Art and Film student, Erin, shares her experiences of Welcome Week as a new student arriving at Reading…
Welcome Week started for me when I arrived at my new halls. I was in Wessex Halls which I chose due to it being located near to the art building and not far from central campus so I could relish those lie-ins before early lectures. As I was on the top floor of Wessex, and the small lift was out of order, the JCR and freshers’ angels helped me and my parents carry all my stuff up 3 flights of stairs. As my move in day was the Friday I had an extended weekend to meet my flat mates, wander around campus and settle into my room. Our JCR organised an event a day for us to get involved with if we wanted to, classic ice breakers and a local pub crawl helped me to get to know more people from my halls as well as discover the social aspects of campus and its surrounding area.
Though most of the people I knew in halls had freshers’ fortnight wristbands, I decided not to get one. I had been working all summer to earn money for University and spending £50 for clubs nights for two weeks and having to spend more when out was not ideal for me. This meant I could choose which club nights I went to during freshers, however I did miss out on a lot of the activities my flat got to enjoy.
In the first week before term starts there are three Freshers’ Fayres for society, sports and volunteering opportunities for students to join. I went to the societies fair, having already looked through the different societies on the RUSU website, I approached the Film Society table immediately. Here the committee told me about their plans for the year and taster events to come to where they will explain more about the year’s proceedings. I then went to their taster events throughout the year, later joining after the Christmas Holiday which allowed me to attend their weekly events.
I then went on to run for Film Society committee meaning that the year after I ran the Film Society stall for the Freshers’ Fayre. Being on the other side of Welcome Week was a great experience, I got to use my own knowledge of the year before to make sure that Film Society was going to be as accessible as possible to those interested. After running stalls at Freshers’ Fayre for two years now I would recommend running for a committee position to anyone who is really passionate about a society they are a part of.
Welcome Week is full of opportunities and events run by the University and RUSU for students of all interests to get involved with. The best advice I can give you is to not be shy and to put yourself out there. University is a chance to gain experiences and do things you haven’t had the chance to before; not to sit in your room waiting for your lectures to start.
Find out more about what’s happening this Welcome Week here.