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My top tips for freshers’…

Hi all, I’m Clare, a third year Ancient History student. I’m also a student mentor.

The student mentor scheme matches first year students (mentees) to mentors from the same academic School (there are mentors in every school except for Architecture). Each mentor is assigned a small group of mentees and they meet on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of topics, such as:

  • course expectations and new ways of studying
  • navigating your School
  • settling into halls
  • budgeting
  • opportunities and ways to get involved
  • and much more!

Here are some of my top tips for freshers’:

👩‍🎓 Use your student mentor! It’s a fantastic scheme and is really helpful. They’ll help you settle into Uni life and are a good place to go for any questions. Please attend the meetings – you’ll be so much better off for it.

💰 Try not to spend like crazy when your loan comes in!

✍️Don’t worry about the work until you get it – worrying before isn’t going to help.

🙋 You will make friends – everyone is in the same boat.

🤺 Check out the volunteering and societies fairs – it’s always a good idea to join a society or two. They’re a great way to have fun and meet new people from across the University!

📧 Keep your eyes on your emails – this is the main communication line between you and your lecturers.

📋 I know it sounds simple but…make notes in lectures. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable – hand write or type; it’s up to you. Some lectures get recorded for you to access later but not all. Check with your lecturer if this is happening.

🏙️ Go out and see the city. We’re very lucky to have so much around us, so take some time and see it. I recommend the National Museum and Castle (you are eligible for a Castle Key as a student here). More info here:

🛌🥗 Get some sleep and have your fruit and veg! Fight off that Freshers’ flu with good food, sleep and vitamins.

📚 Look at your reading lists and module handbooks.

☎️ Keep in touch with home.

☑️ Plan your time – make sure you get a good work/life balance and give yourself enough time to finish your assessments. It’ll also help keep you on track and reduce procrastination.

⏰ Set alarms/goals to help plan your days and keep you on track. This doesn’t work for everyone but find your own way to ensure you reach your daily/weekly goals.

💰 If you’re concerned about money – sign up to Jobshop for work through the Uni. It’s a great way to get casual employment. Just go onto and look at Jobshop.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to welcoming you all to Cardiff with our incredible mentoring team and I wish you the very best for this year!

Clare, Student Mentor

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