Top tips for student life

Welcome Week has now passed, and we hope you are settling in well! Here are some top tips from your University community on how to manage student life using their own personal experiences.

Making friends…

Sarah Ashley, Marketing Officer (Postgraduate) – Welcome Week is a great time to meet people, have fun and explore your new city but don’t worry if you don’t immediately click with people. I didn’t meet the people I’m still friends with now (10 years after graduation) until I was almost at the end of my second year.

Annie Avery, Student Living Room Coordinator – Don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’re having ‘the best time of your life’ give lots of opportunities a chance and you’ll find your people

Living in halls…

Robert Smart, Partnerships Manager – If in Halls, get to know your reception teams and staff. They are friendly and can make things happen, particular if you talk to them!

Paul Arnold , SU Head of Business Development – When you move into halls and are getting settled in to your room, pop your door open to let people know you want to say hi and make friends!

Jemma Harford, SU Student Opportunities Manager (Groups and Services) – Bring food to share, your new accommodation can be daunting but everyone loves food. Bring some homemade biscuits, local treats or cook a flat meal together that incorporates all of your favourite foods.

Studying…

Marton Balaz, Reader in Probability (Mathematics) – In my first weeks of studies I realized that difficult concepts settle. Material that seemed shockingly complicated in the first week became rather natural two weeks later. I just had to look back in my notes again. So, don’t panic! revisit difficult stuff regularly.

Susan Pettinger-Moores, Medicine Teaching and Learning Manager – Pop in and meet the admin team for your course – we don’t bite! We have lots of knowledge and really want to see students succeed.

Look after yourself..

Simon Gamble, Head of Study Skills – Don’t worry about trying to be perfect. It’s fine to get things wrong and it’s good to try new things, because that’s how we grow and learn.

Tom Wallis, SU Student Development Coordinator (Sports and Physical Activity). If you don’t immediately feel at home, work and broaden your horizons; your people and your place are somewhere and they’re waiting for you to find them.

Chloe Hogan, SU Events Coordinator – Don’t put too much pressure on yourself that “university is the best time of your life”. Enjoy each moment as it comes and don’t put pressure on yourself to do too much as this will burn you out!

Managing your time…

Elle Chilton-Knight, Undergraduate Student Administrator – Get everywhere 5 minutes early! You’ll get best pick of seats/equipment and it makes all the difference towards a calm, confident exterior. From there you’ll be chatting to people in no time!

Getting involved…

Helen Dury, Portfolio Marketing Manager – University is the perfect opportunity to try new things. I joined a ski club and competed around the country and met someone I’m still great friends with now, nearly 30 years later!

Philip Gravatt, SU Finance Assistant -My tip would be to look into all the societies and clubs available at the Students Union. They’re a fantastic way of learning something new and easing academic stress.

Matt Humberstone, SU Student Development Coordinator – Join a student group! For many students, their student group becomes the best part of their university experience.

Jenny Reeve, Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine – Take every opportunity to get involved with new activities, skills or social events that you have not had the chance to do before – there is such a vibrant and diverse student population, it is a great way to meet others who share your interests. There is so much more to University life than your academic program – have fun!

Explore the city..

Robbie Fox, Alumni Mentoring Coordinator – Explore this amazing city! I came here as a student , fell in love with the place and have been here ever since! This video is a nice example.

Linda Gerrard, Residential and Hospitality Services – Get your walking shoes on and get lost! Around most corners there is something to delight, amuse or inform.

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, Undergraduate Education Officer – My one piece of advice for new students would be to not confine themselves to the University bubble. Get out and discover new places and cultures in the city – Easton, St Pauls, and Stokes Croft are the perfect places to start!

Lauren Wardle, Student Wellbeing Adviser – Explore the city as a whole, and get involved in hobbies and interests that make you ‘you’! You might find your interests lead to new friends, or even some job opportunities down the line.

Services available to you..

Knut Schroeder, Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer – Download our free Student Health App, which is listed on the NHS Apps Library. It’s been developed by the University of Bristol Students’ Health Service and University of Bristol students, and it’s packed with common-sense health advice that can make all the difference for your health and wellbeing. You can even customise the app for Bristol when you open it up for the first time.

