Tag Archives: freshers’ week

Meeting people and making friends at university


The pressure during the first couple of weeks of uni to instantly make loads of friends can be intense. Freshers’ may be over, but that doesn’t mean your window for meeting people is closed. Think about it – how many people can make friends for life in a week? But if you’re struggling and not sure how to go about connecting with people, here are a few pointers from somebody who’s been there.

1)    Join a society

Even if you don’t have a hobby and even if you can’t see a society that you particularly want to be a part of! It’s free (usually) and a really easy way to meet new people. If you’re having trouble getting on with your flatmates or meeting people on your course, why not join several? You can always leave later, and still hang on to your new-found friends.

2)    Talk to people

Wherever and whenever possible, find a reason to strike up a conversation. A simple “hello” when passing someone you recognise in halls, “have you done the reading?” to the person next to you in a seminar, “what are you making?” to someone in your flat or shared kitchen… the possibilities are endless. Don’t wait for other people to come to you – if you seek out opportunities yourself you’ll make friends so much more easily. Or why not take advantage of Dutch courage and introduce yourself to the person next to you at the bar? In the first couple of weeks everyone is very open and friendly – the chances of embarrassment really are minimal.

3)    Keep your bedroom door open

It may seem obvious but wedging your door open during the first few days is the perfect zero-effort way to meet people. The super-confident types who are wandering around meeting people are bound to put their head round an open door – you’re essentially inviting people to come in and talk to you.

4)    Fake it ‘til you make it

It’s a well-known theory, and completely applicable here. If you’re naturally quite shy and reserved meeting people can seem like an uphill struggle. But university is a fresh start – no-one here knows that you’re not chatty, outgoing and oozing with confidence! So why not pretend? It might seem scary at first, but your fake confidence will help you make connections with people, which will boost your confidence, which will help you make even more connections, and hey presto! you’ve got yourself a nice group of mates.

5)    Use props

Taking along fun, interesting items is a great idea. Think shot glasses, shisha pipes, games, packs of cards, or even just a Frisbee. If you can propose activities that people want to be a part of, you’re already getting a headstart.

6)    Facebook

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you add people you don’t know (although that would work too!). You can, however, use Facebook to your advantage. Met someone new and caught their name? Add them on Facebook. Noticed your flatmate is now friends with that girl you met in your first lecture? Add her as a friend too. It’s called social networking for a reason – it’s a great way of expanding your network of acquaintances and cultivating new relationships. If you’re really struggling to pluck up the courage to talk to people, why not reach out from behind the safety of your computer screen? Add a coursemate and message them about this week’s assignment. Comment on group photos with you in. Find out which events the people you know are going to, and go along with them. And all without leaving your bedroom.

7)    Eat with people

This is a really easy way to get talking to your flatmates or the other people on your corridor. Try to time your meals so that there are other people around cooking too, and eat at the table rather than taking your food back to your room. The same thing goes for catered halls – try to arrange to go down to dinner together instead of alone.

But most importantly of all, relax! Seriously. It might seem like you’re the last person on campus not to have made friends yet, or you might feel you’re stuck with a group of people you don’t feel very strongly about, but you’d be surprised how much things continue to change over the first couple of months or even the whole year. It’s not too late to reach out to people – remember that everybody is in the same boat, and other people are just as keen to meet you as you are them. How many times in your life will you be in a situation where thousands of people are actively trying to be your friend? Make the most of it.

Written by Lucy, Bristol.

Freshers’ Week in Bristol

The beginning of university is an exciting time: no work to do, lots of parties and plenty of new people to meet. But with so much going on, how are we supposed to work out what’s worth going to, and what isn’t? The Bristolian branch of the Student Channel has sifted through all the listings – both university-organised and otherwise – to bring you the very best that your Freshers’ Week has to offer.


University of Bristol

According to the University of Bristol Facebook page, the two biggest and most popular freshers’ events are the Freshers’ Party (4 October) and the Freshers’ Ball (13 October). They are £7 and £22 respectively, but you can buy tickets for both for the discounted price of £26. The ball is at Motion, one of Bristol’s biggest, coolest and most popular nightclubs, so expect it to sell out! But these are just the tip of the iceberg: more information on freshers’ events organised by the students union can be found here, and each individual residence also organises its own parties.

 

Motion, Bristol

UWE

The biggest event of UWE’s freshers’ week calendar is the Allstars Party, taking place on the Frenchay campus on Saturday 24th September. The line up is impressive: Chase and Status, the View and Kissy Sell Out are headlining. Tickets are £30 a pop, but if that seems a little on the expensive side there’s plenty more going on at a fraction of the price, including comedy nights and mock-full moon beach parties. Click here for full listings.

