Welcome week was a complete blur for me but such an experience. Let’s start from the beginning, I arrived mid-morning on Saturday with my parents and a car full of everything I would need to start my new chapter along with so many nerves for everything that was to come. The first thing to do on arrival was to go to enrolment, enrol on my course and to pick up my keys for what was going to be my home for the next year. Once that was sorted it was time to go and find my room and meet my flat mates. Walking into my flat was interesting as I had a huge amount of stuff to bring from the car and I was on the first floor. I came to hate those stairs in 30 seconds flat. When I got there only one of my flat mats was already there so I introduced myself and said hi but there wasn’t time to chat when I still had a car load of things to bring inside the flat. Each time I came up with more things another flat mate had arrived and it was the same introductions and quick hello before each of us carried on collecting stuff from the car or putting it away.
Once all parents and friends had gone home, it was time to properly meet my new flatmates. We all found ourselves chatting in the kitchen eating drinking or both. It was a strange feeling to be sitting with complete strangers and knowing you were all going to be living together for the foreseeable future. As the afternoon went on we got to know each other better and started helping each other get settled before the move-in party. The move-in party was a great opportunity to spend a fun evening with your flat mates and to meet other people as well, such as those we had met on social media before coming to university.
Sunday was a much more chilled day and a couple of us went for a walk round campus so we would knew where to go when it came to Monday and things had to get done such as lectures or forms to fill in and sign. We also found the necessities such as where the on-campus doctors was and where the nearest supermarkets were. Most of the rest of the day was more unpacking and getting to know each other more. Saturday and Sunday were the most important days in terms of getting to know who you’re living with and in my case started some friendships which have only become stronger over the last few weeks.
For my course, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday was about meeting all the relevant people and having so many welcome talks I lost track. That is not to say they were boring or unhelpful, they were the opposite. All the talks introduced us to someone different and gave us the information about who was who and who to contact for what. In my case I have a personal tutor who is the first port of call and is the one who can direct me to the relevant people if I am unsure of where to go. Then there are award leaders who are there to answer any questions/ problems I have with Psychology BSc as a whole. If there is something to do with a specific module then there are module leaders as well as the module tutors. If none of these people can help then there is a level 4 leader and an undergraduate psychology leader to help. During these few days we also got to meet the Vice-Chancellor, the Student’s Union president and Vice President and the student enabling team. There was also an opportunity to go to the clubs and societies fair and the commercial fair with lots of opportunities to sign up for new things and lots of freebies.
Thursday and Friday were more chilled and allowed me to finish my unpacking as I was still living out of boxes.
I also took this time to go to some ‘Give It A Go’ sessions for the dance club and psychology society. Clubs and societies have been a great way for me to meet new people who are interested in the same things as me and have helped me to settle in here at Staffs even more.
I found that welcome week was so good for finding my way around the campus and surrounding area, making friends and getting to know the people that I am living with. It is great to be able to do all of those thing before the real lectures start and the work begins to pile up. Welcome week also gives you an understanding of the good and bad points of now being independent. I saw a lot of people who loved being able to do what they wanted, when they wanted without having their parents around. These same people then realised how much they missed their parents when it came time to do the food shop, or clean the bathroom, or cook their own meals. It is a mix of both and takes some getting used to how to juggle them but that’s the point of welcome week and the first few weeks of university, you can make mistakes and learn from them.