Settling in to university life

Amira Sultana

Faculty: Lord Ashcroft International Business School
Department: Management and Leadership
Course: BSc Business Management
Category: Business

6 January 2015

The best three years of your life, they say. I have heard this a million times before starting university: university will be the best three years of your life.

The same is said for Freshers’ Week: it was by far the best week of my university life.

So, I’m in the first year of my course and would like to think that I’ve learnt a few things in the start of term here at ARU.
  1. Commuting to university. As a student who commutes daily to Cambridge, it is fair to say that travelling is exhausting; especially when you have a 9am lecture. To attend that, I have to wake up at 6am and get dressed to catch the 7am train with a Metro newspaper tucked under my arm. However, as bad as it may seem, I got used to it and even more so, it’s economical.
  2. Classes. Attending lectures and seminars are compulsory and this was made clear in Freshers’ Week. University is very different to sixth form and college, in that it’s not just your home life where you have to be more independent. You’re expected to do far more work at home for class, and you’ll be just another face in a lecture hall to many of your teachers. There are people you can ask for help though if you’re struggling, so don’t be afraid to seek them out.
  3. Procrastination. In the first week of the teaching term, I was caught up in the perfect storm of procrastination. At university, even the library is filled with friends and has a quality internet connection, a ‘short break’ easily turned into an hour wasted. To overcome procrastination takes a lot of commitment. First of all, I had to get rid of temptation. I had a place solely for work and made sure I did not mix this with a place for fun. Secondly, I worked with restrictions. I make a mental contract with yourself to work for 40 minutes without a single interruption.
  4. Societies. This is one aspect of university that I’ve done quite well in. At the start of term, I joined the Young Enterprise programme and cannot wait to get started as a person who comes from a very ‘business’ family. You’ll probably sign up to a million mailing lists in Freshers’ Week and wind up attending very few of the actual events. However, it’s worth giving at least some of these a try, as you may find a new activity or interesting people that you end up loving. University is a great time to get involved in these sorts of things.
  5. Social life. Before I started university, I was worried about making new friends but during Freshers’ Week, I met so many new people. Also, with the joys of social media, it’s easy to meet people before you even start university – as soon as exam results come in, groups for freshers at ARU and specific courses will start cropping up. When I started, a course mate arranged a trip to Pizza Hut for the first week, so we could meet up before we started lectures.

To sum up, my freshers’ experience at Anglia Ruskin University has been positively surprising. I hope I will encounter more memorable experiences, from making new life-long friends to joining societies that will help me with my future career.

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