Arrivals weekend: what to expect and how to settle in


Arrivals weekend is quite the hustle ‘n’ bustle.

For you, your parents, uni staff, halls coordinators, bus drivers; pretty much everybody is affected by the influx of fresh-faced kids entering their next milestone of life in September.

It’s a hectic time, and this blog is here to help you navigate it. Get ready for a heads up on what to expect, as well as a few of my own personal tips on how to settle in over the weekend.

Arrivals weekend


What happens?


1) Getting to halls


If you’re flying:

Most universities arrange for a group of representative students to meet and greet Freshers at the relevant airport terminals.

They’ll help to guide you in the right direction concerning the best mode of transport to your university campus/town.

After stumbling off a 12-hour flight, I for one, was eternally grateful when a group of students helped me book a last-minute coach to Bristol.


If you’re driving:

Make sure you plan your route well in advance, and give yourself a bit more time than you need to get there. You don't want to rush and add to your stress levels!


 2) Moving into your new home

Some universities request you do an online induction a few weeks before Freshers Week, where you need to book a time slot for when you will move into your accommodation. Make sure you turn up for your allocated slot (it’s better for everybody involved)!

On said day and time, you’ll:

  • Sign/hand in paperwork
  • Receive your key
  • Get a quick tour of the accommodation
  • Get brought to your room
  • Unpack your bursting-at-the-seams suitcase...

...and finally, take a much-needed breather!


Tips for settling in


Keep your door open

Something that a lot of us did in first year was keep our doors open as we unpacked.

It means that while you’re hanging up those fairy-lights or organising the mountain of notebooks you binge-bought at Rymans, people can pop in to say hello and introduce themselves. And of course, you can do this too!

Arrivals weekend is really the only acceptable time to exploit this open-door method without it being weird.


Check your emails

You should receive a schedule from your university with details of various administrative tasks you’ll need to do over the weekend and the week following.

These might include:

  • Attending induction talks
  • Meeting your personal tutor
  • Registration
  • Getting your university ID card (do yourself a favour and choose a photo you think you'll still be happy with in 3 years' time.)
  • Arranging a DBS check (for any of you on a course dealing with children or vulnerable adults e.g. medicine)

Instructions and information will typically be communicated over email, so check your inbox regularly, or you might miss out on something important - or fun!


Get involved!

Speaking of fun, Arrivals weekend throws up plenty of events to whet your appetite before Freshers Week! The university and your halls will hold an overwhelming number of socials, all tailored towards Freshers!

It would be rude not to take advantage of everything, and you’ll find it pretty difficult not to enjoy yourself with such great events on offer (a club-night with Nick Grimshaw as the DJ? Uh, yes please).

A bonus of getting involved in planned activities at your halls and uni is that it helps you meet and bond with flatmates and course pals.

Not everything will be for you but throw yourself in anyway and embrace the chaos with soon-to-be friends.


Keep reading: Here's everything you'll find in student halls