Fresher’s Group chats; to join or not to join?
So with both results days officially over I want to extend my congratulations to you; the incoming freshers of 2020! I’m sure by now, with track updated and Warwick beginning its influx of emails the concept of starting Uni is slowly sinking in. With that, I’m sure many of you are starting to see our various societies welcoming you all ad inviting you to join the fresher’s groupchat. This, for me, was slightly intimidating last year and it felt like there were a lot of different chats being posted about, and that is where this post comes in handy.
Firstly, before I outline which groups to join and how to find them let me first make it completely crystal clear that I one hundred percent recommend joining, even if you don’t say much or anything at all, I promise it is completely worth your time and the notifications. It’s basically the first port of call for any issues and questions you might have as well as an easy way to make friends and start getting comfortable introducing yourself, meeting new people and prepping for October.
(I will be leaving links to some of the social media pages and group chats of some societies I recommend at the bottom.)
1. Subject Group Chats
The first group chat you should head to is for your subject. These are quite easy to find; look for your course or department’s Facebook, Instagram or twitter page and I can just about guarantee you will find it there. Sometimes if your subject has a big society attached to it; i.e. Law – the Law society has set up the group and you’ll find all of that on our Instagram, Facebook and twitter. One big thing to look out for with these though is to make sure it’s the ‘official one’ there’s absolutely no problem joining them to make more friends but the official groups will have exec members of the society or second/third/fourth years in that course who will be more helpful with your questions and queries.
2. Social/ Cultural Societies
This one can often overlap with the previous one like I mentioned with the Law Society but often they do not. The ACS is a great place to start when it comes to more social societies, you get to know and meet fellow African/ Caribbean students not just in your course. The same applies for ASoc (Asian Society) and from there you can get access to more specific societies i.e. Ghana Soc, Nigeria Soc, Bengali, Korean, Chinese etc. There is pretty big range available and so you can definitely find your best fit. There are also obviously European societies and Middle eastern as well. I’d recommend you do the same thing as before; go through their social media pages and check if they have a group chat and if so, ask to join. My international friends definitely found these extremely comforting and actually found friends from their home country before they even arrived.
3. Support/ Activism
There are also some really good support based societies and the first that comes to mind is The Black Women’s Project; a society supporting and representing Black women in higher education. The group chat isn’t up yet but watch out for it on their social media which I will link below. Alongside this I would recommend Warwick Anti-Racism Society, their fresher’s discussion group is currently under construction but will be great place to start if you are interest in any form of activism at Uni.
I believe at the time of writing this the accommodation groupchats have not been made yet but once they are I highly recommend joining. Last year, this, alongside Law Soc and ACS were my most active groups. To be completely transparent the people I spoke to are not my good friends now, but what it did do was make me feel far more comfortable moving in. I knew that the people were nice and even if they weren’t my type of people I knew that already before moving in. For me I got access to these groupchats through the other’s I mentioned. A thread was sent around with all the groups and people joined from there rather than dming on socials.
Join the groups, as I said earlier, there is absolutely zero pressure to speak but you get a lot of advice and information super quickly and from students who were literally in your place last year. If you are more confident and social definitely engage with people, talk and get used to each other, you might not become the best of friends but it means when you do get to Uni you have already tested the waters and know who’s who even if its at basic level. Also these group chats stay the same throughout the year so even if you’re not active during summer once Uni starts loads of resources, reminders, advice, event information are all sent here so you might as well join.
Now, lastly, (ironically) it’s not mandatory. I know the entire time I’ve been saying to join but I know that sometimes people have anxiety or don’t have access for one reason or another so I also want to reassure you that if you don’t it is not the end of the world. My current group of friends is made up of people who were actively speaking on the ACS chat but weren’t active members when Uni started and people who didn’t even know there was a group chat until half way though term 1 and we met each other completely organically. It is completely your own choice and there is no pressure either way.
The Black Women’s Project