Hello everyone. It’s September already so that means we’re on the countdown to arrivals! To help get you prepared, today we have a guest blog from current student Rebecca Johnson who is sharing her advice on the top five things to do when you first arrive.

When I first moved into student residences, these were the first things I did to ensure I acclimatised myself quickly and felt right at home.

  1. Become familiar with your surroundings and explore your new accommodation.

After you’ve seen your room, found where the bathrooms are located, the kitchen and any common or study areas your building has, familiarise yourself with what’s outside. Locate your residence reception, if you haven’t already, along with the nearest laundry facilities.

Then, get to know the campus – you’ll also want to take note of the nearest convenience store to you – most likely a Market Place shop on campus or local Co-Op. This will come in handy for any immediately needed supplies. Then, take a quick trip to the Forum building at the centre of the Streatham campus and, when you have your timetable, the buildings where most of your lectures/tutorials or seminars will take place.

  1. Explore Exeter and get your necessities.

It’s nearly impossible to pack everything in a suitcase or a car. I have fond memories of walking with my new flatmates to the centre of the city to pick up some essentials and some groceries! Princesshay shopping area and the Guildhall shopping centre is just a short walk from campus and most residences, and you’ll find everything you need. There is a Sainsburys Central and Tesco Express in the city centre or there is also a large Morrisons supermarket not too far if you’d like to do a full grocery shop. Another great place to visit, perhaps on your first weekend, is the nearby IKEA which you can reach by bus. My flatmates and I went here to pick up décor for our bedrooms and kitchen.

  1. Take a look at all of the Freshers’ events and follow the appropriate social media accounts!

It’s worth following the societies you’re interested in on social media as they will publicise their events here. The Exeter Students’ Guild website will have all the up-to-date information too. You might find it handy to follow the Guilds’ Instagram: @exeterguild. Be sure to have a look at the Give it a Go events and society events too!

You can visit the Freshers’ Fair taking place on Streatham on Thursday 22nd September and on St Luke’s on Friday 23rd September to see the societies on offer, grab memberships and ask any questions you might have to the society committees. Plan out all the exciting taster sessions and social events you want to go to during the first week in Exeter and see what your flatmates are up to as well. Putting yourself out there and getting involved in as much as you can at the start is a guaranteed way to make friends and feel settled.

  1. Make sure you’ve checked your emails and have done the necessary admin!

It’s not the most fun but it is important. Perhaps you need to change your GP to one in Exeter, set up a student bank account, sign up for a student railcard or double check your student loan has been sorted. You’ll feel a lot better knowing that all of this has been handled and that you can enjoy your first week without any worries!

  1. Have a housewarming get together with your new flatmates!

You are bound to make wonderful friends in the societies you join and, on your course, but you’ll be seeing a lot of your flatmates throughout the year. It’s good to make an effort with them at the start and hopefully you’ll all become great friends. Perhaps you can arrange to go to the same events or club nights or plan a night in and watch a movie together in your living space.

For help and further information on Rebecca’s recommendations, visit the various websites below:

Thank you to Rebecca for sharing these top tips! And talking of arriving, take a look at our Arrivals webpage for further information and make sure you have completed your Welcome Induction and booked an arrival slot as soon as you can.

Accommodation Meridith