Nervous about university and living in a hall? Read this RA guide

Nervous about university and living in a hall? Read this RA guide

Use this to understand how you can make your university experience that much easier from an RA’s point of view (Yay!). This post covers what your RA can do for you, how to study smart, not hard and how to make friends (bye-bye wikihow).

The best piece of advice I ever got as a student was, “if you’re nervous, then you’re doing something right”. So, I will give the same advice to you. Embrace the butterflies in your stomach, keep an open mind and please never forget that everyone else is nervous too.

Once you move into the hall, you will meet your RA. Your RA (Residential Advisor) is an important part of your experience during your first year of university and living in a hall. They are there to SUPPORT YOU. So please, don’t be afraid to ask them for help in any situation. If it is out of their scope, then they will refer you to someone who can assist you. Remember that every RA has been in your shoes, so not only can they relate to how you feel on some level, they can also help you with the inevitable teething issues you will have in your first year of study.

When it comes to study, it will be an intense shift from high school, so try to learn and form new study techniques. Use your first year to build up your stamina for study. I personally recommend signing up for one of the many PASS study groups. These study groups focus on several different papers. They allow you to not only understand that important discussion you missed out on that lecture when you zoned out completely, but also to be guided by an experienced student who had recently taken that very paper. Also, it is FREE. So, you really can’t go wrong. You will also most definitely make a friend or two, even if it is built on your hate for a paper.

Okay, let’s cover “making friends”.  This process will either just happen naturally or be a struggle, and that is more than okay. My biggest piece of advice for everyone is to not be afraid to approach people, even if it is going to talk to your RA about how you want to make friends. Like I said before, everyone is nervous. However, remember that everyone also wants to make friends. The hall is where you will find your friends and family during your first year of study, so use that to your advantage and meet people. O-week and other events throughout the year are a great chance to get to know each other. Be inclusive of everyone, because you never know the effect you could have on someone’s first year of study. The only way to beat your nervousness is to do something about it. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

By the end of this year, you will grow and develop in ways you never thought possible. Yes it is going to be awkward in some parts, but you will love it. So, say hi to that person you are sharing the lift with, swipe right when you don’t think it will happen and sit with someone new at dinner.

Embrace it.

Yasmin Elsedfy is in her final year of studying towards a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws. In 2018, she’s an RA at Cumberland Hall

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