The Chill Zone – A Welcome-Week Must!

Samuel Mcevoy-Reed fills us in on their first term at University this year – from moving to University, making friends, welcome week, and adapting to University life. The Chill Zone really stood out for Samuel in Welcome week and was the perfect place to make friends.

“For anyone that’s shy, I’d say push yourself to attend these events because it’ll really help in the long run, and you can make some lifelong friends”


How did you feel in the lead-up to moving to uni?

In the lead-up to University, I felt mere nervous excitement. Nervous, as I had spent several years working full-time after finishing sixth form (out of the academic environment), but excited to take the opportunity that I had worked for. I wanted to welcome a refreshing, new adventure with lots of new friends, and experience a setting where I can learn from and communicate with experts in their field.

How did you find welcome week?

Welcome week was exciting and jam-packed with a multitude of events for everyone. From gardening to partying, both extremes and everything in between was covered. It was easy to feel spoilt for choice when glancing over the various events pages!

What welcome week events stood out?

For me, the most enjoyable and valuable Welcome Week events have been the School of Economics Reception (following the Welcome Talk), the Chill Zone and Retro Games Night and the Kent Welcome Fair. The Reception was perfect for meeting peers and lecturers alike whilst enjoying a snack. Many people may feel shy or intimidated if they need to ask lecturers questions during the term – the Reception provided the perfect opportunity to meet them and realise they’re all super friendly, professional and passionate about what they teach. The Chill Zone is also where I have met many great friends over a game of Klask or Mario Kart – playing games/origami/colouring/relaxing with a coffee and cookies (I cannot promise there will be any left by the time you read this) creates a laid-back atmosphere and dispels any nerves. I’ve made lots of friends here and the organisers work hard to make it all work. The Kent Welcome Fair was also a highlight, displaying the vast array of societies one may join. It was very enjoyable to attend with new friends with bustling crowds, tasty food, and a seemingly endless pathway of societies to look at.

How did you find making friends?

Making friends is as important as the work/life balance itself. It depends on the individual, but I’ve ultimately found that there’s a fine line between studying and socialising. Work will be difficult, and deadlines will start to bombard you all at once, but once you get through it, then you can relax and socialise. I’m naturally a people person and given the format of the events I’ve spoken about above, I’ve found it very easy to make good friends – friends from all over the world, of different ages and studying all different subjects. For anyone that’s shy, I’d say push yourself (especially in the welcome week) to attend these events because it’ll really help in the long run, and you can make some lifelong friends.

How do you feel now you’re heading towards the end of your first term?

As I approach the end of my first term, I can say that I’m still learning to adapt to university life. I’m finally starting to find a system that works best for me in terms of time management. I’m helped by the very well-organised School of Economics, the resources available (such as the Templeman Library) and the organisation of those who make the social events happen. University life is challenging and at times it feels relentless, but it is ultimately equally as rewarding if you put the work in. To the new cohorts of students, my advice would be to meet as many people in the Welcome Week as possible because time will fly quicker than it ever has once you get further into the term.

Samuel Mcevoy-Reed studies Financial Economics BSc.