Amy Jelf, Bristol PLUS Award Officer – Pop in to your Careers Service and get to know the support you can access. We can help you find and apply for part time work, internships and work experience, graduate roles, or start your own business!

Emily’s self-care tips

Emily’s back with some top tips for life after Welcome Week.

So Welcome Week has come to an end… what now? You’re actually here and things are getting real. It might seem daunting but I’m here to give you five self-care tips which might make things that little bit easier.

1. Go outside.
Bristol is renowned for its urban green environment. Why not go for a walk? You could get to know the campus to familiarise yourself with lecture venues.

Spotlight: Ashton Court.

Ashton Court offers 850 acres of land to explore. If you want some fresh air, this is where to go. Also, Ashton Court is a popular spot for dogs, so if you need a dog fix then this is the place for you!

2. Get some rest.
Put on your cosiest pyjamas, unwind with a nice warm drink and go to sleep! Can’t sleep? Read (don’t go on your phone! It doesn’t help!). Read something with no link to your academic studies, something which relaxes you. If the things you must do the next day are keeping you awake then write a list before bed, that way you know you won’t forget! Don’t feel bad about having some downtime.

3. Baking on a budget is not only easy but stress relieving. Why not bake a big dish for your flat mates? Not only is this a nice gesture but then you can all enjoy it together. Make sure you get some good food in that dish, that little bit of veg is going to make you feel so much better.

4. Organise!
If you don’t know what to do with yourself, why not make sure that your room is arranged in a way that works for you. You could create a timetable to give yourself some consistency in your new life at uni (you don’t have to follow it with great precision, it’s just nice to have some stability when you’re having a bad day). Here’s an example of mine…

5. So, you’ve followed all the advice and things still don’t seem right? Its okay to ask for help.
There are loads of ways you can get the support you need, from friends and family to university services. When things got tough for me – I talked to the uni which I personally found really helpful. At the end of the day, you know yourself. If things don’t seem right, speak up.

Self-care is laying the foundations for the life you want to live, make sure you’re living your best life in Bristol.

 

At Bristol you are not on your own, there is always someone to support you; in our residences, academic schools and on campus. It’s ok to not be ok – talk to us, we’re here to help.

bristol.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/

Find Your Way

We’re sure you’re starting to imagine yourself here on campus, wondering how you will find your way without getting lost don’t worry! This week we’ll be sharing lots of helpful tips on everything from getting your university email address to where to find your nearest supermarket.

Let’s talk about registration

You need to register before you can start your studies here at the University of Bristol and become part of our community. Registration is a two-part process which involves registering online and also registering in person when you arrive here at Bristol.

    • Online registration is open from the 4 – 14 September.  You’ll need to upload a photograph of yourself by 14 September, so that your student card (UCard) can be ready for you to collect during your in-person registration. Once you have registered online you’ll have access to your student email address.
    • Registering in person will confirm your attendance here on campus and may include document checks. At this point you will also collect you student card (UCard). Not all students register at the same time, so you’ll need to check your Welcome Week timetable which will be sent to you soon.

Places to know about

You should have received your Welcome Pack in the post by now – which includes a fold out map of Bristol. This will be useful in your first couple of weeks to familiarise yourself with the city. During Welcome Week, there’ll be an information tent on Tyndall Avenue and if you get lost, there are lots of friendly faces around campus ready to help.

  • Wills Memorial Building – At the top of Park Street. Your Welcome Ceremony will take place here during your first week. This is a celebratory ceremony were you’ll hear from Vice-Chancellor Hugh Brady, and your Bristol SU Sabbatical Officers.

  • Beacon House – on the Clifton Triangle. This is a key study space for all students. You’ll find bookable group study rooms and a dedicated quiet space perfect during exam periods.
  • Bristol SU – on Queen’s Road in Clifton. You’ll find a bar, café, social spaces and, plenty of events to take part in from ticketed gigs to poetry reading session.
  • Senate House – on Tyndall Avenue. The home of the Bristol SU Living Room and Postgraduate Research Hub which run a variety of activities, during Welcome Week and throughout the year. This great student hub also offers a variety of study and relaxation space and even a food court to sit down and enjoy a tasty treat with friends.
  • Global Lounge – inside the Bristol SU, a pop-up hub for all students. Offering a range of activities to exchange cultural experiences, meet friends from around the world and be inspired to become global citizens.

