I don’t think there is a more dynamic term than the first one of a fresher. New friends, new daily routine, new information to assimilate, new ways of thinking, new possibilities of having fun and, most importantly, new responsibilities. After all this new factors, you need a break….a winter break.

Now home, relaxed and with my batteries recharged, I’ve found some time to retrospectively think upon my first term progression. Therefore, with a clearer mind, here are some things I would have told myself 10 weeks ago.

Don’t panic, you will get used to your new routine!

The start of your course could be really overwhelming, especially when you are presented with the structure of your modules and all the studying materials you’ll need throughout the year. It is extremely normal to feel that you’re not doing a good job at balancing your time properly, especially when the first few weeks are also dedicated to socializing and meeting new people.

However, the worst thing you can do in this situation is to get stressed. Remember that you are not the only one facing this change, so the teachers and everyone around you will prove to be extremely helpful and understanding. This is why, …

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

You may find that your modules come with a lot of concepts that you are not used to, yet you don’t ask for additional explanation as you’re afraid not to be judged. This is part of the anxiety that most of us confront with at the beginning, yet, as the weeks went by, I’ve realized that all this scenario was a product of my imagination. In reality, you are encouraged to ask, question, as well as come with your very own opinion upon everything that you are learning. The teachers will always be happy to shed light on the points that you don’t comprehend, and will give you reading directions so that at the end of the day, that black space you had in your head, is filled up with new pieces of information.

Be patient! You will find people to get closer to!

I know homesickness can interfere with your time at university. This is why, because you want to develop new friendships, you will feel somehow rushed to get closer to people, and disappointed if you don’t feel an instant connection to them. However, do keep in mind that

friendships need time to blossom and, no matter what type of personality you have, there are certainly people throughout the campus to whom you can relate. However, the first two months are a short period of time, so until you get to know more people, don’t lose your own personality on the road. Instead of that, be open-minded and take advantage of the events organized by the university. What will surely help you with meeting new people is if you…

Don’t hesitate to join new societies!

During the first week, when the societies fair will take place on campus, you will probably find yourself with hundreds of flyers in your hand and the desire to join all of them. In the first few weeks, instead of trying to make up your mind regarding which one to stick with, just go there and test it. Join the info sessions for the ones you are interested in, and, especially for the sport clubs, go to as many open sessions as you can, even if there’s a sport that you had never practiced before. Look for societies that reflect both your hobbies, but in the same time, don’t be afraid to risk and try something totally new to you. Who knows, after a few weeks, your final choices may even surprise yourself, but, that’s the fun part in having more than 250 societies to choose from.

And finally, as a bonus, don’t get out of your room without your key as you will most probably lock yourself out and you will wander around the campus (in your pajama, if you are as lucky as me) hoping to find someone to let you back in. 🙂

All in all, if I could go back in my first term and do something differently, I would just take a jacket over that pajama. Apart from that, every challenge I’ve been through made me learn something about myself that I can now pass on to the new generation to come.

Happy holidays everybody!