Starting at Reading University was one of the most exciting and different things I have ever experienced in my life. I had no idea what to expect, so feeling slightly anxious was totally normal. I am now a 2nd Year Biomedical Engineering student and I also row 11 times a week for the University. I have had a great 1st Year, despite all the disruption caused by recent events and I hope everyone has a great Welcome Week! 

I was lucky enough to have an amazing time at Sixth Form and gained an unconditional offer to Reading, which meant that I had plenty of time to prepare. Throughout the summer I remember many trips to Ikea and Dunelm Mill to prepare for living in halls. I would 100% recommend watching YouTube videos and reading blogs on what people would recommend bringing to both university halls student houses. These helped me ensure I felt well prepared and had everything I needed to make my halls room feel as homely as possible, right when I arrived. 

Being part of the rowing team at RUBC (Reading University Boat Club) really made me feel welcome instantly, being part of group chats and speaking to current students really made me feel more confident. Having to cycle down to the boat club meant I instantly knew my way around Reading town centre, if you’re concerned about getting lost, I would highly recommend having a walk around the campus or having a shop around Reading town centre. 

I can imagine that Freshers Fayre will be rather different this year, however in saying that, I strongly believe that it is important to get involved with societies that interest you. It sounds very generic, but university is a good place to try new things, I went along to the Trampolining welcome session and had a really good time meeting new people. I didn’t end up joining as I found it would be too much to do 2 sports, but it was definitely worth giving it a try. I would recommend everyone to go to as many trial sessions as possible, especially if you’re sporty like me! 

The RUSU events are always great fun so going along with your flat to these might be a nice way to spend Welcome Week getting to know them. I also found cooking for myself a massive change, having flatmates to chat to and get cooking tips off is always nice so spending some time in the kitchen instead of just your room is always a good way to spend the evenings. I hope everyone has a fun and positive experience during Welcome Week, I think is so important to be open minded and remember that it is okay to feel nervous. 

Thankyou all for reading! Let us know what you think in the comments below! If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me on Instagram: @lara_brittain 

Lara Brittain 

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