 

Bristol events

Freshers’ week may be organised by your union, but that doesn’t mean you’re confined to the official events! Local clubs are putting on a huge variety of freshers’ themed events; read on for a selection of the very best Bristol has to offer.

 

The Thekla

With term starting again the Thekla is reviving its well-established and hugely popular student night Zoology: the official club night of UWE’s Hub Radio. The connection doesn’t make it exclusive to UWE students, though – University of Bristol freshers are just as welcome. Every Monday you can expect to hear indie, pop and hip hop, plus the Hub Radio DJs themselves on the top deck (the Thekla is a boat, doncha know). Get down before 10 to escape the door charge. Facebook group

That’s not all – the Thekla is also debuting its newest student night Wobble, which will be bringing you the best in dubstep, drum and bass and “generally wobbly beats” every Tuesday night. Facebook group

 

For more information on freshers’ week at the Thelka, click here

 

BrisFest

Between 23rd and 25th SeptemberBristol’s newest and most up-and-coming festival, ‘BrisFest’, will be transforming the centre with a mixture of music, comedy, street theatre, circus and art. Tickets are a bargain: entry to the festival starts at £8 and the boat parties is as little as £6, so if you’re new to the city there’s no excuse not to get down there and experience some local culture! You can read the Student Channel’s preview of the festival here for more information.

 Propaganda @ Syndicate

You’ve probably heard of Propaganda before – massively popular in almost every student city, it’s the UK’s number one Indie night. Already a fan? Well “Props” was born in Bristol, and it’s easily the city’s biggest club night. You’d be a fool to miss the first one of term, on Wednesday 21st September. Get there early to avoid missing out. Facebook group


 Smash the Lanes @ The Lanes

 

Intriguingly described as “cheap drinks, good music and cheap bowling for all”, Smash the Lanes is possibly the first ever student night to feature a bowling alley. Entry is free and drinks deals abound, so if a blend of funk, hip hop, dubstep, drum and bass, house and disco sounds appealing this might just be for you.

 

Written by Lucy, Bristol

 

What (and what not) to take to uni

Moving to university is a scary time and a brief Google search will throw up a huge amount of conflicting advice on what you ought to take with you. With this in mind, rather than an exhaustive list of absolutely everything you will need (and definitely won’t), this article aims to point out a few things that you might not have thought of when packing your bag.

The top 5 things I wish I had brought to uni:

1. Posters, photos and knick-knacks.

Anything that will personalise your room and make it feel more homely is a must! The more settled you feel in your own space, the more quickly you’ll settle into your new life. There’s no need to panic if your room is looking a little bare, though: most universities run a poster sale in freshers’ week.

2. Fancy dress.

Like it or not, you can bet that within your first ten days at uni you’ll need at least two different costumes! There’s no need to go overboard, but anything you have lying around which could make a good army, school disco, or cowboys and Indians costume is definitely worth throwing in your bag.

3. One of: a bottle opener, a tin opener, and a cheese grater.

These three are often overlooked in the pre-uni Ikea frenzy, and it’s not uncommon to arrive in halls and find that your kitchen has 25 plates, 10 saucepans, 2 toastie makers and no corkscrew.

4. Playing cards.

Essential for drinking games. If you can get waterproof ones, even better!

5. Tea towels.

With a good 6-10 people sharing a kitchen, you can never have too many tea towels – especially since no-one will ever volunteer to wash them.

And now, the things you really don’t need:

1. Everything you own.

Rooms in halls are generally very small, and there won’t be space for you to store all your childhood teddies/40 pairs of shoes/GCSE coursework. Remember that a term is only 10-12 weeks long – how much stuff do you really need?

2. Extra furniture.

Your room will have furniture in that is designed to make the best possible use of the limited space. Anything extra will only get in the way!

3. Your own kettle/toaster/fridge.

All of these are provided as standard by the university if you’re in self-catered halls (and sometimes even if you aren’t) – not only will they take up precious space in your room but they’ll waste energy too. Also, do you really want to be the flatmate who hides all their food in their room?

4. In the same vein, you really don’t need an egg poacher/deep fat fryer/blender/apple corer.

Chances are you only occasionally use these things at home, and they’ll just sit in a drawer gathering dust.

5. Your hamster/rabbit/fish.

Not only because pets are against the rules, but also because halls just aren’t a good place for animals to live – they’re cramped, noisy and dirty.

Whilst it’s important to be prepared in order to get the best out of your first weeks at uni, there’s no need to get overly stressed about it. Forgetting to bring a frying pan or your favourite poster is not going to have much of an effect on how well you settle in. So think carefully about what you want to pack, but most importantly relax and enjoy yourself – you’re about to embark on the best years of your life!

Written by Lucy, Bristol