My First Two Weeks – The Adaptation Process
Fresher’s Week If you’ve read the previous posts in this section, you’ve read a whole lot about the IB, the university application process, and thus, about the angst of waiting for results… Well, now I’m in – classes have started and I can’t wait to experience what these next four years in Spain have in store for me! For the time being, however, I’m still getting used to the whole concept of “college-life”, and that’s where the process of adaptation comes in – which is (luckily enough) made much easier than usual by the university I’m in. They help us integrate into the life on campus much quicker than other universities do by giving us the option of attending orientation week, instead of orientation day; and to make orientation week even more appealing, they call it “Fresher’s Week”.
That being said, Fresher’s week consists of social events during the evening and academic workshops during the day, both of which are completely optional, yet highly recommended as an incentive to meet the professors and make friends before classes begin. As someone who often comes off as very shy, Fresher’s week helped me immensely when it came to meeting new people making friends. Additionally, when it came to the workshops, it really was more orientation than “hands-on” work, yet it benefitted students when considering what to expect from the university life, nevertheless a new chapter in our lives.
The Wake-Up Call By the end of Fresher’s week, many of us were undeniably exhausted; not because of work, yet because we had spent so much of our energy going out and trying to meet other people that we no longer felt energized for anything else. So there goes the first tip right from the beginning – learn to balance. Really, practicing balance right from the beginning will help you tremendously. And with that comes – save time for yourself.
Remember that you and your friends won’t always have the same schedules, and you’ll meet people in class that you might not have met during Fresher’s Week, so you bond with those people as well and soon enough – you’re friends! I soon realized us freshmen are all over the place when it comes to friendships given that we have a group here and there and a friend here and there and that’s completely okay. In the end of the day, we are all looking for the people we get along with the most. But amidst this chaos there are classes and extracurriculars and homework and projects and soon you find that you’ve had no time for yourself. So remember, at times it’s important to prioritize yourself and your physical and emotional wellbeing over social events. And very importantly, never forget to prioritize your studies!