Qmunicate are on hand to help you with a basic guide of how to get settled into life at the University of Glasgow.
- Eating well. It’s vital to make sure you’re eating well at university. Healthy meals will keep you energised, keep you going to lectures and working through your assignments. If you’re not confident with your cooking skills, start with the traditional simple student fare and build from there! (Just remember not to put foil in the microwave).
- Hydration is cool. Sounds like a cliché, but it really is important to stay hydrated during the day. Dehydration can lead to headaches and poor concentration among other issues, and really isn’t worth it when you consider how easy it is to fix.
- Register with our glorious National Health Service. Make sure to register with your local GP – the university has a campus clinic, but you can choose to register with any other local clinic as well – to make sure you’ve got free access to a doctor! It’s also a great idea to register with a dentist, even if you don’t think you need to; you never know when you might need some TLC for your teeth.
- Drinking safely. It might be university, but that doesn’t mean there’s no point learning how to drink responsibly. Know your limits! Remember, it can just take one drink to tip you from “really feeling this Nicki Minaj song” to “WHY DO I FEEL LIKE I’M GOING TO FALL OFF THE FLOOR.” If you haven’t had much experience with drinking a lot before, you’ll need to be extra careful with working out where your limits are. Do your best to drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks. Your head will thank you in the morning.Try to eat a full meal before a night out, and avoid drinking on an empty stomach. You might think it’ll get you trashed faster and cheaper, but it’ll also make you a lot sicker. Mixing your drinks is always a bad call, let’s be honest. If you’re going to do it, try to not go too wild on the variety as it will worsen your hangover considerably.
Remember, don’t drink if you don’t want to! Tough as it might feel to be teetotal at university, it is possible, and plenty of people do it for all sorts of reasons. You should never feel pressured or embarrassed if you don’t want to drink.
- Fitness. Glasgow University has an excellent gym with a number of facilities including a swimming pool. A variety of classes (free with a gym membership!) also run throughout the year – from cardio to boxing – and are worth popping along to. The Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) also have a number of affiliated sports societies. Fancy trying a new sport? Pop along to a taster session in the first semester and discover a new passion!
- Homesickness. For most people this will be their first experience of living away from home for a long period of time. Whilst it’s okay to phone home every night, and visit again at the first opportunity, it’s also really good to try and immerse yourself as much as possible in university straight away. It’s difficult at first, but ultimately rewarding. Tempting as it is to hide away, you’ll generally feel better if you try to put yourself a bit out of your comfort zone and meet people – you’ll get distracted, and you’ll start finding your feet, which is the best start to tackling homesickness.
- Making pals. Making friends often feels like the primary purpose of Freshers’ Week, and thus it can feel like a whole load of extra pressure on top of the stress of finding your way around and attending events. Just remember that the majority of people you meet are just as desperate to talk to you as you are to them, and this is one of the main joys of the start of university – meeting new people! Going to societies is a great way to start meeting people with the same interests as you, especially if you’re someone who might not enjoy nights out or flat parties very much.
- Get some peer input! Try speaking to older students if you have the opportunity; we’re not all decrepit bags of cynicism and debt (or, we’re not only that!) Ask how they got on in their own first year. Many older students will be happy to share their own experiences and advice – just like this magazine is doing!
- If it’s all getting a bit much… Settling into university is tough for everybody, but if you’re really not coping, there are services to help. The university does provide free counselling, although there is a waiting list for sessions that are not the morning drop-in. As soon as you register with a GP you will be eligible to apply for National Health Service counselling as well.
[Morgaine Das Varma –@smorgsbored]