- Go to talks: from Inductions for your programme, to welcomes from the Dean of Faculty, to presentations on looking after your wellbeing – there are lots of sessions going on throughout the week. These are really important not only for meeting new people and getting some interesting insight, but also crucial for getting key information on what you're meant to be doing and where you are meant to be for the rest of the semester. Look in your Welcome Pack for University-wide talks, and on 'My Record' for more information from your Faculty.
- Talk to student helpers in their brightly coloured shirts: not only do the different student helpers like being highly visible, but they like answering questions and being helpful. There is no such thing as a silly question, so go and ask. Freshers Crew, in the orange shirts, are around at the evening events as well, so you have even more hours to ask questions or get some information. If you see a student helper in any brightly coloured shirt, give them a smile and say hello. They're all really lovely and they have been there, done that and literally got the t-shirt!
- Talk to people in general: new neighbours, new course mates, new tutors, new support staff – starting university is a great chance to meet lots of new people. The only way to change someone new to someone you know is good old fashioned conversation. Whether you stick to that beloved British topic of the weather, branch out into discussing the course you're doing (always a safe bet as everyone is doing a course of some sort!), or launch right into philosophical interpretations of the meaning of life, just go for it. People will want to talk to you too, and will appreciate you saying something first. Also, talk to University staff. Tutors, Student Services staff, librarians: they are all here to help you. Have a chat about what information, advice, guidance or assistance they can give you throughout your time at Winchester. Bottom line, TALK!
- Unpack and make your space your own: whether you have moved into a new place to start at Winchester, or you're commuting from home, take the time to set up your space for success. Have pictures of family and friends out and about, put your clothes away, organise your nice new stationery. Don't assume that you'll get a bit more settled in once the semester starts. Sort it out how you like it now, and start the semester on the right foot.
- Figure out where you are: the campus and the city of Winchester are both great, and will be such a big part of your student experience if you are studying an on campus course. From hidden gems of study spaces on campus, to impressive architecture in the city, look around, soak it all in, and feel pleased with yourself for choosing to come and study in such a fab place.
- Make sure you have somewhere to go if you feel ill: otherwise known as registering with a GP.. We hope you avoid Freshers Flu and remain germ-free, but just in case you feel poorly while at university, we encourage you to register with a GP! Don't leave it until you're poorly – be proactive and sort this out early!
- Collect freebies and sign up to sports and societies: the place to be on Saturday 24 September is Freshers Fayre. Loads of different teams, societies, local businesses, University departments and more will be at Freshers Fayre, all keen to talk to you and arm you with information, sweets, and an enthusiasm to get involved. Join something. Join lots of things. Join a handful, go along to their taster sessions/try outs/intro sessions, and pick a couple to stick with for the semester, the year, your whole time at University, or for life.
- Be responsible: having a great time is great, but please have fun responsibly! Keep an eye on your drinks, keep an eye on yourself and each other, keep an eye on the choices you are making.
- Know when you're meant to be somewhere: look through your timetable for your course that you'll be getting this week, and plan out your semester. Write it in your diary, put in on an organisational app, compose a song so you'll remember it and go around the house singing it. Whatever method works for you to manage your time, use that method.
- Be true to yourself: yes, university can be a great time to start afresh, turn over a new leaf, and create a new you. However, it doesn't mean that you have to forget about what you know is important to you whether that is going for a run in the morning, making sure you listen to your favourite cheesy music, eating healthy food, sleeping when you're tired, or not drinking. The idea that every single student is 'such a student' in the negative, lazy, overindulgent sense popular in the media and on social media is *SPOILER ALERT* a huge lie. There are so many ways to be a successful student, so be the best one you can be.
Have fun, enjoy, and don't forget to ask for help if you need it!
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