Nathan's Tips on University Life
We asked our 2018/19 Frenchay Resident Assistant Nathan a few questions on how to get the best out of first year on campus. Nathan lived in Carroll Court and was studying for a masters in Transport engineering and planning.
How did you feel before you moved into Halls?
I felt quite optimistic, excited about meeting new friends in halls.
It's normal to feel a mix of emotions when starting university, but don't worry everyone is in the same boat. Throw yourself into the first month, trying to get to know as many people as possible.
Did you manage to get in contact with anyone living in your flat/building before you moved in?
I did not manage to, but I was told there was a Facebook page which allows freshers to find their flatmates in advanced. Find your halls here - https://www.thestudentsunion.co.uk/community/hallslife/facebook/
Why did you want to study in Bristol?
Bristol, compares to other cities like London and Manchester, Bristol is a good enough in size as in you can get most things in Bristol but is not too crowded, full of people.
What are your tips for Fresher’s?
Enjoy your first year at UWE, second and third year will be a lot harder. Use time wisely as well.
What are your tips on how to make new friends at Freshers?
Do not only stick with certain group of people, get to know more people from different areas; join societies and clubs. Find out more here https://www.thestudentsunion.co.uk/opportunities/
What can you do as a non-drinker?
Don’t feel left out if you are a non-drinker and don’t feel pressure to drink in order to fit in. There are plenty of HallsLife events that you can get involved with that don't involve drinking!
Find out what's on here - https://www.thestudentsunion.co.uk/ents/eventlist/alcoholFree/
What was it like moving to the UK for the first time? How did you settle in?
It was scary at first as everything is different. Settling in can be hard but I think don't be too laid back, that's the key.
What’s different about college and university and how did you deal with that?
The main difference about college and university is university requires students to be independent and self-motivated. There might be teachers at college who tell you what to do but there isn’t such a thing in university. You can always talk to advisors or PAL leaders if you are struggling and they can point you in the right direction for help
What were you expectations of university life and how did they match up to the reality?
Before I came to university, I expected it to be quite free since my parents are not around and I would have a lot of free time. When I started studying, I did find myself to be quite free but did not have much free time as I was doing Civil Engineering as my undergraduate programme and there are tons of coursework and contact hours each week.
What were your first few weeks at university like?
I slept a lot as I was still fighting against jetlag and since I spent a lot of time indoor, I missed some welcome activities for new students. I could have known more people if I had attended more of them.
Is there anything you found difficult about University life?
Though I have finished my undergraduate programme, I still find time-management very difficult as friends around me usually leave coursework until last minute and that could lead to some all-nighters. I tried to start coursework earlier but did not have the motivation to do that as I can’t someone to start early with me.
Is there anything you had to learn really quickly when moving out for the first time?
Learning how to cook I guess. There might be parents who cook for you at home but at university, when you are alone, you have to take care of yourself.
If you're not too hot on your cooking skills right now don't worry there will be plenty of cooking workshops & recipes on Browzer. To get yourself started why not check out our easy Pasta recipes - http://browzer.co.uk/uwe/freshers-pasta-recipes_89983
How did you find the Resident Assistant job this year?
I love this job a lot as I have lived in university accommodation a few years before but never know how things work. The job was not particularly difficult but it does require commitment. I would highly recommend students to apply for this role.
What are you favourite places in Bristol?
I quite like Cabot Circus and Broadmead area because the design of Cabot Circus makes it look like as if it is outdoor and Broadmead is a place where shops are.
What are your favourite places to eat/go out for drinks in Bristol?
There are a lot of good restaurants in city centre and along Gloucester Road. If I have to choose one restaurant that I would go to, I would choose WetherSpoons. Students from the UK might be familiar to this pub chain. You can find a WetherSpoon everywhere. There are more than three only in Bristol city centre. There are different deals every day, from Steak Club, Curry Night to Chicken club. The price is very affordable and it is suitable for people to gathering around, grab a drink and have a chat.
What do you most like about Bristol?
I like the location of Bristol. Bristol is not too far from London so if you wants to go to the capital, it is very easy to get to. For people who like travelling, Bristol Airport is among top ten busiest airport in the UK, you can easily find flights to all around Europe. Groceries in Bristol, compare to London, is cheaper as well.
Has there been anything that’s shocked or surprised you about Uni life?
I was quite surprised how cheap airline tickets are to continental Europe. There are a lot of budget airlines providing services to different part of Europe and for international students, I would advise you to make good use of the time in the UK to travel around Europe.
What advice would you give someone coming to Uni for the first time?
I would advise first year students to enjoy their first year to the fullest as they would tend to get busier when they enter second year.
What are you looking forward to, when you finish your studies?
I guess … to find a job?! :)
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