What to expect on your first day in college

08 March 2017
Bellerbys Cambridge students talking to Academic Director Isaac Ayamba

Your first day in college 

Everyone’s first day will obviously be a little bit different and everyone wonders what to do on their first day of college, but I hope I will make waiting for your own first day at college a little bit less stressful by sharing with you what my own first day was like, and showing you that it was not a bad experience at all - quite the opposite, actually.

First-day nerves are normal

When I first arrived to the UK to do my A Levels at Bellerbys College, I was very nervous, as anyone would be. It was the first time I was away from my family for a prolonged period of time, the first time I would be studying in a different language, and the first time I’d have to make friends who were of a different cultural background than I was. All in all, it seemed very intimidating and I really did not know what to expect. However, soon enough I learned that, at Bellerbys College, everyone was in the same boat, in exactly the same situation, and that everyone was understanding and nobody was judgmental or intimidating as I thought they would be. So, no matter how scared you are right now, and no matter how bad you are painting your first day of college - trust me, it is nothing to worry about! 

Since Bellerbys is an international college, most people have quite a journey before they get to the UK and to the college itself. For me, being from Europe, the journey itself was not very bad, and so it was enough to only arrive about a day or two before my college started. I passed my nervous moments by unpacking my suitcase, meeting my host family and getting to know them.

Planning ahead helps

On the first day of college, I woke up quite early, took a shower, had some nice breakfast and a chat with my host family, and then got ready as quickly as possible, in order to catch a bus that would take me to the college. The day before I had already practiced the journey to my college and back, so that I would not get lost on my first day. I highly recommend you do this, too, it reduces a lot of the stress that comes with having to go college for the first time.

A friendly welcome

Once I opened the door and entered Bellerbys College in Brighton, I was welcomed by a big bunch of friendly faces of fellow students, and many very friendly and helpful staff members were there to guide us around the building and tell us where we should be.

The first morning was very organised. We had our student badges printed, we had a meeting with the programme manager to finalise what subjects we would like to study so that they could finish making our timetables. We also had an introductory talk by the Principal, welcoming us to Bellerbys, and explaining what we should expect over the next several months.

Making new friends is easy

There were enough breaks during the morning to give me a chance to talk to a couple of fellow students, so I already had a new friend to go have lunch with - and it was a lot of fun! We spend an hour or so getting to know each other, and we even got a couple of people to join us, so we immediately felt much less nervous about the whole “first day at a new college” thing. It was lovely to chat with someone who was in the same boat as me, and I think I will remember that particular lunch for the rest of my life as one of the most calming and happy lunches I have ever had.

After lunch we were invited to join one of the ladies from Student Services (a support group of staff who take care of all students’ needs and problems) on a tour around Brighton. This was amazing as it was an opportunity to meet other students with whom I was going to spend the next two years of my life. It was a lot of fun getting to know the city with all my fellow students.

After the tour was over, we were free to go wherever we wanted to. For me this meant grabbing coffee with one of my new friends and chatting for another hour or so.

Nothing to worry about

As you can see, all in all, the first day of college really is nothing to be worried about. First of all, most of the things that you will be doing are administrative in nature, and all the rest is just socialising and having fun with your new class-mates.

Trust me, my first day in college did not even approach the scariness that I had managed to build in my head by the time it arrived! And I am sure; it will be the same for you!

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