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Clearing blog

Your first week

Former student Sophie talks about her first week at York St John.

Students sat outside at YSJ Fest

It’s not too long until you start university! Here’s some information about the start of your journey and what you should do.

YSJ will email you, confirming your accommodation details. The York St John Accommodation Facebook page is a great way for you to connect with your housemates, or others in your accommodation. I’d recommend chatting to the group about what household items they are bringing. After all, you don’t need 6 kettles!

When you arrive, you’ll probably want to get settled and meet your housemates properly. Welcome weekend is you time to get to know where you’re living. My housemate and I sat in our kitchen, sharing stories of our lives and discussing how excited we were to begin this new chapter. We then headed over to the York St John Students’ Union (SU) for a few drinks and to meet other freshers. Most courses have a full week of welcome lectures, starting on the Monday, so make sure you get an early night on the Sunday.

Welcome week is a busy and exciting time as you explore York and the YSJ campus. There’s loads going on:

  • Quizzes
  • Vintage fairs
  • Club nights
  • Plant sales
  • Open mic nights.

All of these, and more, are hosted by the SU. The SU building could well be like a second home for you during the first couple of weeks. They’re central to the student experience and can help you get more involved with university life.

When I started at YSJ, there was a Freshers' Fair! Make sure to check out what activities and events you can sign up for. There were loads of freebies being given out, including pizza vouchers and the classic combo of tote bags and pens. All of the sports and societies teams at YSJ will be in one place. It is a great time to sign up and trial a new sport or to share common interests and activities. Ultimate Frisbee, Geek, Snow Sports and Historical Re-enactment are some of the wonderful and unique sports and societies you can sign up for.

After you have enrolled, a full range of support is available at YSJ. These include:

  • Welfare and wellbeing
  • Disability advice and support
  • Course and study support
  • Supporting our diverse community
  • Student medical centre
  • Careers support
  • Faith support.

Use your free time to explore the city and its culture. Make lots of friends as you laugh and smile and settle in to YSJ. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, try something new, join a sports team or a society, get a part time job, volunteer and make the most of the opportunities available.

YSJ prides itself on being there for its students, especially when you are balancing studies, work and life. I felt really settled and welcomed into the family and throughout my university experience, it was always a comfort knowing that if I needed the support, I could reach out for it.

Good luck with your first week. I’m sure, like me, you’re going to love it.

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