First week survival guide
First week survival

First week survival guide

Your first week of college can be nerve wracking.  Concerns about whether you’ve made the right course choice, if you’ll cope with the workload, if anyone will speak to you never mind actually be friends with you…these are all worries that can have you counting sheep into the early hours.

With this in mind, here are some essential advice and tips to help you through your first week at Forth Valley College.

Read your welcome pack

Sounds kind of obvious, but don’t just stuff it in your backpack, satchel, handbag, back pocket or the recycling bins on campus.  It will have lots of useful information on the services and support you’ll have access to during your time here.

Get answers at enrolment

It doesn’t make sense to sit in class and not ask questions if you don’t know something…likewise use enrolment to ask questions and get the answers you need right from the outset.   And don’t forget to look your best for your matriculation photo – you’ll need to live with this for the next year or two!

Get to know your surroundings

Pay attention on the campus tour at induction and get to know where everything is.  There are unfounded rumours that some 2010 HND students are still roaming the corridors looking for a core skills classroom and you don’t want to be THAT person who is still claiming they got ‘lost’ when they’re late to class in November.

Make yourself familiar with the Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

Just about everything you need for research and study is in here.   They have books, e-books, computers, journals…you name it.  They also have a great selection of newspapers, magazines and fiction books if you fancy some time out.  You can also buy stationery here if you’ve forgot to bring a pen and note pad!

Fuel your brain

Food glorious food…all campuses are well catered for on this front.  Our refectories offer a range of delicious meals to keep you going all day from breakfast rolls, soup and sandwiches to main meals and light snacks.   There are also yummy desserts and well stocked vending machines if you need a 3pm sugar rush!

Sign up to the gym

Looking after your physical and mental wellbeing will be essential throughout the year, so make exercise a regular part of your time here by signing up to the well-equipped gyms at each of our main campuses.  The gym team can tailor a fitness programme to your individual needs and you’ll only need to fork out a one-off fee of £25 for an annual student membership (or £15 if you’re a class rep).   Or if the gym isn’t your thing, make the most of your lunch break and fit in a short walk around campus.

Go digital

Get to grips with Moodle and Grapevine, the College’s very own digital learning platforms, and you’ll have access to all kinds of cool applications, study aids and tools to get you connected and up to speed with the latest learning techniques and best practice films.

Get involved with your Student Association

All students are automatically members of the Student Association, however it’s up to you to choose how involved you want to be.  Make the most of the social side of it and get involved in one of the many events they organise throughout the year such as Fresher’s Fair or you could also consider joining the executive team to play a more active role and develop some impressive skills to add to your CV.  No matter what you decide, the team are always around if you need a friendly face and a chat.

Don’t be stuck

If you have a problem please don’t struggle alone.  Speak to your lecturer, the Learner Advisory Team, Information Assistants, Student Finance Team…there will always be someone on hand to offer you advice or point you in the right direction.

So there you are – your top tips for making it through your first week.  We hope it’s not too stressful, have a great year!


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