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Ten Reasons you should be excited about starting at the University of Surrey by Emily Wootton

If you’re reading this, then you’ve managed to get into the University of Surrey – congratulations! It’s not long before your life of partying, cramming and napping begins. However, you’ll soon realise there’s so much more to being a Surrey student than that; here’s a list of ten reasons why you should be excited about starting with us in September.

1. Independence

One of my friends told me that her main reason for going to university was so she could escape from her parents. As a student, it’s far more socially acceptable to eat cereal for every meal and sleep in until 7pm. Of course, that also means you’ll have more responsibilities, like food shopping and calling the doctor yourself – but while Adulting™ can be scary, it’s also great fun.

At Surrey pretty much everything you could need is close by, allowing you to gradually ease yourself in to adult life. Guildowns University Medial Centre is opposite Millennium House, so you don’t have to trek into town for that important appointment. There are also launderettes dotted around both Stag Hill and Manor Park accommodation, complete with TVs so you can catch up on your favourite shows while you wait. Simply Fresh, found underneath the library, and Tesco, on the way to Manor Park, contain all your food and cleaning essentials.

If living away from home doesn’t treat you well (it’s not for everyone!), there are wellbeing services at the university that can offer the support and advice you need.

2. Learning

Presumably you’re heading to university to learn about the subject you’re passionate about, and if so, you’re in for a treat! The courses are designed to be as informative as possible, with some offering optional modules from the get-go, so you can study what interests you most.

If the course content alone doesn’t satisfy you, then there are extra opportunities. The Global Graduate Award in Languages or Sustainability is a free course that can help you learn a language or give you the chance to explore our environmental impact on the world (there will be lectures on these during Fresher’s week if you want more information). There are also regular talks and workshops outside the curriculum, from outside speakers on a whole range of topics.

As well as this, the library isn’t just home to science textbooks; there are fiction novels and non-fictions books to fulfill your thirst for knowledge. It’s also open for twenty-four hours and complete with free blankets, perfect for all your midnight studying.

3. New People

From flat mates, to course mates, to society members, you’re going to meet so many new people at university, all year round. Students come from all over the world to study here, each with their individual personalities and perspectives that might just change how you view things. This might seem daunting at first, especially with the pressure to ‘fit in’ or make friends for life in the first couple of weeks, but believe me, you’ll find at least one person you click with, it just might take a few months to find them.

4. Freshers’ Week

Freshers’ week is often the highlight of September for all years. There’s a whole week’s worth of club nights at the Students’ Union’s own club, Rubix, as well as relaxed events during the day. They also hold Freshers’ Fair and Active Freshers’ Fair towards the end of the week, which promote the numerous societies and sports clubs you can join and give you an opportunity to try them out (don’t forget to keep an eye out for us, The Stag, while you’re there!). The week helps you get a feel for university life at Surrey – and all the freebies you’ll be offered don’t hurt either.

5. Opportunities

Besides Freshers’ Fair, there are countless opportunities to try new things throughout the year. The Union advertises volunteering projects, both with the SU and with outside companies, where you simultaneously can meet new people, learn new skills and give your CV a boost! There are also annual events held on campus, like Free Fest, a free festival with live bands, a bouncy castle and street food, held in the spring.

6. On-Campus Venues

Many students will tell you that Rubix was the cornerstone of their time at university – particularly during their first year. The club holds dedicated nights, often themed, on Wednesdays (Citrus) and Fridays (Flirt) – Glitterbomb, a night with drag Queens, also makes an appearance every few months. The club’s exterior is pretty unassuming, but inside there are dance floors and bars aplenty. One thing’s for sure: you’ll learn what a VK is in your first week, whether you drink them or not.

If late night clubbing isn’t your thing, then Wates House is another popular on-campus spot. It is a bar-restaurant hybrid, with deals on drinks and food. Recently, they’ve introduced freakshakes, which are just as glorious as they sound, and last year they teamed up with Red Frogs who would hold a pub quiz every week, with themed food and prizes for the winners. Other places to grab food with friends are Lakeside Restaurant, and Heart + Soul at Manor Park.

7. Student Loan

The maintenance loan you’ll receive will probably be the most money you’ve ever had in your life. After rent, it probably won’t be. Still, having a bit extra in your bank account is a nice layer of financial security, and provides you with the life experience of having to manage your money properly. Weekly budgets, students discounts and saying “I’m poor”, are all things that will become part of your daily life.

8. Stag Hill Campus

I’d be lying if I said that the prettiness of the campus wasn’t a factor that drew me to Surrey. There are some nice green spaces on campus, not least the lake, which I just didn’t find at other universities. It’s surrounded by shrubs and trees, and is populated by adorable birds and squirrels. In summer, it’s lovely to study there or relax and have a BBQ. When it’s overcast, it is the perfect spot to stare into its unfathomable depths and contemplate the meaning of life (quarter life crisis anyone?).

9. The Town Centre

Depending on where you’re from, Guildford’s town can either feel miniscule or huge. Either way, I can guarantee you’ll get lost in the Friary shopping centre due to its multiple entrances on different street levels. Once you escape the maze, however, the surrounding streets also host plenty of shops for all your retail therapy needs, and there’s no shortages of places to eat either. The clubs in town range from questionable to cheesy, making every night out different and unexpected. And with all our hills, who needs a gym membership?

10. The Memes

Surrey students love their memes, and as such have created pages on social media to mock the university and those who study there – all in good faith, of course. On Facebook, Dank Surrey Memes posts relatable Surrey-focused content, altering current memes to fit with our university, and SurreyFess has hundreds of anonymous confessions from past and present students that might have you questioning your new friends if you recognise a scenario. There are enough posts for you to still be scrolling through them when you should be studying for exams, so you better get started now!

This new phase of your life is an exciting time, with plenty of memories about to be made, and September is fast approaching - we look forward to welcoming you!

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Created with images by AnnieSpratt - "books library jrr tolkien" • Anthony DELANOIX - "party fans raised their hands" • Oliver Sjöström - "untitled image"

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