is it you like doing? What is it telling you that you are good at? What are you finding you are less good at?
And have at least a little time to just relax. Wander about, cycle gently, try out the e-scooters, have coffee…. and yes, have a night out sometimes.