Written by University of Stirling student, Ruby McGregor.
Freshers Week can be a daunting thought, especially if you are someone who prefers their own bubble rather than a large group. With nearly 40% of the population being introverted, you are not in this alone and many others are in the same boat. Here are some of my top tips to help turn that anxiety about Freshers Week into excitement!
1. Make Friends and Meet New People
If you are not one for going out drinking or clubbing at night, try and do activities throughout the day. One great way to meet friends is by using social media to your advantage. Join group chats, this could be group chats of people on your course, in your accommodation or a club that you are interested in. Send in a quick message asking if anyone wants to go for a coffee or some lunch. This is a great way to get to know people on a sober, private, and personal level.
2. Join a Club or Society
One of the best ways to make friends and keep entertained is by joining clubs, societies, and sports. During Freshers Week the University will give you the opportunity to get a taster of the ones you are interested in, whether that be playing football, joining the chess club or getting creative at the art club.
Take advantage by trying out as many things as possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions! When you join you will already have one thing in common, which can be an ideal conversation starter and it’s a good idea to make friends with the people you live with too. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!
3. Take A Night/Day Off
Don’t feel pressured to go out every night. Everyone has a social battery and, at some point, yours will start to run out. Give yourself an opportunity to recharge! Arrange with your flatmates to have a movie night, do some baking or have a pamper night. Though everyone is still together, it’s not necessarily heavy socialising and you will wake up the next day feeling refreshed and energised. Another good stress reliever is decorating your room. Whether this be with lights, plants, or pictures; it creates a homely feel which is great for those that feel home sick now and again.
4. Do Things you Enjoy
Personally, I am 50/50 introverted and extraverted, and it is important to me to do things other than going out and socialising all the time, as much fun as it is. During Freshers when I was not socialising, I enjoyed exploring the campus and its surroundings. I love the outdoors and keeping fit, so I joined the netball club and enjoyed activities like climbing up Dumyat, the Wallace Monument and going to the gym. With the campus being so beautiful, I would often go walks with friends or go on a run. Throughout the day my flatmates and I baked as well as had movie nights, where we ordered pizzas.
The University also offers a ‘Be Connected Program’, where you can get involved in activities during the day throughout the year. This includes craft workshops, exercise classes, meet and greets and much more!
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with welcome week, that’s totally okay! Don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find support at the University’s Student Support Services and STEER, which is a University-wide peer support scheme linking in returning student ‘Captains’ with new undergraduate or taught post-graduate ‘Crew’, during their first year at Stirling.
The main thing is to stay true to yourself. Starting University opens so many doors for exciting new opportunities and meeting new people is one of them, especially during your first few weeks of uni. Do what makes you happy and comfortable and you will find your people. The first step to putting yourself out there is the hardest part, once you have conquered that, the rest will come naturally. Remember, above all, have fun!