So you’re finally here! Registered, unpacked, and ready for endless games of Never Have I Ever (eugh), we would like to welcome you to the University of Nottingham with our very own Jill Forsdick bringing you tips on how to find a balance during Welcome Week.

  1. Prioritise making friends

The first few days of Welcome Week are a great opportunity to lay the foundations for a great week (and year) ahead by making friends. It sounds obvious, but we can’t stress enough how much of a good idea it is to really make an effort to get to know the people you’re living with early, whether they’re in your flats, on your corridor or in your block. After all, your first year at University is arguably the best time to enjoy a packed social life, so it’s important if you want a fun few nights out in week one as well as for the rest of the year to bond with those around you. (Of course, you’ll be reliving this all next year, too…)

“It’s important if you want a fun few nights out, to bond with those around you”

Don’t stress if you don’t all gel immediately, though, because everyone’s going to be a bit nervous and not quite themselves at the start. Give it time and you’ll all soon be bonding over those post-night out junk food binges (try Maryland Chicken near Pryzm – trust us on this one) and mutual hatred of the never ending registry queues.

Expect to make many friends (and take many drunken blurry selfies) during Welcome Week

Don’t just look in your halls, though – a lot of students find good friends in the most unexpected places. Whether it’s someone you sit next to in a lecture or someone you meet in the queue while registering for Cripps, don’t shy away from having a chat, because you never know, that person might end up being your best friend for the next three years.

2. If you’re self-catered, get to grips with your kitchen

It’ll be a good idea to do your food shopping early in the week, and to be honest, early in the day before all the campus events start! You don’t really realise how long food shopping takes until you’re faced with doing it yourself in an unfamiliar area, often encountering a walk that feels a lot longer once you’re carrying a few bags. When this is done, though, you’ll be free to explore campus to your heart’s content.

You might also want to lay aside some time in the evening, well before you’re due to get ready for your first night out, to get to grips with all your kitchen’s appliances and cook a nice meal. Of course they won’t be much different to those you have at home, but anything new like that takes some to getting used to.

“Try Maryland Chicken near Pryzm – trust us on this one”

3. Set aside time for the Welcome Fair

Heading over to Portland to check out all the great things you can get involved in during your time at Nottingham will prove a fun eye-opener to the hub of opportunity that is the Students’ Union. This is a great opportunity to go and see if there’s anything that tickles your fancy when it comes to societies (whether you’re wanting to carry on a hobby or take up something new), but can also be a great place to pick up some sought-after vouchers. (You can check out UoN’s full list of societies here).

With everything else going on, though, it might even be a better idea to wander round for an hour or so one day and come back the day after to finish your search, because you’ll probably find you’ve got a few taster sessions lined up throughout the week alongside other things!

4. Don’t neglect the important stuff

While you’re on campus, it’ll be a good idea to get all the important stuff done, such as registering for Cripps, setting up your University email account and finding important landmarks like Student Services and any buildings you’ll be based in once term starts. This can feel like a bit of a pain at the time considering you might have to walk around quite a bit, but trust me, it’ll help you next week and will prove a pleasant way to discover Nottingham’s beautiful campus.

4. Go on nights out 

For many, the themed nights out are the highlight of Welcome Week, so it’s a good idea to leave a few nights free for those.

These nights are great for getting to know your block mates as well as making new friends, as you’ll find everyone wanting to just get to know one another and have a great time. So plan yourself a hearty meal beforehand and leave yourself some time to get ready. Remember, Welcome Week is pretty special, because everyone is in the same boat as newcomers (and just as nervous) and I think it’s safe to say that everyone wants to have the most positive experience possible, so make the most of it!

“Welcome Week is pretty special, because everyone is in the same boat”

And if you don’t fancy hitting the town of an evening, don’t panic, because there are lots of other ways to socialise around campus in Welcome Week. You could grab a few friends for a pint in Mooch or at one of the cafés or bars located in your halls, could engross yourself in society welcome events or just interact with people in your halls naturally as the week progresses.

The Editor wanted to show a picture of his Halloween-themed night but the photograph was too embarrassing. So he uploaded this embarrassing photo of his friends instead
(Matteo wanted to show a picture of his Halloween-themed night but the photograph was too embarrassing. So he uploaded this embarrassing photo of his friends instead)

5. Get some rest before lectures start

Whether or not you spend the week running around getting to know Nottingham, signing up to societies or partying, it’s fairly likely you’ll be pretty tired by Sunday. After all, you’ve been getting used to a completely new way of living! So factor in some downtime before term properly starts so you’re ready for what will surely be the start of a great university experience.

And finally, from the whole of the Features team – welcome to Nottingham!

Jill Forsdick

Embedded images: Matteo Everett

Featured image: Arcadiuš

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