The ultimate ‘Welcome Week’ guide

The first week of university is one of the most exciting weeks you’ll spend on campus. It can however become quite overwhelming trying to not get lost while making new friends and taking advantage of all that ‘Welcome Week’ has to offer. So below I’ve listed some of my top tips to help you make the most out of your first week at university!


Keep up with social media

Social media is one of your greatest assets for navigating the first week of university.  During this week there are so many activities, orientation sessions and events to attend, that you can easily become overwhelmed. In my experience, following key social media accounts can help you sort through the noise and help you determine where you actually want to spend your time. So hit up Facebook and Instagram and start following your university, your course department, your hall/dorm and any societies you’re interested in joining. This way you’ll know where and when the most relevant and exciting sessions or events are being held. Apart from this of course, social media is also great for connecting with all the new students you’ll meet, so you can keep in contact once the noise of your ‘Freshers’ week has died down!


Attend orientation events

Even though everyone dreads orientation sessions and are convinced they won’t be useful…trust me they will be! There are so many services that are available to students that they never take advantage of simply because they don’t know they exist. For example, I spent the majority of my PhD unaware that as a doctoral student I could get a universal library card that allowed me to access other UK universities’ libraries. I also didn’t know that I could do yoga in the university’s relaxation room – if I did maybe my PhD life would have been much less stressful haha. So attend the library orientation, student services session and gym trials because at the very least you will learn a little something that can benefit you or a friend later on.


book sale
Pro tip: Move fast!


Run to the book sales

In the first week of term, many universities host book sales so that the second and third years can pass on their texts to the freshers and make some quick cash. As soon as you get your book list – run – don’t walk – to the book sale and try to get a discounted text book. As you’ll soon discover, books cost an absolute fortune and buying them second-hand will save you a ton of money. Bonus Tip: I made it through three degrees without buying loads of books – just hit up the library and read a chapter or two every day.


Do a free trial

The first week of university is often when you can test-drive a variety of campus activities. At my university, you were able to attend free taster sessions in most of the societies, allowing you to see if belly dancing or yoga or rock climbing would be a good fit. I definitely recommend attending these free sessions so you can save some cash while getting some new experiences under your belt.


A bit cliche… but a right of passage haha

Organise a get together with your roommates

Once everyone settles into university life, they quickly get wrapped up in their class workload, hobbies and new friendship groups. That said, the best time to start bonding with your flatmates/ housemates is the first week of school when everyone still has a bit of free time. The relationship you develop with flatmates can last a lifetime, so get together and head out to dinner, or a pub or just order in pizza and get to know each other before you all get lost in your new lives.


Get all the free stuff!

Hand on heart – the best thing about the first week of university is all the freebies. I’ve collected vouchers for pizza, trial offers, discounts for high street stores, gym discounts codes, coffee cards, notebooks and coupons for everything imaginable and let me tell you it’s like having free money! So when you get bombarded by students and brand ambassadors handing out goodies – accept every single package with a smile because you never know what goodies lay inside!

I hope you enjoyed my tips for getting the best out of your first week! If you have any tips you’d like to add please feel free to leave a comment below!

Have a great first week…and welcome to uni life!

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Thanks again!

Dr Gabi

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