Worried about settling in and making friends?

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by The Feel Good Team

Moving to university is a massive change and can feel pretty intense. Loads of our new students tell us they feel worried about settling in and making friends, which is completely normal. So we’ve put together some top tips on how to get involved and make friends.

Smile and say ‘Hi’

Simple, but it can make all the difference! Introduce yourself and smile – whether it’s your new flatmates, new classmates, or people at an activity. Even just having one or two nice conversations helps you to feel more confident and less worried – so be the one that breaks the ice first!

Food with your flatmates

Everybody needs to eat, and it’s a perfect way to do something together and get to know who you’re living with. Whether it’s navigating your way to the local supermarket together, ordering a takeaway, or making pasta and pesto, it’s a good way to chat and have a laugh. You can even get your whole flat involved for a pizza night.

Lacking confidence in the kitchen? Check out our Cooking up a storm blog post for tips!

HallsLife

If you’re living in halls, then there will be loads of fun stuff going on, including online activities, run by HallsLife. This is a great way to get to know people living in your flat and in your halls. This also encourages a bit of friendly competition with other halls too, which can be fun.

Find your society

With thousands of students, we have clubs and societies that suit everybody! Signing up for activities, clubs, teams or societies is a great way to meet other new students who have similar interests to you.

Get involved

Find out what’s going on across the university and get involved! The Students’ Union is a great place to meet other students and they have loads of virtual and face to face events coming up! You can also connect with others via the HallsLife and Feel Good Facebook pages and Freshers groups.

Your University Health Centre

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by Lucy, Patient Services Manager at the University Health Centre

Did you know we have our very own doctors’ surgery right in the heart of Frenchay Campus?

It’s open to all UWE Bristol students, no matter which campus you’re studying at. You can stay registered with us for your whole time at university, which means you won’t have to worry about finding another doctor as you move in your second and third year. Plus, as we work in partnership with The Old School Surgery in Fishponds, registering with us means you’ll be automatically registered with them too. Effectively you’re getting two doctors’ surgeries for one!

It’s easy to register online and registering now means that we’ll be able to get your records from your previous GP so that we’re ready to treat you if you need us. It also means you won’t have to worry about going through the registration process or finding a walk-in centre when you actually need to see a doctor – you can just book an appointment with us without all the extra hassle.

And don’t worry – you can still see your previous GP if you go home for the holidays. You’ll just need to see them as a temporary patient. It won’t affect your registration with us in Bristol and you can easily re-register with them if you move back home once you’ve finished your course.

So why register with us?

We make it really easy for you to book appointments that fit around your lectures – you can even do it online. We only book appointments up to five days in advance, which means you’ll be seen quickly – no more waiting weeks to see a doctor. And if you need to be seen urgently we’ll make sure we see you on the day, either at the University Health Centre or just up the road at The Old School Surgery.

We’ve got a great team based at the Health Centre, made up of GPs, nurses and same day Urgent Care Practitioners. We also have three Mental Health Nurses, Ciaran, Naomi and Hillary who are available to assist you with any concerns or support you might need whilst you are studying at UWE. We’re a friendly bunch and you can talk to us about anything – trust us, we really have heard it all before!

We offer all of your standard GP services, including appointments, blood tests, travel vaccines, sexual health advice and free chlamydia screening kits. We can arrange your MenACWY vaccination, which protects you against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia, if you didn’t have it before you arrived – and we really recommend that you have it. We also work in partnership with the University’s Wellbeing Service, offering you support for your mental health and wellbeing. We’ll refer you to other services in and around Bristol where required, to make sure you get all the medical help you need.

Remember that some common minor health concerns like coughs, colds, hayfever or an upset stomach don’t need to be seen by a doctor, unless they last for more than a week. Pop in to talk to your local pharmacist for advice – they’re experts who can recommend certain medications that you can take without a prescription. If the doctors’ surgery or pharmacy is closed, you can call NHS 111 for urgent medical advice.

If you’re an international student our healthcare system may be different to what you’re used to – don’t worry, we’re here to explain everything you need to know. Most services such as GP consultations and emergency treatment are free for everyone. You may need to pay for prescriptions, dental treatment and sight tests – although most students can get these at a reduced cost or free (just collect a HC1 application form from us or from the UWE Information Point). Doctors’ surgeries don’t provide eye tests or dental check ups – you can find an optician or a dentist through the NHS website.

Remember, we’re here to help you so that you can get on with your studies and fully enjoy your university experience – so register with us now!