Lars Woolnough is a third year Graphic Design student, who is also part of the Graphic Design Society which won Society of the Year at the 2018 SU Awards. Here he shares his top tips for tackling those university nerves.
For some this is your first time away from home, for others it may be a place where you know no one - but there's no need to be concerned. I'm going to give you some tips which I found useful when I first started university, and continue to use myself.
If you are moving in to student accommodation, a flat or shared house, it is good to know what is in your local vicinity in terms of food, entertainment and areas where you can hang out with people. In student accommodation, this could be a shared kitchen, your common room or the university itself.
No matter what city you're staying in, there is plenty of food on offer, with your usual fast food chains, but also some nice independent restaurants as well.
In regards to enterntainment, you can find loads to do at the university itself, through events held by the uni, ARU Students' Union, and societies, but there is also a variety of galleries, cinemas and other places with which to have fun.
The university itself is one of key things you’d need to familiarise yourself with when coming to uni. Knowing where each building is, and where the resources you need are such as the library and computer suites makes things much easier. A very useful thing to keep in mind is the extra help you can get for your course, or extra courses you can take up, like Study Skills plus and the Language programme. I’d advise you to look at your timetable and try to find all the rooms before your classes start, so you’re well prepared for your first week of lectures.
The first week at ARU is full of exciting events, like Fresher’s Fair, your faculty welcoming parties and other events. Going to these events can help you learn more about what to expect, get awesome offers and freebies, and also meet people from your course or similar courses you can make friends with
The final point is one of the most important, at least in my experience as a student, and that is societies. Societies are a place where you can meet people with similar interests and also spend your free time being able to do what the society says on the tin.
One of the bigger societies, TAGs (Tabletop & Gaming Society), has several rooms with fun things for everyone, from board games, card games, party games, to more focused rooms like DnD.
There are of course loads of other societies available, like the Ruskin Journal for the aspiring reporters out there. There's also societies like Pole Fitness & Aerial Society or LASAR (Live Action Society Anglia Ruskin) if you fancy more of a work out. Or, if you want a nice place to sit down and relax there are other societies devoted to subjects like Harry Potter (Cambridge and Chelmsford), Pokémon, and others.
Check out the societies page to see everything on offer, or have a go at making your own if you don't see anything you like!
I hope this manages to help you with your transition into university life and I'm sure that you'll have a wonderful year at university - maybe I’ll even see you round