What’s next after I arrive?

That moment after you have said goodbye to your family and don’t yet know anyone can be a little daunting. What do you do now? It’s up to you.

‘Don't stress, everyone's in the same boat and wants to make new friends too’ – Eve, second year student.
Hopefully some of your other flat or housemates will have arrived and this is a great place to start. Prop your door open as you unpack to show you’re happy to talk or give people a hand as they’re moving in. Sometimes just hanging out in the kitchen is a great way to meet your new flatmates, whilst playing a game together can be a fun way to break the ice. The College and Community Life Team have a number of events going on that you can do with your household including a crazy golf course that spreads across campus.

‘Be open to meeting lots of new people, it will make the experience much more enjoyable’ Esme, fourth year student
Someone always has to arrive first though, so if this is you, or you want to explore beyond your accommodation, then get out there – we’ve got lots going on just take a look at Kent’s event calendar. You don’t have to stick to just your course’s events – there’s lots happening for all students to get involved in. Heading out solo can be tough, especially if you’re naturally shy but it will be worth it, pick an event or place that best suits you and remember everyone there is looking to meet new people and make friends too just like you. You never know your best friend may be in the corridor on the hall below, standing next to you at the bar, or you may bump into them on your library tour. Just because you’re the first to arrive in your flat doesn’t mean you are the only one on campus, if you don’t fancy flying solo to an event then pop a message in the Official Freshers Group on Facebook as someone else is probably having the same thoughts elsewhere on campus, who knows there may be a few of you all looking to go to the same event. Another place you can stop by are the Info Hubs across campus and in the Library as well as the tents on the lawns next to the library. Here there will be some staff and student ambassadors who will be happy to have a chat and give you some inspiration on what to do next.

'Make friends outside your flat, while it's nice to be friends with your flatmates, you may want a wider circle of friends so you can enjoy more variety in activities or societies’ Alexander, second year student

Every day from Wednesday 15 to Sunday 19 September on the Canterbury campus ‘Meet and Greets’ will be going on in your own college catering outlet or one nearby and in Medway GKSU have daily events you can join. These are perfect places to meet other new students or be the first step on your campus adventure with your new friends/flatmates. These won’t be big partying events (although those are happening too) but more of an opportunity for you to meet, connect and relax with your fellow students. There will also be lots of other social events taking place on both campuses throughout Welcome Week for you to join and take part in.

UniSmart: yes we’ve snuck in a shameless plug for one of our events at the end, but this one usually has a straightjacket involved. Have I caught your attention? This interactive show (which will also be livestreamed if you can’t make it in person) from our friends at UniSmart covers the essentials about real life whilst you are at university, if nothing else it makes a great talking point afterwards and gives you the chance to meet other new students from across campus. So Woolf Lecture Theatre, 3pm, Sunday 19th September – be there it’s free.

Before you know it, you’ll have a flat of familiar faces, students you know from your course or your own society friends to surround yourself with. But remember,  everything doesn’t always fall into place straight away and that’s ok too. If it doesn’t, and you need some support we’re here along with a whole host of different Student Services, so take advantage of the facilities and services we have available to help you make the most of your time on campus.

The best way to know what you want to do with yourself after you’ve arrived is to take another look at our Welcome pages, now you’re here you may see an event you missed that’s nearby you want to go to or just familiarise yourself with campus. After all Canterbury’s is 300 acres of green parkland which overlooks the city below, and Pier Quays in Medway is located just on the river and only a short walk from campus so definitely worth exploring.

If you’re looking for more arrivals advice from students check out our Student Arrivals Advice for 2021 or sign up to join our Live Webchat on Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 2pm to talk to the Accommodation Team and ask any questions about arrivals you may have to some of our current students.