Dear Fresher, sorry “First Year”
If you are reading this, the likelihood is that you have made it through your first term at Royal Holloway and have returned for more of its educational, Victorian, polar bear goodness. If so, well done! 12 weeks down, 18 to go until summer. But seriously, well done. It is all too easy to allow negative thoughts to cloud the fact that moving away to University is probably the most significant change to your living situation that you have ever been through; so it’s perfectly normal if first term was a bit up and down for you. You can be certain that you would not have been alone if, secretly, you found it a bit difficult at times. Homesickness and loneliness are much more widespread than it can seem at times. Even the most confident and independent people can find it hard to be away from family and loved ones, particularly on days when maybe they question if the course and Uni is for them and even on days when they just can’t seem to ‘get’ the art that is laundry. You’ve made that transition and things can only get a bit easier from here on out. You understand what is expected of you by the Uni and you’ve successfully navigated many an SU/Medicine/Monkey’s night (delete as applicable). You’ve survived the much feared Fresher’s Flu, being locked out of you room (more than three times), fire alarms and the infamous Royal Holloway Spotted page. Perhaps last term you took part in a student production or concert, tried a new sport, posed for the RAG Naked Calendar, won Humans vs. Zombie. The result is that you are now a fully-fledged and experienced Royal Hollowegian so you can kiss goodbye to that fabled yet often embarrassing label of “Fresher” and say hello to life as a “First Year”. First Years understand all the help and support the Uni can offer to help make things a bit easier for them and they don’t feel embarrassed or reluctant to seek it out or talk to their Personal Advisors if they need to as they know that these systems are in place for a reason. First Years have already completed a third of their first year and are masters of Moodle, Campus Connect and Turnitin. First Years walk around campus confident of where and where their classes are, perhaps with a society hoodie slung over one shoulder and a latté from the campus store to hand. First Years also do not try to bring their entire house with them when they move back in. In short, First Years are experienced, knowledgeable and confident. I wish you a very happy, healthy, safe and awesome second term, Freshers. Now go forth and be First Years.