A New Chapter: Finding Your Feet – Eloise Barnes

Last year, I found Welcome Week to be so fun exciting, but also emotional and overwhelming from time to time. What I’m trying to say here is that the week will be full of activities and learning curves that you can face as you and adjust to your new way of life. However, I’m here to say that this completely normal and that it is all worth it for the experience you’ll get, as even if you don’t think about it at the time, Welcome Week will be full of great memories and fun that you will take with you throughout your life! 

People will be moving to Reading throughout Welcome Week and this can be very hard and stressful for some. It can be quite confusing as you are about to start this exciting new life, when you also have to say goodbye to your parents or guardiansso it is very understandable to now know how to feel. My advice with this part of the week would be to make sure that you make unpacking as easy as possible.  

This can be done by labelling boxes, having an easy access box of essential items like soap and loo roll as well as making sure you know what needs to go back with your family such as suitcases and bags. However, one of the most important things would be to properly say goodbye to your family as you will all need the closure to start this large milestone of your life.  

This is a very natural feeling though and you’ll start to feel better about this in the week as you get involved in the events. Although, one tip would be not to ignore them even if you are feeling good about the move. Parents get worried and that text that you forgot to send one night may end with them not leaving you alone for the next week to check that you are still alive! 

Throughout the week, there will be scheduled RUSU and university events to help you to meet people and settle into student life. There are so many different events and there will be something that you want to get involved in, whether it is clubbing, crafting or getting involved with society taster sessions.  

My main tip for the events is to go to as many as you can, as these events are so valuable and help you build your confidence and relationships with the new people around you. You shouldn’t try to be best friends with everyone you meet but don’t be scared to meet new people and find out about them and their interests. 

You may find this week easy or difficult, however, remember that you are not alone, and everyone is in the same position of finding it tough, even if they aren’t showing it on the surface. Enjoy the week as much as you can, and you will get so much out of it at the end, so try new things and build connections with people. Even with the restrictions in place you can still get to know your flatmates and have fun together, regardless of any barriers that you think you may have against you at the moment. Remember that you have already overcome a lot to get to university this year so you should see Welcome Week as your well-deserved reward! 

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