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Starting university: my first week at ARU

Lily Bayford

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Psychology and Sport Science
Course: BSc (Hons) Psychology
Category: Psychology

31 July 2023

When starting university, how do you settle in and find out more about student life? The answer is Welcome Week. ARU Psychology student Lily shares her top tips on how to make the most of the week.

Starting university can be a huge step for people and doing it alone, especially, can be a daunting experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Everyone is in the same boat as you, and experiencing the same feelings and emotions. That’s why Welcome Week is an important part of starting university.

I’m Lily, a first-year Psychology student at ARU in Cambridge. In this article, I want to explain my experience with Welcome Week, how it helped me when starting university, and my top tips on how to get the most out of the week.


1. Have breakfast with peers and lecturers

My Welcome Week kicked off with complimentary coffee, tea, and pastries, and was an opportunity for all of us to mingle with peers and lecturers. It made sure we were informed about our tutor groups, and we also got to meet our tutors and voice any queries or worries we may have either about Welcome Week or our course in general.

2. Attend your course induction

After the initial meeting my whole course, Psychology, was taken to a lecture hall to hear all types of information: the lecturers you will be meeting, the timetabling of your classes, and how you will be assessed throughout the course.

As well as talking about your specific course, you will be introduced to ARU as new starters. Speaking about the university facilities, what support we have to offer and encouraging questions at the end to open a conversation up about the course.

3. Enjoy the Freshers' Fair

The last event I partook in was Freshers' Fair. This is an opportunity for you to look around and explore possible societies you may be interested in, ranging from interests such as forensics and crime to the ARU journal society where you can join the magazine for ARU, as well as sports societies such as cheerleading and boxing. There is a society for everyone!

In addition, different brands and businesses come together to give you freebies and discounts, so make sure you attend to be able to gain these!

4. Get to know people

Make sure you mingle and chat with people around you and ask the questions you may be wanting to ask, because now is the time to ask them. Don’t be afraid because others may be wondering about the same questions or may be even more nervous than you; it could possibly start a discussion about worries you both may have. Get involved with all the activities and start conversations with others, this is a great opportunity for you to do so.

5. Make the most of it

My top tip for Welcome Week is to make the most of it. Personally, I found it helped the start of my university journey by making me comfortable with my surroundings, from the buildings to the people.

I hope this has helped explain some parts of Welcome Week that you might be wondering about. It may vary for each course but this was my overall experience of the week.

Good luck with your first week at ARU!

By Lily Bayford
BSc (Hons) Psychology student

See also...

Lily's tips for managing your money at university.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is an opportunity to reconsider your options, and join a university where you can study a subject you're passionate about.

You can apply through Clearing if:

  • you didn’t apply before the UCAS deadline
  • your grades are different to what you expected
  • you’ve only just decided to go to uni
  • you’ve changed your mind about what or where you want to study since you originally applied.

Find out more about Clearing at ARU or check our guide to preparing for university.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.