4th year BA Art and Film student, Erin, shares some ideas about what you should get up to during your first 5 weeks at university…
The first 5 weeks of university can pass by so quickly…but here are some key things to get done during that time!
- Familiarise yourself with Whiteknights Campus
Although you will discover more about campus as you are forced to frantically find your lecture rooms, Whiteknights Campus is famed for its natural beauty. There are many wooded areas with trails weaving through the wilderness, perfect for escaping the rush of welcome week. Also Reading’s lake hosts lots of wildlife and stunning views which are definitely worth snapping for your Instagram account.
- Sign up to a local medical centre
This is very easy to do and I recommend that you sign up before, or during the early days, of Welcome Week. Freshers flu is not a myth and we’re all prone to it, whether you’ve been partying or just going to your lectures. If you go to the health centre with a form of ID you can fill out a form super quickly and you’ll be on the system in time to get treated.
- Go to the RUSU Freshers’ Fayre
The annual Freshers’ Fayre takes place over 3 days and allows people to check out each sports, recreational and volunteering societies. You get to meet the committees, talk about the year events, discuss time dedication and gather flyers with all the relevant information needed for the year.
- Drop by these iconic food stops
Here is a list of must visit places for the best grub in town:
- Mojos and Mondial (on Whiteknights campus)
- The Dairy (on London Road campus)
- Café Yolk (15 minute walk from Whiteknights campus)
- Cerealworks aka. Bagel Man (on Whiteknights campus)
- Sprinkles (20 minute walk from Whiteknights campus)
All of these are between the Whiteknights and London Road Campus so you won’t have to journey far for a snack.
- Go to the cinema
There are 4 different ways to watch films on the big screen in Reading.
- Reading Film Theatre – On campus you can go to weekly screenings of the latest films shortly after their UK releases.
- Reading University Film Society – Also on campus and offering weekly screenings, but offer films from the past and new releases which are sometimes voted for by you.
- Vue Cinema – Located as a part of the Oracle in the centre of town, the Vue cinema offers low priced tickets to see the latest films.
- Showcase Cinema de Lux – Though quite a walk or a bus ride out of Reading, Showcase offers a luxury cinema experience.
- Check out the RUSU schedule of events
Throughout term time RUSU run weekly events for students which are a great opportunity to meet new people or socialise with friends.
Monday – Free pool in Mojos bar.
Tuesday – Comedy Central stand-up fortnightly, which Comedy Society members get a discount for.
Wednesday – Students Union club night: Flux.
Thursday – Quiz and karaoke every week.
Friday – Dance events are booked each term, usually 3 events per term.
There are also special nights that are held sporadically such as cocktail night, sangria night and wine and cheese night.
- Explore the lesser known campus bars
Though not as popular as Mojos and Park Bar there are two other really nice bars on campus that are worth visiting.
Park House – Popular with postgraduates and professors, this bar offers more sophisticated food and drinks but for a reasonable price.
Ice House – The ground floor of Wessex Hall has a cocktail bar equipped with a cinema! Whether you want to cosy up and watch a film or share some drinks with friends this is my personal favourite bar on campus.
- Have a good ol’ wander around the town centre
You may have been to town on nights out or planned events, but make sure you go and explore Reading properly in your first few weeks. This will mean you’ll discover shops and places before you’re trying to find them and will also mean you can have some relaxed time whilst everything new is being thrown at you.
- Make sure you pay attention to your first few lectures
I know this seems like an obvious or preachy point to make but, especially in first year, you may want to change your modules if you think you’ve taken the wrong module for you. This can only be done early on, therefore making sure you go to the first lectures for each module will help you to know if you’re studying the right topics for you.
- Make time for yourself
Finally, ensure you have some ‘you’ time. You will have just moved away from home and had a lot of new experiences so your body and mind will need to chill out. Relaxing in your room for a short time each day with a book, film, Netflix or whatever you prefer will keep you sane during these fast-paced first 5 weeks.