In my previous life working for a university, I became very aware of the trials and tribulations of new students. Those first few hours in a new city armed with a suitcase and registration form can make or break a university experience.
My first bit of advice would be DON’T PANIC! You are not alone in feeling completely overwhelmed by the situation. Your entire cohort will be feeling the same, though in different measures.
Don’t forget the reason you are putting yourself through this mega stress. You are going to university, to learn stuff and expand your mind. To do that you have to register. So make registering your first activity. Get the basics done as a priority.
You should have already sorted accommodation before you set foot on campus so your next task is to find where you will be living during your first year. Find out who you will be living with and work out who has what equipment and what needs to be purchased.
After much discussion about who’s iron/clothes airer/kettle you will be using in your shared accommodation, decide who will buy the missing equipment needed to make your stay a pleasant experience. DO NOT GO SHOPPING WITHOUT VISITING YOUR ACCOMMODATION FIRST. You may not need to buy anything and it will be a waste of your beloved student loan.
Personally, I would ask a local where the nearest supermarket/Argos/Wilkinson is. If university staff seem unapproachable or too busy during Fresher’s Week why not pop into a local shop or pub and ask the staff there. They will know the local area. Don’t waste your time looking up information on your phone. Talk to people. They may give you information that you can’t get online. Talking to a human will also help you feel less alone and stressed and give you communication confidence. Trust me.
The best way to find your feet in your first week at university is to be sociable. By that, I don’t mean getting drunk every hour of the day. I mean talk to people.Make connections not just friends. Go and see your subject librarian. See if they are offering a start of term tour of your library; knowledge is power and knowing how your library functions is priceless. University staff are there to help and support you. Don’t be shy, if you need help or guidance go and see your departmental staff and make use of their experience and skill.
Enjoy your time at university but don’t forget your reasons for being there. Study hard and make the most of all university facilities. That’s what you pay fees for!