In this blog BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology student, Emily Snowling, reflects on her experiences as a first-year student at the University of Stirling.

430 miles, and a nine-hour car drive from South London later I had arrived at my new home in Stirling. 

I remember the feeling of getting my key, going up to my room, opening the door and the sheer excitement that I felt – this was a new chapter in my life! I recall that first day so vividly, tentatively pinning open my door in the hope of meeting my new flatmates – which I did (so keeping your door open does work and I would recommend it). The first day can be a bit nerve-wracking, but you will have so much to do, those nerves will quickly disappear. At 5pm all my flatmates and I met in the kitchen to get to know each other, cook some dinner and prepare for the first night of Freshers that was ahead of us! 

Freshers week is exciting, there are events that the Union put on, which are good fun and are perfect if you live on campus as it’s a 5-minute walk away. The Students’ Union and University put on a variety of events so there’s something for everyone, whether you want to have a chat with new people or meet alpacas. It’s also exciting because there are so many new people to meet! My advice would be to talk to anyone and everyone, you might turn out to be best friends with the first person you talk to, or you might discover a friend for life in the middle of second semester – keep your options open!  

You will also have your first introductory lectures to attend in the first week or so – don’t worry you will be fine! I remember going to my first sociology lecture, getting out my laptop and honestly feeling rather professional. However, once the lecturer started talking after the first five minutes I was lost. There I was, wondering if university was for me and if I had picked the right degree. Remain calm, you won’t understand everything at first, the lecturers might use professional language which you might not know the meaning of (it’s alright, your textbooks and Google will help!). You will quickly adapt to these new ways of learning and once you settle in will find the fact you don’t know things exciting – it means you have more things to learn!  

It’s difficult to choose only a few highlights from first year, as each day has its own adventure whether it be trying to find a room in Cottrell, going to your first ceilidh, going out in the snow at midnight or figuring out how to stop the sink from leaking (answer: you go and get one of the accommodation team who are lovely and will assist with almost any problem). However, one definite highlight for me in first year has been joining True Crime society as it has brought me some really great friends with similar interests to me. I would highly recommend joining a society or sports club – you will gain a lovely community and support network no matter which club you choose. 

My number one top tip if you’re starting at Stirling in September would be to get yourself out there, be the person who starts conversations and goes up and says hi! It might feel awkward but trust me when I say that everyone is feeling the same way. Try out that sports team, even if you haven’t done the sport before – there’s sessions for beginners too! University is the time to try out new things and grow as a person, push yourself out of your comfort zone and you will thank yourself when you’re sitting down at the end of the first year with all the wonderful memories you made.  

We’re excited to welcome you back onto our spacious campus. We’re doing everything we can to make sure you feel safe at all times. On this page you’ll find out what you need to know and what you need to do ahead of coming to campus – virtually or in person.

Please remember to socialise responisbly. As a student, you have a responsibility to help minimise the health risks to yourself and our wider University and local community.