Your essential guide to being a Fresher!

Find out everything you need to know before you join us in September

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With September rapidly approaching, you may be wondering what you need to do before leaving and what's going on when you arrive at Uni? Don’t panic, we’ve put together some of the things you need to think about in September to set you up for a great Uni year!

Before you arrive

Reach out to flatmates and people on your course

One of the scariest things about starting uni is moving to a place where you are likely to know no one. People are going to be in the same situation as you and reaching out to others can make this process much less scary! There are many ways you can find your flatmates or course mates. There are Facebook groups for offer holders where people can post what course they are taking and where they are going to be staying, meaning that people can find you and get in contact.

There is also an app called Umii in which you can also find other people going to Cardiff (and even to your specific course!) and message people individually. Through this quite a lot of people choose to make group chats in apps such as Snapchat or WhatsApp for their courses, houses, and flats. This gives you lots of people to talk to and means it can be less scary for people to move in if they feel they already know the people they will be with. But don't worry - if you haven’t reached out to others before you come to Cardiff, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet people and make lots of friends!

Buy your Freshers' tickets

I recommend buying tickets before you start in September. Don't worry if you haven't met people yet, you will find people in your halls of residence who are also going and you can meet people in the Freshers' groups to organise meeting up. 

Packing

When you are moving to uni, you are likely to have lots of stuff that you will be taking with you and so packing is a stressful but necessary process. Starting early by packing all the things you may have bought specifically for uni, or items you don’t use very often, will help take the pressure off your last few days at home. Using up any storage you plan to use at uni is a great way to make sure you are utilising the space that will already be being used up in whatever way you are travelling to uni. For example, any under bed storage or a suitcase you will be using for holidays. Making sure you are prepared and planning ahead will be your best plan for what could be a very busy week!

TV License

Most people do not realise that you may need a TV license when you are in halls. People often believe they are covered by their parent’s license, but this is not the case for most. Students need to have a license if the way they plan on watching TV (this includes live tv channels, or other forms of watching live TV such as YouTube or Amazon Prime Video, or catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer) even if they do not have a TV in their room. You will not be covered by your parent’s license if you use any device that is: not only powered by its own internal batteries, has an aerial, or plugs into the wall including when charging. This is something that could get you into trouble if you do not follow the rules, as it can lead to a £1,000 fine or a criminal conviction. You can claim back the summer months of your license, so the overall cost will be lower than it appears!

Organise Medical needs

When you go to uni, you may need access to medical facilities such as a doctor’s surgery. Signing up to your local GP surgery is an important step to make sure you will be safe when at uni. There are many surgeries in Cardiff who allow students to register and so signing up is easy with only a few online forms needing to be filled in. All of your other medical information will be sent to your new GP by your old doctor’s surgery, meaning that you will be given care that works with any other medical issues you may already have.

When you arrive

Join societies

Societies and sports clubs, are a great way to meet new friends who have similar interests to you, while doing something you enjoy! Lots of people make lifelong friends through societies and it allows you to get to know people who may not be in the same year as you; people join societies from their first year all the way to postgraduate studies. Cardiff has a great variety of societies for you to choose from, whether it is something you’ve done all your life, or something you have only just found out about and want to try! Societies will have a membership cost, often as low as £1, but most run Give it a Go sessions early in the year where people can come and experience a taster session for free (or at a very low cost for some societies).

You can find out more about everything Freshers’ here.

Organise yourself for classes

While it may not be the first thing on your mind when you first start uni, you will be soon starting your course. Being organised ahead of starting your modules allows you to be ready to start learning straight away, preventing you from falling behind at the start. This includes things such as:

  • making sure your devices are all connected to the Wi-Fi
  • having folders for all modules
  • having any needed stationary prepared
  • having any equipment or textbooks required for your course (you will be made aware if this is the case)

Enjoy yourself

While moving to uni may seem stressful, you will also have the best time! Freshers' is a period in your time at uni that many people say is their favourite. It is a chance for you to settle in and start letting your hair down a bit in this new chapter of your life. Make sure you allow yourself to enjoy freshers, as it will only ever happen once!

This will be quite a scary step for most people, but everyone is going through the same thing, so you won’t be alone! Uni, especially Freshers', will go past in a flash, so don’t worry too much and enjoy yourself!

 

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