I’m Jordan and I am a Master’s student studying Software Systems in the Computer Science Department. Finishing an undergraduate degree can make you feel like you should be an expert at meeting people and settling in – but it’s completely normal to still feel nervous for moving somewhere new and making friends. That’s why the Welcome Week activities are so important, and you really should make the most of them. I’m going to run through some of the Postgraduate events I attended and why they were so valuable in helping me settle.
For some background, I previously completed a 4-year Computer Science degree with an industrial placement year. I’ve had experience of university and the workplace in normal and COVID-19 times, and yet I was still nervous that I would not make any friends. Computer Scientists aren’t known as the most sociable group of people!
Socialising on your course is important for many reasons, but it is really easy to not branch out and meet students from other disciplines. That is what the Welcome Week events were all about, expanding your circle and meeting a variety of personalities.
When I moved into my accommodation, there was no one else in the flat – a bad start for feeling less alone. So, I knew I had to go to at least one event to make some friends, and as a result I ended up going to most of them! The first event I attended was the first day after I had moved in, it was a Postgraduate coffee morning, intended to force you to overcome the awkward introductions and just speak to as many people as possible. I spoke to at least 40 people that day, some of which I will never think of again and some who are now my closest friends. It was awkward at first, I admit, but after a while you realise everyone is just as clueless as you are, so you just start talking.
We were talking in large groups of 20, then branching off into smaller groups. We were joining other groups just because they looked friendly. It was the most awkward event of the whole week, but it set us up for success. From this, I met a group of people to have lunch with. Then, we went on the organised City Tour together. It was hosted by student ambassadors and gave us a great overview of the City, especially since most of us had never visited before applying. Here are some pictures I took from this tour:
Each night they had Fresher events for first years, these were not aimed at Postgraduate students, although you could attend if you wanted to. Instead, there were alternatives that were more about calm socialising, such as a Gin Night in the Plug (the SU), and Wine and Cheese Night, hosted by the Wine Society. Another really fun night was the PG Pub Crawl, where we went to the most popular student bars. On the final night, there was a PG Party in the SU which was an incredible experience, and I got to go with all the new friends I had made.
During the day there was a PG Bridgerton tour and a tour of Bradford on Avon. We had free entry to the Fashion Museum where I took these pictures:
Then there was the Fresher’s Fair. Think free candyfloss, free pizza, free merch and loads of discounts! I left with two Dominoes T-Shirts, many tote bags, stationary, popsockets, themed boxers and themed cups. It’s a really great way to find out what is around Bath and also just feel like a proper student.
My department also arranged induction events, I was able to network with students on my course and within my department. We were introduced to the modules we could take and the staff that would be running them.
Overall, the Welcome Week events are the reason I ended up so settled and enjoying Bath. I socialised, experienced Bath and was forced out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. I highly recommend attending all events that you can, especially if you are new to the UK or Bath. To conclude, I’m just going to share some pictures I have taken of Bath in all its glory.
Thanks for reading!