You’ve arrived, unpacked and are eager to see what Kent has to offer! How ever you decide to spend your first week at Kent, try to remember you’re not alone. There are thousands of new student’s moving in this week finding their feet just like you and there’s also plenty of current students and staff who can remember what it was like the first time they came to campus and were trying to settle in. What we’re saying is if you need anything or don’t know something just ask.
With that in mind here’s our five things to think about this week.
Getting out and meeting new people:
Some of you may have shrugged off unpacking until later, keen to get out and about straight away, whereas others of you might be feeling a bit nervous about stepping outside your room. Or, if you’re anything like me, you may be ready to explore but have a naff sense of direction, and spend half your time getting lost!
So, first things first – download a campus map if you haven’t already got one (or grab an Arrivals Weekend Guide from reception which has a map in). I find using Maps on my phone a great way to navigate the campus while finding your bearings. Unfortunately, Maps doesn’t work inside buildings, so for those of you in Eliot or Rutherford College – I wish you luck! You’re not on your own though as reception can give you directions, and you can also think of this as a true Kent badge of honour once you’ve mastered navigating it solo.
Secondly, check out the Welcome events page and make a note of what you’d like to attend, this week is for you to try new activities, meet new people and get a feel for campus life. Obviously, it’s important to attend your course events as a priority, but outside of these, there’s lots going on with everything from keyring-making to Rodeo Bull! It’s a cliché because it’s true, you may find your new best friend sitting next to you on your library tour at the society table during Welcome Fair or in the same course induction as you. So don’t be scared, head out to those events you’ve got your eye on (whether its 2 or 22) and you’ll feel at home in no time. Check out this blog that lists lots of different ways you can meet people.
Getting to know your flat or house mates and nearby neighbours is also important, so take the time to get to know each other. You’re all in the same boat after all and you’re going to be seeing a lot of each other. You don’t need to live in each other’s pockets, but it’s a good idea to break the ice at least and make a group chat or a way to keep in touch. Why not grab a coffee or head to a social event together, such as a quiz or games night or make your own and have a night in with some pizza from Hut8. Our ResLife Team will also be hosting events throughout the year to help you have fun and meet other residents so don’t think you have to meet everyone during Welcome Week. There will be lots more opportunities.
I suppose next on the list might be where to buy food. Whether your room includes a meal plan or you’re going it solo in self-catered accommodation, you’ll need to know where you can get your essentials from. The most obvious place is either of the two Coops, if you live on the Canterbury campus, or for Medway it would be Tesco Express, just around the corner from Pier Quays. For those bigger shops, Canterbury has a number of supermarkets, however, the easiest by public transport is either Aldi or Sainsbury, a 5-10 minute bus ride from the University. For Pier Quays, Asda and Lidl are just a short 3-6 minute walk away.
Where to eat:
I can’t tell you how much I think about food on a daily basis, so if you’re like me, you’ll be planning what to eat for dinner before you even have a morning shower. Lucky for you we have several campus catering outlets on the Canterbury campus, where you can grab a bite. These range from traditional home-cooked meals to tasty burgers, fries and milkshakes, all at great prices. And even if you live at Pier Quays, you can hop on the free shuttle bus to try them all out. Alternatively, students living at Pier Quays can enjoy an international menu at the Deep End. You can’t go wrong there!
Okay, things just got real and after a week you’ve realised you don’t have an endless supply of pants or some sort of washing fairy to replenish your dirty clothes on a weekly basis. Eeek! It’s okay though, each college and Pier Quays has its own self-service laundry, (open daily from 7am – 10pm) which you can use. Yes, YOU can use. It’s not magic, but it is pretty simple, just download the Circuit app and find your laundry location (Canterbury) to get started. Circuit also has some great ‘How to guides’, so check those out if you’re unsure. And that’s it – you’ll be fresh as a daisy in no time!
Right, now you know how to navigate, forage for food and keep clean, you’re all set for your first week at uni. Remember, this is supposed to be an adventure which we hope is full of positive experiences. However, if at any point you find yourself struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to your ResLife Ambassadors (RLAs) or our Student Services teams for support. You’ve got this!