Dan has just finished his first year of Medicine at Southampton, and although Fresher’s Week looked very different because of the pandemic, he really enjoyed his first week at Medical School.
Fresher’s Week is a great period when the university will host a number of events to help you meet other students. The Fresher’s Fair is when you’ll discover the multitude of clubs and societies open to students.
I cannot emphasise enough how much I would encourage everyone at university to join a club of some kind. It can be a sport or an art as well as many other interests which are more obscure and niche, if you are interested in something, there will be a club for it.
Not only are clubs a brilliant way to relax and de-stress from your studies, but you can also form some very good relationships with students that will really help you to settle in and feel at home. You may also want to find your local Medicine society, which will probably be present at the fair – or you can research it online.
Another way to help you settle into your new Med School life would be to find other Medics to befriend. If you join a MedSoc, you are guaranteed to find those with similar interests to you and that can help you to make friends.
Aside from that, there are many group chats on Facebook and WhatsApp for universities and their societies which will also be a good place to meet medics. There are also plenty of student forums or threads where you can get some digital support, too.
Preparing for your first week of lectures can be tricky, you will not be sure what level of information you are required to know. Some universities have a ‘pre-arrival task’ that helps to understand the level of information you will be required to know, so ensure you give that your best effort if it is applicable to the university.
If you are struggling to prepare for your first week do not be disheartened as the initial few weeks are designed to slowly ease you into the course and not to bombard you with information too early.
It’s entirely normal to feel anxious or homesick when you move. Many new students go through this – but the main thing to remember is that this will pass. Try to do things you enjoy, or connect with new people, and find ways to distract yourself.
If you’re struggling, make sure you share how you’re feeling with your friends and family and seek support from your Medical School.
If you need support with settling in or managing any difficulties, you should go to Student Services and make sure you find some help. These are safe spaces, with professionals who are qualified to give you the very best advice and support and make sure you’re being looked after when you’re away from home.
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