Services to know about

Feeling hungry?

From grabbing a quick snack between lectures to doing you’re weekly food shop, Bristol will cater for your every need.

  • Balloon Bar – Based in the Students Union, serving great value, locally sourced food and drink – the ultimate student hangout.

  • Source Cafés – dotted around campus, often within University study spaces. Take a look at our Source Café map to find your closest one.
  • Supermarkets – We are lucky enough to be in the heart of the city with a variety of shops nearby – from Sainsbury’s in Clifton Down Shopping Centre, and Chinese supermarkets on Park Street, to local fruit and vegetable grocers on Gloucester Road. Take your pick!
  • Eating out – Bristol is extremely multicultural and caters for all. Whether you’re vegan or looking for halal options on the menu, there will be something for you. If you’re hungry to explore and try new things, in and around the city centre offers a great choice – with everything from Japanese to Jamaican cuisines.

Bristol UniBus Transport

Bristol is a great city to get around by bus. We even have our own bus service Bristol UniBus has two routes: U1 and U2.

If you’re an undergraduate student living in University-allocated accommodation, you will receive a bus pass for unlimited travel on the U1 service (and four other local services) to get you back and forth safely from campus to your halls. If you are a Vet School student, you will also receive a free bus pass to travel between the Clifton campus and Langford campus on the U2.

Visit our University of Bristol bus services web page to find out more.

Next week’s blog…

Next week we’ll be talking about balancing your social and academic life and the support available at the University of Bristol.

Find your info!

We’re on hand to help.

Beacon House

You’ve found your way from your halls to Wills Memorial Building for your Welcome ceremony and now you think you have plenty of time before heading to the next event in your calendar. But even though you were at your School Office yesterday, you realise you went straight there from your hall and now have absolutely no idea how to get back there from Wills!

Have you left enough time? Is anyone else going there? Do you have time for a sandwich?? (the most important question!)

No need to panic – we’ve got you covered.

There are four helpdesks located in key areas about campus with friendly student helpers on hand to point you in the right direction. You’ll find them at:

  • Hawthorns
  • Beacon House
  • Priory Road
  • Richmond Building (SU)

You’ll see them highlighted on your campus map which you can download, if you’ve lost yours in the excitement of the move, and opening times are listed below.

    Sun 23  Mon 24  Tues 25  Wed 26  Thurs 27 
Hawthorns   10-4 9.30-5 9.30-5 10-4 10-4
Beacon House   Closed 9.30-5 9.30-5 10-4 10-4
Priory Rd Complex   Closed 9.30-5 9.30-5 10-4 10-4
Richmond Building 10-4 9.30-5 9.30-5 10-4 10-4

Gearing up at the library

Over 150 staff members in our nine libraries are busy preparing for the arrival of the new students and looking forward to showing off their extensive resources, inspiring spaces and specialist services making all libraries accessible to everyone.

Boosting those brain cells doesn’t just mean work, work, work though. Jez Conolly, Head of Student Engagement at Library Services is keen to provide plenty of opportunities for students to relax and refresh so that precious time you commit to studying is even more effective.

‘We want to encourage users of our libraries to include regular breaks in their study patterns. Working constantly without breaks isn’t great for your productivity: when you’re tired and stressed, it can be hard to take information in or do your best work. So it’s really important to get into the habit of stepping away from the study desk and taking some time out.’

Arts and Social Sciences library’s dedicated relaxation space

‘You’ll find a relaxation space on the first floor of the Arts and Social Sciences Library where you can ‘unplug’ for a while, plus in the Wills Library,we now have a ‘Library of Possibilities’ space with soft seating and a collection of more contemplative non-academic reading matter. This year we’re introducing new ‘take a break’ cards which will enable you to indicate to others when you’re on a break and when you will return to your desk. At especially busy and stressful times in the year we provide a range of enjoyable mindfulness activities designed to help you rebalance and relieve some of the revision pressure.’

Wills Memorial Library: Library of Possibilities
Wills Library, University of Bristol

The Library support team including, Jez Stein and Mary Lockwood, are also beavering away preparing for your arrival.

