Published: 17 August 2020

Current students provide helpful insights to first-year students starting in September

In the lead up to the new university year, we’ve spoken to second and third-year students to see what advice they’d give to those starting at Surrey in September, to help them hit-the-ground-running in their first few months.

Student: Ellie Clark

Course: Sociology BSc (Hons)

What stood out about your Department?

How friendly and helpful the lecturers are. They are always willing to help you with any problems you have - whether academic or personal.

What’s your favourite thing about Guildford?

The Mount. Not a lot of people know about this amazing place, but it has a beautiful view out over Guildford and you can even see London on a clear day! It is a lovely place to go and relax with friends and just take in the view.

Where’s your favourite place to study on campus?

The Library – preferably level two.

Can you name the top five things you’re glad you brought with you for your first semester?

  • A doorstop so you can prop open your door on move-in weekend, so you can meet all your flatmates.
  • A game of some kind - cards or a board game as they are a great way to get to know your flatmates in a fun way.
  • Photos of friends and family – in your room you will have a pin board (so bring pins) and it is so nice to fill it up with memories that make you happy.
  • A laundry bag – sounds minor, but I forgot to bring one and I had a pile of dirty washing in my room for the first week, which was not nice! It makes it easier to store dirty clothes and take them to the laundrette.
  • Food basics – if you can, I would recommend doing a small food shop before you get here as the supermarkets will be very busy on move-in weekend, so having the essentials will mean you can avoid that stress.

Finally, do you have any other key pointers you’d like to tell first-year students, before they start in September?

Put yourself out there! It can be a scary thought at first if you aren’t that confident, but I promise that once you start the first conversation with someone you will realise how easy it is to talk to people and make friends. If you are still nervous about talking to people, go to the society taster sessions in the first weeks of term and you will meet loads of new people there, and these are also a great chance to try something new!

You can very easily get wrapped up in the academic side of university and stop doing fun things, so make sure to set out at least one day a week where you go out and have fun with friends. This will allow you to relax and realise how much fun university is.

Also, joining societies will give you the chance to have fun every week, so make sure you try something new.


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