So as a fresher you’re most likely moving into halls of residence, whether that be Falk Egg, Elvyn or anything in between they all have something in common: no matter where you are in the hall the rooms will look the same right? Well, when you move in that may be the case, but it doesn’t take long to change that- a few posters on the walls, your choice of bedding (yes even though we love camping we do use bedding rather than sleeping bags, your choice though), your own clothes, some fairy lights or even a flag hanging from your window. In no time at all that room that looks just the same as your neighbours will soon become your own little home. Check out our blog from last week for more about this: https://scogui.org.uk/2020/09/how-to-make-your-new-room-feel-yours
2) Make friends with your flatmates
It may seem odd moving into halls and not knowing anyone right? True, but everyone is in the same boat and will want to make new friends sooner rather than later. It may be that one of your flatmates doesn’t seem to want to go out, so go and talk to them, invite them out, share some food with them (although if you make cakes I recommend following a recipe else they might not turn out so well. Whoops) and help them settle in. Doing these little things at the start of the year will make such a difference as there will be times when you come in and just want to moan or celebrate something and having people who will listen in your own flat is brilliant for this.
3) Take part in extra freshers’ activities
When you move in everyone in halls will be very keen for you to join in with the freshers’ events that the hall committee and the union have organised for you. This is a great way to get to meet those who you are living with, and for many is how they make new friends. Don’t just do these though, take the time to go to the extra events like the colour run or society run events as these will introduce you to even more people. This is particularly good if you don’t like a night out in the union or night clubs. Don’t feel pressured to go out if you don’t want to, have some time for yourself, look at what else is going on and find the activities that you will enjoy. I guarantee there will be something for everyone happening during freshers and it’s worth mixing it up so you meet more people.
4) Visit the Sports and Societies Bazaars and sign up to too many things
In the freshers’ period, two particularly key events will happen. These are the sports and societies bazaars. I recommend going to both of these. You may not think you want to do any sports, or think societies are dull, but it’s worth it. With sports on offer from lifesaving to rugby and from ultimate Frisbee to sailing, there is truly a sport for everyone and it’s worth looking around, even if sports aren’t for you. The same goes for societies: from SCOGUI and hiking to hot air ballooning and video gaming there are societies to suit every interest. It’s worth signing up for many of these if something looks interesting then talk to those on the stalls and sign up, who knows you may even find a new interest. Oh and did I mention all the freebies from pizza and S’mores to pens and bags there are bound to be more freebies than you can handle.
5) Give it a go
Following the Freshers’ Bazaars, there will be sessions run by the various clubs and societies to let you have at what they offer. Having signed up at the bazaars look at when these sessions are and attend as many as you can. These will give you an idea of what the people are like and what the activity is like. If you enjoy the activity then great, you’ve made more friends and these activities will help to fill your time with things you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it well you gave it a go, and you can be happy that you tried it and are only going to commit to those things you really enjoy.
6) Manage your time and commitments
As much fun as the societies and sports on offer at Loughborough are, we do sadly still have to go to lectures and do our degrees. Freshers is great as it gives you a chance to sample things and decide what to take up fully. Don’t be afraid of signing up for too many things, many people do that to start with. After a few weeks, you will get an idea of what you really enjoy and how much time things take. You can then narrow your commitments down so as you still do what you enjoy, while also allowing you time to do your degree (sorry, has to be done) and most importantly to relax. Don’t worry if you overcommit, I did that early in the year and probably still do, but make sure that you know how much you can take and if you are doing too much just stop, take a break and priorities. These things will help you to enjoy your new home away from home.
7) Explore the town
It’s easy to live in a student bubble on the campus, so make sure you spend some time exploring the local area as well. It could be going for a walk along the canal, going shopping in the market or even taking part in an activity in the town, and SCOGUI can help you find a Scout or Guide group to volunteer with if you want to do this. This will help you feel part of the town, allowing Loughborough and not just the campus to become your new home away from home.
I really hope that you are looking forward to joining us in the Loughborough family, and that you will give SCOGUI a go. If there is any final advice I can give from these seven points though it is to make sure that you do what you enjoy and have some time to relax. This will truly make Loughborough your home away from home.