Library support information at the Arts and Social Sciences Library

Library services and spaces are designed so that they’re accessible and inclusive wherever possible. There are study spaces available to suit your preferred learning style, featuring social learning spaces, collaborative group study rooms, low-distraction and silent study areas.

If you’re a part-time student, studying outside of Bristol, have a disability, dyslexia, or caring responsibilities, the Library Support team aim to provide a range of services to make sure the library is accessible to everyone. We can work with you to discuss any specific needs or requirements you might have in terms of study space or access to resources. Please feel free to arrange an appointment time or just drop in during office hours.

 

Library support is based in the Arts & Social Sciences Library.

Email: library-support@bristol.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 117 928 8502

Textphone users can call via typetalk: 18001 0017 928 8502

Check out @bristolunilib on Twitter and @bristol_uni_lib on Instagram.

Behind the scenes at Bristol Students’ Union

Bristol Students’ Union (SU) represents students, provides advice and guidance and put on a whole range of events for students to socialise and try new things.

The Richmond Building, home to Bristol SU

We caught up with some of the Communications and Engagement team to find out how they’re preparing for Welcome Week 2018.

Jess working on the Welcome Guide

Jess Augarde is the SU’s Multimedia Designer and you’ll be seeing loads of her work around during Welcome Week.

‘I worked with a local illustrator to get the creative look for Welcome Week 2018 together and then spent a lot of time cutting out images in illustrator to make the cool graphics you’ll have seen on our social media already and will see when you get to Bristol. I loved working on the Welcome Guide and loved seeing a video from our printers of the guide rolling off the presses!

When it comes to Welcome Week, I love heading out to the events with my camera and always get some great photos, particularly at the Welcome Fair.’

Nicola Haydon

Nicola Haydon, Communications Executive, works on the SU’s campaigns and content.

‘This year we’re collaborating with different societies on the films we’re screening each evening in the Balloon Bar, including a double bill organised by the Chinese Society. I love the Welcome

Fair, it’s a really nice atmosphere. It’s great to see what current students are doing and to see new students get excited about everything they can get involved with.

My advice for new students is to make the most of all the events. There really is something for everyone, whatever you’re interested in and it’s a great introduction to all the societies and activities available at Bristol.

We’re welcoming some big names to Bristol for our headline Club Tropicana event with Nick Grimshaw and Mistajam as well as plenty of local DJs to give you a flavour of Bristol’s night life.’ There are limited tickets available so snap yours up here!’

Bristol SU arrange a packed schedule of Welcome Week events; from club nights to plant potting, there’s something for everyone! Take a look at what’s on and get your tickets now.

 

And what about after Welcome Week? Your SU needs you!

Election nominations open during Welcome Week and they’re looking for first year course reps, JCR reps and NUS delegates. Find out more about these roles and how to stand for election at bristolsu.org.uk/elections.

For more information about the Students’ Union, visit bristolsu.org.uk.

Find Your Mayor! Get involved and join the debate.

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, is hosting the next Global Parliament of Mayors meeting in Bristol and you can be part of it too.

City Hall

This is a great opportunity for you to gain exclusive access to the Parliamentary Forum and meet city leaders from around the world.

Apply to become a student ambassador and:

  • Act as a host for your assigned global Mayor;
  • Help them with queries and escort them to seminars;
  • Meet other student ambassadors and influence the debate.

You will also be invited to attend the closing ceremony where you will receive an official Certificate of Excellence and Leadership and have an opportunity to be photographed with your Mayor.

When is it?

The summit is held between 21-23 October and this year’s theme is Empowering Cities as Drivers of Change. The discussions are wide ranging from migration, health and climate change to urban security.

What do I do next?

Find out more and apply before 4 October.

My Welcome Week experience

Hi, I’m Em!

I’m a seasoned Bristolian, so despite the fact that I have only just finished my first year at Bristol, I have a lot of Bristol experience to share with you to make sure you get the best experience in Bristol as you possibly can.

A little background on me

I just finished my first year studying Philosophy but I’m changing my degree and now I’m going into my first year studying Religion and Theology.

I’ve lived in Bristol for 19 years and am still not tired of it.

Today I’m going to share with you my Welcome Week experience.

