You’ve got into Royal Holloway! Now what?

Dominic Barrett discusses all things Royal Holloway.

Ah isn’t results day great? You laugh, you cry, you might even drink heavily. But after that initial shock has worn off, you might remember that you also applied to Royal Holloway – which, congratulations by the way, you’ve now got into! Whether you’re elated or disappointed, you’re stuck with us now, so you might as well enjoy the ride!

But what does that ride entail? Is it a bumpy ride? Will there be snacks? Well it will be bumpy, as all university journeys are, and I can confirm that there are snacks if you know the best place to look (hint: go to as many fresher and departmental events as possible, they have all the best snacks).

However, Royal Holloway is more than just free food and an intense love for the colour orange. It’s fun, confusing, probably stressful, and no doubt you’ll find that you’re constantly tired but you still somehow turn up to Toast in Medicine every Monday, VK in hand. If ‘Toast’ at ‘Medicine’ means nothing to you, and it probably won’t, you’re in for a treat. Above all, don’t worry. Not only are you in the same boat as everyone else just joining, but you’re also surrounded by two other year groups who are more than happy to direct you to the Windsor building if you’re lost or point you down the correct Founders corridor. I mean, I can’t, I still get lost and I’ve been here for a year, but I’m sure other people have a far better sense of geography than me.

Work wise, again, don’t worry. As a first year, you’ll be given all the time you need to get whatever it is you need to do, done. Of course, you’ll still probably leave it to the night before because, hey, that paint party sounds like fun. It is fun, but don’t get too attached to the clothes you’re wearing when you go because you won’t be wearing them again.

When you get the chance, sign up to all the various groups on Facebook. Groups for your halls, groups for freshers information, groups for general information, join them all. They have loads of info on them, and you might even catch a glimpse of the people you’ll meet in a few short weeks time. Also, if you’ve got Kingswood, don’t act like the world has ended. I was at Kingswood, and I can promise you it’s actually really great as long as you don’t have a phobia of buses.

Oh, one word of advice wherever you are, get to know the people on your corridor. Standing in the kitchen making awkward conversation with someone you should really know the name of after three months isn’t something that needs to happen every time you want to grab a Pot Noodle. And join societies! There really is no better way to meet people and try something new with all the many sports and societies on offer. There is something for everyone at Royal Holloway, no matter who you are. Plus, Come in Your Socs night at the Students’ Union is basically the most fun you’ll ever have, ever. Shameless plug: you should definitely join Orbital. We don’t just make you more employable and give you loads of cool opportunities, but we plan to have a lot of socials this year. 

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. If you ever get stressed, worried, maybe even a little lonely or homesick, don’t let it overwhelm you. We’ve all been there, and you’ll be surrounded by people just like you who all feel the same – even if sometimes they pretend they know exactly what’s going on. University is supposed to be fun, so enjoy the next three years and make them count – which is probably the best piece of advice anyone could give you. Well, that, and no lit flames around Founders. I’m not even joking, the people living in Founders take that very seriously – did you know it’s one of the most flammable buildings in Britain?