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Here are our top tips for freshers to make their transition to uni as smooth as possible!

Freshers' Friendly Support Tips

Starting university is a wonderful and exciting experience, but it can also bring its own unique challenges. It's natural to feel overwhelmed and nervous during the first few weeks whilst you settle into your brand-new surroundings, and it can be a while before you feel like you've found truly your feet. But we are here to help. At your Students' Union (NUSU) our main mission is to represent, support, develop and enhance the lives of you as Newcastle University students so we’ve curated a few top tips, specifically for you, to ensure you feel your best over the next few weeks as a Newcastle University Fresher.


MAKING FRIENDS

The main priority for many new students’ is building that friend list and connecting with other new students, but it’s also extremely common for this to be at the top of your worry list. Very few students will enter University knowing anyone around them so it is highly likely that everyone around you will be feeling the exact same concerns as you. It may seem daunting, but you’ll have a lot more in common with a lot more people than you think. Our best advice for if you’re struggling gathering friends is to get involved in our extra-curricular student groups!

At NUSU, we have lots going on all year round to get involved with and give you the opportunity to connect with friends or meet brand new, like-minded people. From our Give It a Go activities, our 300+ Sports Clubs and Societies to our Volunteering program, there are so many opportunities to meet new friends. We really aren’t short of ways that you can build connections with others just like you and make friends for life.


FLATMATES

Typically, some of the first people that you meet when arriving at university are going to be your flatmates. Whether you’re in university accommodation, a shared partnership, or are privately renting, you are likely going to be living with brand new people for the first time in your life. This can (and should!) be extremely exciting but can also be nerve-wracking. After all, it’s a brand-new experience. So, here are our top tips to help you make the most out of moving in with your flatmates:

  • Communicate – starting a group chat is a great way to start things off. You can start to get to know each other and become comfortable. It’s also a great way to organise plans to spend time together. A small get-together as a flat is often a great way to ease yourself into student life with these new people by your side.
  • Be understanding – living together is about compromise. You could find yourself living with people from completely different backgrounds from yourself so respecting each other and being understanding of each different viewpoint is vital.
  • Make some ground rules – these can be as simple as which shelf in the fridge belongs to who to what time should noise stop in the communal area. These rules can be established as soon as you all move in but can be developed along the way but making sure everyone agrees will be sure you make your time together run a lot smoother.

HOMESICKNESS

Right now, the excitement of getting away and starting fresh at university might be taking over but the likelihood is that at some point throughout your time at university, you may start to miss home.

In those situations, or for those who are already nervous about making the move to university, it’s important to note that these feelings are perfectly normal, and you are by no means alone. Moving away from home is a big step and homesickness can be triggered at any point. So, here are some top tips to help you adjust:

  • Remember that technology can make a world of difference. We are spoilt these days for ways to contact the people we love and miss most, no matter where across the world they are. Organise a weekly call to relieve your homesickness and catch up.
  • Talk to other students - it is likely that others feel the same! This will help you bond with people who are going through the same experience.
  • Visit home if you can. There’s no shame in going home to visit friends at family at any point throughout university and it may help you adjust to being away.
  • Nightline - call on 01912612905 if you need a friendly ear to speak to. This is a student-led listening service from 8pm- 8am (only available during term time).

FRESHERS' & CAMPUS ANXIETY

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of Freshers’ Week and being on campus (after a year of avoiding anyone you walk past). We have tried our very best to ensure that we have put together a programme of activities and events that cater for all. This year, our big theme is welcoming students to campus, and that is why we have launched the Welcome Villiage throughout September. Ease yourself into campus by coming along, grabbing some food, chill out with your new housemates in a tipi, a bar, a lawn (whatever you want). Test the water, and if you feel comfortable, we would love to see you at Freshers' too. If that's not your bag, then we have PLENTY of unique activities, events and groups for you to get involved in. 


LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF

Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is to look after yourself and put your mental and physical health first before anything. In the chaos of Welcome Weeks and the novelty of university, it’s easy to forget about yourself and let your well-being take a back seat but this doesn’t have to be the case and we have loads of resources to help you!

 

Staying Healthy on a Budget

  • Staying healthy on a budget is one common student challenge! But doing it right can be more cost-effective and better for your mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Some top tips for healthy eating are to bulk buy and cook in batches and freezing leftovers. Places like the Grainger Market come in super handy for saving money on fruit, veg and meat. For more tips and advice on healthy eating and recipes, follow the BBC Food's Student Guide.
  • We also have our very own Sports Centre at Newcastle University with a gym, fitness classes and sports programmes and a range of memberships to get involved with. What’s more, until 4th October 2021, access to these facilities is free for all Newcastle University Students. Find out more here.

Wellbeing and Support

  • Just like looking after your physical health, ensuring that you are looking after your mental health and wellbeing is another crucial part your university experience. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of student life but it’s important to remember that everyone struggles from time to time, and it is not shameful or embarrassing to ask for help as and when you need it.
  • Luckily, here at NUSU we have a long list of services, resources, and support available to you. From our Student Advice Centre to resources for students who identify as being part of a marginalised group, we have everything, and we hope you find our support network helpful. Find out more about all our services and how to reach out here.