by Heather Harvey, Emily Jane Griffiths and Carys Svendsen
Moving away from family and friends
Moving to university is a huge step for everyone, with the majority of freshers students used to living at home with their parents. Before even leaving the comforts of home, you endure your first struggle; trying to decide what to pack. That’s followed by trying to squeeze everything into the car and then finding places to put things in your new room! Although these things seem trivial compared to other struggles – like moving away from family for the first time and leaving friends behind – the most important thing to remember is that, during Freshers, everyone pretty much feels the same. You will get homesick (although you will try and hide it from your housemates and probably your parents). It’s vital to remember, however, that your family and friends are only a phone call or FaceTime away.
Freshers’ fortnight is your ultimate settling in time, making lifelong friends, finding your way around campus and most importantly, enjoying your new-found freedom! You’ll soon find that it’s Christmas and time to pack a bag ready to head home to see your friends and family for the first time since September. This will be exciting for everyone but, after two weeks of living at home, you’ll be longing for a Wind St. Wednesday or Sin Savers.
My ultimate advice is…don’t worry too much about what you’re leaving behind, it’s okay to cry during your first week of living alone (you won’t be the only one!) but you’ll soon find yourself calling Swansea home, and yes, your parents will hate it!
Long distance relationships
Relationships are a new and exciting step in your life. No longer are you the single being that you once knew; instead, you are part of a team, ready to face the world with romantic verve. On top of this, you’re entering a new phase in your life: Uni, a time to find yourself and also study the subject you love! You’ve said your goodbyes to your significant others (for now), and you’re ready to embrace the upcoming freshers experience. So, how do you make your relationship work successfully over a distance?
After discussing the possibility of maintaining a long distance relationship with several couples, one thing became abundantly clear: both trust and communication are key to keeping the relationship working. Long gone are the days spent waiting for love letters; with instant messenger, it only takes a few seconds! Whether it’s a weekly conversation over FaceTime or Skype, or even the daily sending of memes, it’s important that you keep in contact with your S.O. Not only does this help you learn about what exciting activities your S.O. has been up to, but it helps them learn about your uni experience.
If things get tough, always remember that despite everything that may happen you’ll still have each other – no matter what life throws at you. As Hercules once proclaimed ‘I can go the distance’ and so can both of you!
Making new friends
When moving to university it’s easy to give in to nerves but remember – everyone’s in the same boat! All students want to make new friends and often your housemates are the first people you meet. You’ll probably go to the Freshers events with your housemates. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them which allows you to forge positive relationships. However, there are loads of other opportunities to make new friends.
People on your course are also another pool of potential friends. During the first few lectures say ‘hello’ to the people sitting next to you; chances are they’re as nervous as you, so be brave and introduce yourself! They’ll want to make new friends just like you.
Freshers Fayre is one of the best places to get to know people. My advice would be join everything! Put your email down, go to the meet and greet and then pick and choose what you want to actually commit to. It’s better to give yourself lots of new opportunities than regret not getting involved from the start (although it’s always possible to join societies and sports teams at any time during the year). By joining a society or sports team you meet people with similar interests and throughout the year they provide a good basis for a social life and a well needed break from studying.
If you want any advice from the agony aunts over the next year or would like to be set up on a blind date contact firstname.lastname@example.org