Thekla

University and clubbing are synonymous with each other, this might mean that you have to go out of your comfort zone but that’s okay! Hundreds of other people will be doing exactly the same thing.  Last year, I mainly went to venues like Thekla and The Lanes. However, there’s loads of information online regarding the theme of each night so make sure that you have a look! I didn’t go out loads, and I still met some great friends.

Not a drinker?

I went to loads of events last year that don’t involve drink. For example, I went on a coffee shop crawl where instead of drinking beer, you drink coffee! There’s also loads of amazing food in Bristol, as a vegan I never struggle to find options which is obviously a plus. If you are unsure about what you can do, check out the SU’s guide to alternative and non-drinking events.

My welcome week peak (the good kind):

For me, as a Bristolian, the welcome ceremony was very special. I never thought that I would get into a Russell Group uni. In fact, I went to a below average secondary school/ sixth form combined and had my prom at the Marriot at the bottom of Park Street so, to be at this grand ceremony at the top of the big hill was very symbolic for me. I had to climb and fight to get into Bristol, just like you will need to climb and fight from getting to the bottom of Park Street to the top!

What I would change?

People always say that Welcome Week is your chance to really get involved, and that was a scary prospect for me. I suffer with a few different mental health difficulties so being a social butterfly is not second nature for me. But, your first week does not discriminate, there will be many other anxious people there and there will many people who want to say hello to you.

My one piece of advice is to be the person you want to be friends with. Also, don’t stress about making friends, it will happen but to be honest, the friends you make in Welcome Week might not be your uni-long best friends. So just relax and have a great week!

What to pack for University 

You’ve got six sets of Wilkinson’s basics coasters…but no shower gel. A suitcase of fancy dress options and only one extension cord. Moving into halls is an exciting time, so if you’re starting to think about what you need to bring to University, don’t worry about forgetting something important – we’ve got you covered. 

student's feet below the word 'hello'

Here’s our list of things to pack: 

The essentials 

  • Registration guide and Welcome Week timetable so you know where you’re going 
  • Keep cup – you can get a discount at each of our Source cafés every time you use a reusable mug 
  • Water bottle – keep hydrated in style and help save the planet by saying no to single-use plastics 
  • Towel 
  • Clothes 
  • Bedding – you’d be surprised how many people forget a duvet cover or pillow case! 
  • Toiletries  
  • Kitchen equipment – if you’re in self-catered accommodation you should bring a plate, bowl, cutlery, and pots and pans. It can be worth waiting until you arrive to see what your housemates have brought before buying smaller items like vegetable peelers or cheese graters; that way you’ll end up only with what you need. 

 flat-lay of items to pack

Getting around 

Ready to study 

  • Notepad 
  • Pencil case – you can pick up loads of cool freebies, including stationery, at the Welcome Fair 
  • Laptop 
  • Headphones – because you don’t want to be that person blasting music on the bus 
  • Textbooks – our libraries are also a great resource and staff are happy to help you find what you need 

Your new community 

  • Biscuits are a great way to break the ice when you first move in 
  • Playing cards or board games 
  • Fancy dress 
  • SU wristband for entry into a host of events to help you get to know your neighbours and make friends 

student carrying a box into halls

A home away from home 

  • Photos of family and friends 
  • Clock – because you don’t want to miss that 9 am lecture! 
  • A cozy hoodie 
  • Calendar 
  • Lamp 

Need something else? 

There are plenty of shops nearby where you can pick up anything else that you need – including The Basket, found on the ground floor of the Students’ Union. You can also order moving-in packs for the kitchen, bathroom, or cleaning supplies. 

Why not get a plant or poster to brighten up your room and make it your own? Share a photo of your space with us using #FindYourBristol and let us know the one thing that you’re not leaving home without.  

It’s time to Find Your Bristol!

Congratulations on getting your place at the University of Bristol! We’re really looking forward to welcoming you and hope you are excited about becoming part of our community. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing advice from staff and students here at Bristol to help you prepare for life as a university student and get excited about our beautiful and unique city.

Five things you can do now 

What are you looking forward to most about Uni? 

Share your first Bristol experiences with us using #FindYourBristol and give us a follow to stay up-to-date with Uni news, student stories and all the most entertaining and enlightening events. We’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

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