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UEL's Freshers enjoy a warm welcome

A packed social calendar helps new students settle in 

By Lee Pinkerton

There are several high points of every university year. The obvious one is graduation, which represent the culmination of three years of a student's academic endeavour. But that journey begins, on average, three years earlier with another annual highlight – ‘Welcome Week’. That is the week, usually at the end of September, when a university throws open its doors to welcome its new intake of students.

With a mixture of excitement and nervousness, these new students – known as 'freshers' – get to meet their new tutors, familiarise themselves with their campuses and maybe join a society or three.

During a wander around campus on any day of Welcome Week you can’t help but bump into enthusiastic freshers.

Jennifer is 20 and studying Sport and Exercise Science at UEL.

“I think the atmosphere’s really nice,” she said. “I like the views and the location of the uni, so I’m just excited to get to know everyone and get started with my course.

“Seeing the success stories from other people that are attending uni and still doing great in other areas has inspired me, because I definitely do have a busy life – I model as well. It’s shown me that they can be successful and still attend uni, so I can do it too.”

Jake, who is 18 has chosen to read Sports Therapy.

He said, “I chose UEL because I wanted to find a university that has good sports facilities alongside my studying, so I could keep up football. I just want to get my degree but also try and keep on going with my football, and I think UEL helps with both of those things.

“I saw that track athletes like Adam Gemili came here and I just thought, ‘If he’s here it’s clearly a good place to go’. So that’s why I came.”

As well as enrolling, familiarising themselves with their course, and perhaps moving into new halls of residence, a major concern for freshers is making new friends. In order to help this process, UEL has put on a number of social events.

This year’s Welcome Week social calendar included an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party, an ultra-violet foam party and, to round off the week, a Freshers’ Festival headlined by Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw.

Jake definitely approved. “I think the events are cool, something you haven’t ever done before. It’s a new experience. I think it’s good, as it’s helping people socialise.”