Hey everyone👋

Summer is looming and before we know it the next university-term will be with us. For those of you who will joining Salford as freshers in a couple of months, you might be feeling a little bit nervous, naturally. I know I was when I was in your shoes!

Here’s some tips from myself as a final year student, on how to get settled into student life as smoothly as possible.

Making new friends

We all worry about making new friends on our journey to university. Leaving your tight knit group of friends from your home town can be really tough. The good news is, those friends will still be there when you return home and you’ll meet so many new and exciting people to add to your circle. If you’re going to be living in Peel Park Quarter, John Lester and Eddie Colman or one of the other purpose-build student residence you will be around so many people in the same boat so making friends won’t be difficult. In most accommodations, there’s facilities such as games rooms, cinema rooms, gyms and outdoor areas to hang out. I remember meeting so many people that I couldn’t keep track!

During Welcome Week there will be events on everyday, so join freshers groups on Facebook and get involved, you’ll have so much fun. Another way to make friends is by joining societies when you arrive on campus. I joined Shock Radio during my first week of university and met some of my closest friends. Remember when you go to your first lecture, nobody else knows anybody either, so approach people and say hi! The first girl I approached on my first day is one of my best friends today and we always laugh about our first awkward chat outside of the lecture hall. So, send that text to meet up or go say hi, you won’t regret it.❤️

Managing the workload

It’s very easy to get caught up in student life when you first arrive at university – so many new friends, new societies, events to attend, nights out, exploring to be done…the list goes on. The great thing about living in student accommodation is that everybody around you has work to do too, so have study dates and make it fun! I can’t remember a single time in first year where I worked by myself. I used to go to the study room in my accommodation, or to the library or even on the grass outside of my accommodation with a group of friends. We would bring coffee and snacks and work together. This was a really useful way of getting a grasp of the standard of work that was expected of us because we were all working together and asking each other questions. So organise study dates and learn together.📚

Moving away from home

Moving away from home for the first time is huge. I can so clearly remember my Mam walking through the departure gates at Manchester airport after she helped settle me into my new accommodation. I remember my eyes welling up and walking away feeling so excited🤣… and a little sad of course! That’s the hardest part, the first goodbye, but I promise you a couple of hours later you’ll feel like you left home months ago. In my experience, the first few weeks of university was such a busy time that homesickness didn’t really kick in until later in the semester. I used FaceTime a lot in my first semester, ringing my parents about every little thing, calling my friends from home to update them on my new life, it made me feel connected to home at all times. If FaceTime didn’t ease the homesickness I would go and plan a day out or a movie night with the girls and that acted as a great distraction.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

I’ll be honest, it took me a good two years to really get into a healthy eating routine at university. I never really cooked in first year and now in my final year I cook healthy meals everyday. So if you’re not getting your five a day and cooking 5 star meals everyday, don’t worry, you’ll get there🤣 One thing I would say is don’t get into the habit of ordering take aways, it can be so easy to order in food with your flat mates during your busy days, but it costs a lot of money and really isn’t good for your health (although it’s fine in moderation of course). With £10 in your pocket you can stock up on fruit, vegetables, eggs, rice, pasta and porridge in Aldi and you’re flying. I used to buy frozen fruit and vegetables as they don’t go out of date for ages and it’s super easy to make smoothies and stir-frys when you’re in a rush.

I definitely didn’t get into a proper routine of balancing social life, healthy living and my workload for a long time, so don’t worry too much, just make a small effort each day to improve your lifestyle and most of all have fun!🎉

You can find well-being support resources here and to explore our societies, volunteering opportunities and much more, check out our Student’s Union website here.