WelcomeFest societies and volutneering fair

The Big Welcome Week Breakdown


Hayley Elahee

BSc Computer Science

You’ve received your acceptance letter, you’ve sorted your accommodation for the year, you’ve locked down your finances and loans, you’ve done your big uni shop... You’re officially ready for the best freshers ever.

But what is this feeling? An overwhelming rush of anxiety and stress… but you thought you were ready!? Worry not, as I am here to breakdown the 'must-knows' for Welcome Week. Take it from someone who has done this tango twice now - you’ll be preparing yourself for more fun by knowing a few of these things.

Newland Avenue Student Lifestyle Shoot - Hang Out Bar

Now, I know your phone storage needs to be saved for more parodies of that corn song on TikTok (I’m not even blaming you) but spare a few megabytes for the Students' Union app. This allows you easy access to tickets, events and happenings of the week. That way, when your flatmates pitch the idea of going to the student club Asylum with you, you’ll be easily able to buy yourself some tickets and plug an event you think you should all go to together.

Either way, if you haven’t checked it out already, the Students' Union have tons of events on to entertain every person this week. Whether that be crafting with cake, trying out yoga or Afrobeats, there is an event for us all.

WelcomeFest 2021 - Dick & Dom in Asylum

My first solid piece of advice is - even if you’re a fellow returner like me - try something new. Put yourself in a new situation and push yourself to say 'Yes' to one thing this week, whether that is painting a mug or watching the Bee Movie, it’s completely up to you. By putting yourself in a new positions it gives you new experiences and lets you meet people that you may not have run into normally! Who knows the things you’ll find when you say yes... And in the worst case scenario? You don’t like it, at least you can look back at the end of the day (or after leaving the event early) and say, 'I did that!'

Now I’m assuming you’ve had a wide-eyed look at the long list of events that this week will contain (if you haven’t, you know what to do) and you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed… There’s a lot to see and you may feel there’s a lot you want to do, maybe even more than you can manage?

Now allow me to give you another tip - you are free to fill up your plate, but you don't have to eat everything on it. Welcome Fair is a whole bucketful of emotions for us all, whether we have pre-university anxiety, FOMO, friend issues, anxiety spikes, homesickness and more.

It can be rough and that’s okay - no-one expects you to be all smiles and roses all day! If you do ever feel like you’re in need of a night containing of a FaceTime home, a hot chocolate and some warm socks, that’s okay. It’s fine to flake on that club night or not wake up for that crafting event. This week is about you having fun as number one, and if that’s how you want to do it, that’s awesome. Have a party alone in your room? Do it! You know yourself better than everyone else and don’t forget it, and there’s no shame in taking time off during freshers.

I Am Team GB - Give It A Go Event - Just Play Football

Last but of course not least, you’re going to meet a whole lot of new people this week, from all walks of life and with all different attitudes. You’ll get along with some and maybe not others, and you’ll want to befriend some and want to avoid others. That's completely normal, don’t worry.

I’m sure everyone and their grandma has been lecturing you on peer pressure and how you need to remember to avoid bad situations so I won’t topple the dominos on that one. All I’m going to say is, it's a bit of life experience. When you’re in a new place with new people it can be easy to forget yourself. All I care to remind you is the best and most long-lasting friends will be the ones you make at your most honest and raw times, when you’re crying talking about missing your mum’s banana bread or the smell of your laundry detergent. Those will be the people you’ll connect best with.

So while I’m happy to say its good to put yourself out there and meet new people, also remember the biggest favour you can do for yourself is being yourself and attracting the people that genuinely like the real you. At the end of the day, the bubbly dancing version of yourself that they met clubbing one time might not always be the real you. Give yourself the best shot at good connections and you’ll be thanking yourself later.


I hope my experiences have been comforting to read, and you are able to put them to a bit of use. Welcome Week is the start of a great year, made entirely of what you shape it to be. So get out there, make some memories and don’t forget that making mistakes is what makes us human - don’t be ashamed of them! I wish you the most Welcome of all the Fests and the Freshest of all Fairs.

Go forth with my advice and I’ll see you out there!

Hayley, your helpful third year!