What happens in the first weeks of university?

The words ‘First day of uni’ have been written in bold and underlined in your calendar for weeks – but in your mind for months, maybe even years. Now you’re good to go: bags packed, desk lamp shoehorned into the car, snacks for the journey.

Although excited at the prospect of this new chapter, perhaps you’re also feeling a bit nervous too? But you’re not alone and the freshers’ events, Students' Union and your tutors and peers are there to help. Whether you’re more book-club-Monday or clubbing-Tuesday (or both), this is your university experience. So what can you expect from your first few weeks of university life? We asked some of our current students to tell you how it really is...

Moving in day

Melissa Pirie
Third year, human biosciences

“The thought of moving into halls was a bit daunting, but my flatmates were all very friendly and everyone was so welcoming. After just a few days I had met so many lovely people that it all felt far less scary. As well as making friends with my flatmates, I met a lot of people while I was carrying my belongings in, as I had a few quirky bits and bobs with me that were curious enough for people to ask me about them. So, my advice is to take some interesting, talking-point objects to halls with you!”

Joining in

Jonathan Hill
Fourth year, geography

“I attended many of the theme nights in the Students’ Union during my first term. Also, the SU runs sports and societies, and I joined the university rugby team. It’s nice to have something like the SU that’s specifically designed to look after the welfare of the students when you are new to a city. I found them to be very welcoming, informative and integral to the great experience I had during my first few weeks at university. They do so much to help students fit into their new environment through events and trips.”

Freshers’ week

Masud Saeedi
First year, physiotherapy

“There were all sorts of events on, societies to join and of course, parties to attend. I joined the basketball society, as previously I had played for a local club. There are so many societies to choose from. So whatever your interest, you’ll find something for you and if not, you can start your own society. Remember, even if you are not really a person who tends to socialise and go out, or you don’t drink, there will be someone like you around – trust me.”

Your first lecture

Julia Glukhikh
First year, law

“On our first day of lectures, first we had an induction talk in a lecture theatre, where the programme leader delivered a breakdown of the course. Then we had a relaxed lunch buffet with the academic staff. The first formal lecture during induction week was about law in general, which prepared us for what our first four weeks of university would be about. The department had organised some activities and we identified some of the skills that we were going to developed throughout our degree. After lectures we were able to socialise with our course mates so that we could get to know each other.”

Making friends

Abigail Galbraith
Second year, psychology 

“I met people through my course, my flatmates and I made friends with the people in the flat next door to us, and I joined the archery club. Going round all the different fairs in freshers week was so easy, because all the current students were really friendly and easy to talk to, which obviously makes you feel so much better when you’re just starting in a new place. Remember that everyone is in the same position, they’re all having to go through those awkward first conversations too, you just have to be brave and talk to people.”