What 5 things are fresher’s week must dos?
This is the second of three lessons about Fresher’s Week. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.
– Review the concept of a ‘fresher’s week’ for freshmen
– Explore five guidelines for making the most of the experience
– Use activities to check progress and understanding
Fresher’s week is a week-long series of events that’s designed to guide students into their new lives, ensuring that their semester begins as smoothly as possible. However, there is an awful lot crammed into one week, and this comes in addition to the (completely natural) nerves and anxiety freshman students often experience at this time. Although this week is intended to reduce stress, in truth fresher’s week can easily become an overwhelming experience for students. To help you make the most of the opportunities on offer (while still being responsible and taking care of your physical and mental well-being), Lesson 2 of this short course provides five guidelines that should help new students maximise their time and energy.
Guideline 1: Learn the Schedule
It’s important that you take the time to become familiar with the fresher’s week schedule as there will be a lot on offer. Although this schedule will almost certainly be made available before the week begins, there may be some last minute changes and additions, so do keep yourself informed. Deciding in advance a list of ‘must’, ‘maybe’ and ‘not for me’ events could be helpful, not only to avoid overloading your week but to also ensure that nothing you would really benefit from is missed. Don’t beat yourself up if you do miss signing up to something though as there’s usually plenty of opportunity to revisit clubs and societies later on in the semester.
Guideline 2: Take Care of Admin
Sort out as many of the administrative duties as you can early on to make way for the fun stuff. During this week, for example, you may need to enrol in classes, collect books and resources, pay for subscriptions and attend some compulsory face-to-face sessions. Although student’s can very quickly become distracted with making new friends and generally having a good time, don’t neglect these duties as this will only make the start of the term more challenging. Prepare for them. Make sure you know what you have to do in advance, and if you’re still expected to choose electives or courses, have 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices in mind – you never know how quickly a programme may fill up!
Guideline 3: Get to Know People
Take the time to get to know the people around you. While in the USA the first thing a student often anticipates is who they will be sharing a room with, in the UK it will be who is sharing the same flat and kitchen as you or who is in the room next door. If you’re shy, why not leave your door open to show your neighbours they are welcome to pop in and say hello, and if you’re an extrovert then lead the way! Make the effort to ask your peers questions and enter into every conversation with an open and objective mind.
Expect these people to be different to your usual chosen friends. Learning to live with and appreciate different personalities and perspectives is one of the greatest life-skills that a university experience can teach. And don’t forget that everyone’s in the same boat as you – everyone will be on the lookout for new friends and experiences.
Guideline 4: Visit the Fresher’s Fair
While it may not be top of your list of ‘must’ things to do during fresher’s week, the fresher’s fair tends to offer a diverse and enjoyable insight into what’s available at the university in terms of activities and services. You may be surprised at just how many clubs and societies are on offer, and may also have some stereotypes swept away about those who participate in them. The fresher’s fair is also a great place to pick up free stuff. Badges, magnets, pens, mugs, condoms and even clothing are often all offered up as a way to grab a freshman’s attention and educate them about what’s going on.
Guideline 5: Consider Your Health
Finally, don’t neglect your health and mental wellbeing. One thing that fresher’s weeks are historically nutritious for (particularly in Europe, where the drinking age is 18) are parties and pub crawls. The Student Union bar(s) will certainly have welcome events and themed nights (expect fancy dress) as well as informal bar crawls and lots of in-town discounts to attract students to pubs and nightclubs. Having a drink (legally or otherwise) is certainly an easy way to relax into an evening and to get to know your peers, but having too many can lead to late nights, poor diets and even poorer choices. Trying to cram in too many on-campus events, sign-ups and taster sessions can also be exhausting, so make sure you take the time to rest each day, to eat something genuinely nutritious (fruits and vegetables, not pot noodles!) and to catch up with family and friends to help maintain a healthy mind and body.
Good work on completing Lesson 2. Now that you have a better understanding of what you should do during fresher’s week, continue studying with Lesson 3 for a perspective of what you probably shouldn’t be doing.
There are currently no PowerPoint activities, additional teacher resources or audio and video recordings created for this topic. Please come back again next semester.
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