Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Road to Reading…

Arriving at University can be an daunting experience, no matter what you have done before.

Your Student Engagement Officer
Charlie Holman
I will never forget the nervous/excited feeling in the pit of my stomach as my car rolled on to Whiteknights Campus and I navigated my way to Car Park 2, ready to move in to Windsor Hall; which was to become  my home for the next year.

As your journey to Reading University begins and you start to develop that feeling of apprehension and nervousness just remember, there are more than a thousand students that are in the same boat as you. Most importantly you’re not alone in your feelings.

For me Freshers' was amazing. You have probably heard the expression “THESE WILL BE THE BEST YEARS OF YOUR LIFE” and it’s true they are, no matter how sick you are of hearing the expression.

One of my most memorable moments of Freshers’ Week was just how friendly everyone was on arrival. Again just like you, no one has any friends. Sure there are some people I never talked to again after Freshers' Week but there were also people I met in that week that have become my friends for life. I lived with them for three years and even upon graduating we still meet up and visit each other.

Here are a few tips that helped me and hope will help you to get started:
  • Make sure you have joined your Facebook halls group before you arrive. I remember talking to my flatmates before I arrived via Facebook and this put me at ease because I was already able to put some names to faces.
  • Bring a door stop with you. Wedge your door open so your flat mates can easily get to know you. This also makes you a lot more approachable and people are a lot more likely to pop their head in and say hello.
  • Get to know your JCR and don’t be scared to ask them just about anything. Your JCR is a committee which has been elected to run activities and enhance your halls experience. Having been both a Fresher and a JCR committee member, I know what it’s like to get lost around campus and having absolutely no idea where I was supposed to be (this is pretty mandatory during your first couple of weeks). But as a JCR, I know how dedicated they are to making Freshers' the best experience they possibly could for everyone in their halls. They’re more than happy to help with any problems no matter how trivial or serious.
However, my biggest tip would be to make sure you throw yourself in to University life. Join societies, learn a new sport, volunteer, or just make sure you get involved!  This is a great way to meet similar minded people to yourself and broaden your friendship group from within your halls. I made some great friendships within the societies and clubs I was part of. Try new things! University is a great place to find a new passion or interest and unique in the huge amount of opportunities available. From water sports to Quidditch, caving to baking, there are hundreds of clubs and societies to choose from and they add so much more to your University experience.

Enjoy every minute of Reading. I have no doubt you will. Having just graduated I know how sad it is when it comes to an end. Have an absolutely crazy Freshers’ Week. The rest of the officer team and I will see you there.

Charlie Holman
Student Engagement Officer