Settling in to University

The first days and weeks of a new student’s university life are an important time, as they begin to establish the friendships, habits and favourite places that will define their university career, however long it goes on to last. These early days may be forced to bear a little too much weight, though – this process of settling in to your university life lasts through your entire first year.

Today we’re taking a look at how you can make the most of this formative time, to create the best university experience for yourself possible.


Moving in day is a great chance to get to know the people you’ll be living with for a year. Whether you’re settling into Cambridge Halls of Residence or University of Huddersfield accommodation, everyone is in the same boat: surrounded by strangers and hoping to find a way to fit in.

You can capitalise on this – it’s a great ice breaker. As parents depart and people are left alone to adjust, take the lead. Coming prepared with a kettle and tea bags or coffee means you can start socialising as soon as you’re unpacked, and get to know your neighbours. While you might end up leading an expedition to the nearest pub, starting with some low key offers of tea can help to open up doors and start conversations.

Fresher’s Week

Fresher’s Week offers you plenty of chances to get to know your university, both town and campus. You’ll be attending your first lectures, getting to know the people you’ll be studying with for the next three – or more – years, attending welcome meetings of societies that you’re interested in, and beginning to explore the social options on offer at the student union and around the local town.

As you’re enjoying all these new experiences, it’s important to be reflective. What are you really enjoying? What really speaks to you about the experiences on offer? You don’t have much option about participating in the academic side of university, but with everything else it’s important to make sure you’re really enjoying what you’re doing, not being dragged into it by habit. Maybe you have to admit you don’t get on so well with the people you’re in accommodation with, or perhaps the drama society isn’t everything you want it to be – whatever is causing you unhappiness, it’s better to live in the real world than not admit there’s a problem.

A Full Year

You’ll be having new experiences right through your first year, so it’s important not to consider your student experience set in stone too soon. It’s never too late to start over if the routine you’ve built isn’t working for you – whether it’s the pub or café your friends meet in, how you tackle work on your course, or the social circle you’ve fallen in with.

As time passes, you’ll see a different side to the choices you made in those early days – and if you don’t like this bigger picture, it’s time for a change! Never feel bound to decisions you’ve made in the early days of university. As you settle in, you get to make better, more informed decisions about how you spend your time, in ways that can make you happier.

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