Every September, we look forward to welcoming each new wave of creatives to begin their journey at Plymouth College of Art.
But we know that life as a fresher can be nerve-wracking and a bit overwhelming at times, so we asked Students' Union President Rowena Murphy to share her five top tips for tackling that all important first week, helping to ensure you start your university career as you mean to go on, seizing every opportunity to meet new people and try new things!
1. Get yourself out there
Check out what events are happening in the city and at uni, and attend as many as you can (check out our handy list of selected events below). There will be a mix of ticketed and free events, to suit every budget. These allow you to make friends and maybe try something that you wouldn't have before - this is just the start of so many new experiences!
Keep an eye on the SU social pages on Instagram and Facebook, the SU website and the college's official social channels on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with what's happening in the college itself and the city as a whole.
If you want to find out more about the SU clubs and societies, come along to the fair in the SU on Thursday 26 September. This will also be an opportunity for you to start a society of your own if nothing catches your interest. We are also rounding off your induction week with a Pizza Party in the SU bar space on Friday 27 September, and we're holding our Freshers Fair on Friday 4 October where you can enter some amazing competitions (including one to win a Polaroid Original camera!) and get discounts from lots of great local businesses.
2. Find your local inexpensive food shop
If you've just moved into your student accommodation, spend a bit of time getting to know your local area and find somewhere cheap to stock up on food. It’s very likely that you’ll have an Aldi or Lidl close to you, if not then consider shops that offer point card systems such as Tesco or Sainsbury. Moving into shared accommodation? You can club together with your housemates and do joint food shops, and maybe even cook together to save money.
3. Broaden your horizons
During your first week, set a personal goal to talk to at least one new person a day, this is a great way to introduce yourself to others and build potential friendships. Building a network of people who work in all different disciplines opens the door to collaborations - imagine being a fashion student who knows a crafts student to make props for their collections, a photography student to take amazing snaps of their garments and a film student friend to help them promote their work!
And don't forget to sign up to some of our Workshop Wednesday sessions - we have set aside Wednesday as an extracurricular day, where our students are free to explore creative skills outside their usual programme of study by choosing from a rich, rolling menu of workshops led by our excellent technical staff.
4. Keep on top of your work
Get into the swing of being on top of things from the start, time management and prioritising deadlines is key. This way, tackling coursework in your second and third years will be a breeze.
If you're struggling with work, or worried about anything, then there are also lots of different ways that you can access support at Plymouth College of Art - from workshops on writing in the Library, to mental health support and counselling from our Student Support team. With a recent publication in The Guardian reporting that some universities had up to 12 week waiting lists for help, we're proud to be bucking the trend with no waiting lists for counselling services at Plymouth College of Art.
5. Enjoy yourself
Make the most of every opportunity, have fun and enjoy yourself. After all, you will only be a fresher once!
Still feeling nervous or anxious? Why not drop into the SU (near The Refectory) and chat to SU President Rowena or SU Manager Paige over a cuppa. You can also drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
A few events coming up soon...:
Tuesday 24 September
Drake Circus Student Night
Drake Circus Mall from 6.30pm - 9pm
Wednesday 25 September
Free Yoga Sessions
House of Fraser, Plymouth from 10am - 3pm
Thursday 26 September
Clubs & Societies Fair
In the SU from 12pm
Friday 27 September
In the SU bar space from 3.30pm - 7pm
Friday 27 - Sunday 29 September
Plymouth Art Weekender
Venues around the city
Friday 4 October
Freshers Fair 2019
In the SU from 11.30am - 2pm
Friday 18 October
Volunteering and Careers Fair
In the SU from 12pm - 3pm