With universities being in the news so much recently due to the pandemic and students having to self-isolate, it’s strange for me to talk about my time at university so far which has included me turning on my laptop and watching induction week material from my home. However, this is the current climate and something that us students have to get used to for the foreseeable.
In this post I want to talk about my experience of induction week and how I began to start slowly feeling like a student again. When you apply for a course, often months before it starts, you can put it to the back of your mind and get on with life after being accepted onto it. When the welcome emails start to arrive with actions to be taken to enrol, that’s when it becomes very real, and has the potential to be overwhelming. Being organised is key to making sure all the induction steps have been completed.
The induction week I attended was good and I logged on to some online group meetings and watched some presentations, with the audience consisting of both undergraduates and postgraduates in my school subject area. The presentations gave an overview of different areas of the university as a whole and knowledge of how to access different types of services if we need to. It was well thought out and given that this must be the first time my university has had to give such information online, where they can’t see all of the people they are talking to, they did really well.
As a postgraduate who has gone through the experience of going to university for the first time and moving into halls, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the undergraduates who are on campus and not getting the full experience of university yet. My first freshers week, years ago now, consisted of meeting a lot of new people, either in my halls or on night’s out, as well as in lecture halls and classrooms. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to not have that freedom at the moment.
As well as induction presentations, meeting my fellow students on my course online was also interesting, and I felt more at ease being potentially hundreds of miles away rather than sitting across the room. Perhaps remote learning can bring us introverts out of our shell more?!
Setting up a university email account, corresponding with different departments (for the usual admin tasks and common issues with them), and finding out all I needed to do before my course started finally made it all feel real. I was back to being a student again and ready to take on this course with all of my passion and determination that led me to applying for it in the first place.
Feel free to comment below with any thoughts you have on my post – are you a new student going to university for the first time? I’d be particularly interested in hearing how you are finding it.