Five things I wish I’d known as a Fresher

male student moving into student accommodationFreshers’ Festival is a series of events for first-year university students. It is often associated with images of students partying but there’s so much more to it than that. It’s a time to adjust to a new schedule, maybe settle into a new place to live and to make friends. You’ll also be finding your way to lectures and checking out the local area, for example registering with a doctor, finding supermarkets or  heading into Plymouth city centre.

Ben tells us the things he wishes he’d known before Freshers’ Festival…

1. I wish I’d had the chance to speak my course mates beforehand. I feel this would have made my transition to university life an easier experience. You can find your course mates, or flat mates, in the Marjon Applicants 2020 Facebook group. Find them and make a group chat, that way you’ll know a few faces when you get here.

It can be a daunting experience coming to university but knowing or speaking to some people from your course can make campus feel more welcoming. That said, we are all keen to welcome you as soon as you get here. It’s what Freshers’ Festival is all about! With all the events that go on you will get the opportunity to meet so many different people.

  1. I wish I’d lived in halls. I feel I would have been able to make more of my university year. From move in day you get to meet the other members of your flat and neighbouring flats along with your Resident Student Advisor (RSA), who is there to help you settle in. These people become your friends and the beginning of your Marjon family.

If you aren’t in halls or village in September don’t worry! You will still meet other students and have every opportunity during welcome week to meet the rest of your year group. Clubs and societies are also a great way to meet like-minded people, but more about them later.

  1. I wish I’d known about the Student Support team. They are on hand to give you the chance to succeed during your time at Marjon. They can help with assignments if you are struggling, do dyslexia tests and support anyone who is struggling with personal matters on campus.

The team are there for your mental and physical health. My main advice to anyone joining in September would be to utilise Student Support as much as possible. Drop in for a chat or book in to speak to them in confidence. You’ll achieve more with them in your corner.

  1. I wish I’d known more about the Chaplaincy. They are an amazing asset for the university! Revs Claire and Michelle are always on hand to give you some caring support. They are there for students of all faiths, or none. If you have any private issues, or just want a cup of tea and a chat, the chaplaincy is the place to go. On a Wednesday Pippin the dog comes in, for you to give her walks or just cuddle. On a Monday they hold a weekly service followed by pasta. Please don’t think that you must be Christian, every faith is welcomed in the Chaplaincy as we want to be as inclusive as possible.

Also, during Freshers’ Festival, Refreshers and at other points throughout the year, the Chaplaincy hold special events. These generally give those students who don’t want to go out and party every night the opportunity to partake in other memorable activities such as chocolate fountain, laser tag and going to Exeter Christmas market.

  1. I wish I’d known more about the clubs and societies. We have so many different ones. From geek squad to football, from baking to LGBTQ+, from rugby to Pokemon; there is something for everyone. These are great opportunities that give you something to do in the evenings.

The sports clubs have BUCS Wednesday where we compete in leagues with other universities throughout the country. Having extra-curricular activities to enjoy is a great way for you to unwind and relax after a day of lectures. If you want to be part of a club or society but we don’t have it, don’t panic! Go and speak to the student union who will advise and support you in setting one up. We want you to make the most of your university experience; we’re a team here, so ask for what you need.

By Ben Hardy, BA Performing Arts Education.

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