Keep SafeWe have a week’s worth of fun activities planned for your Freshers’ Week, but we have got you all covered on all welfare too! We want to make sure your first experience of Newcastle is the best it can be; so we want you to feel safe, secure, and healthy in your new environment. This section of our website will keep you updated on all welfare resources available during this week, and services available throughout your time as a student.
Having a Safe Freshers’ Week
Freshers’ Week is notoriously renowned for its drinking, but we provide so much more. Our 4 Freshers’ Weeks Organisers work tirelessly to plan an inclusive programme of events, of which most don’t involve any alcohol!Despite this, you are likely to engage with night-time activities which DO involve drinking, so it is important to understand your limits and behave responsibly and respectively. You have many years ahead of you here, so it’s important to remember to not exhaust your drinking ability within this week, and instead create positive lasting memories! Importantly, drinking can lead to anti-social behaviour which you may not usually engage within, resulting in negative encounters with new friends, or even getting arrested. In such instances, the University will be informed and may discipline you for this, resulting in expulsion and influence your future career prospects!
- Know your drinking limits! Head to https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/ to get the facts on what you’re drinking!
- Make sure you stay in a group, or if you get separated, always ensure your phone is fully charged before you go out. Portable chargers are great to have after busy days out and about!
- Eat well before you go out! This seems obvious but Freshers’ Week is a busy time full of activities, so it is very easy to forget about food! Check this link out for easy, quick meals (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/student), or take advantage of the free food and grub crawls throughout the week!
- Have Taxi numbers/ apps saved on your phone- it is very easy to book a taxi through ringing their office or ordering it via an app (i.e. Uber/ Budget Taxi app). This allows for extra safety and security as you can track your ride, and have a record of past trips! A lot safer than jumping into a black cab!
- Don’t forget where you live! It sounds simple, but on those first few nights it is normal! Make a note of it on your phone!
- If you need any help during your Freshers’ Week, seek out the Freshers’ Crew on duty, they will be able to help you out in any way possible!
Key Survival Tips
- Don’t worry if you are finding it difficult to make friends- there are thousands of other Freshers in the same position, and we have many ways for you to meet new people throughout the year. These include the Give It A Go Programme, joining clubs and societies, Hall Sport and our Go Volunteer activities. See www.nusu.co.uk/getinvolved
- Feeling homesick is common! This may be the first time you have lived away from home, or been independent in a new city. Nightline is a student led confidential listening and support service, running every night from 8pm-8am, and great if you just need a friendly ear (0191 261 2905).
- The Student Advice Centre (SAC) provides a ‘listening ear’ each week provided by Chaplaincy. Call into the group floor of the Students’ Union.
- Make sure you have safe sex. If you have any questions or advice, please visit the SAC or the Information Tent as they can provide you with chlamydia testing kits, condoms and pregnancy tests, free of charge.
- You can find out where to get Emergency Contraception in Newcastle at: http://www.newcastle-hospitals.org.uk/services/sexual-health_and-teams_contraception.aspx
- If you are around in Newcastle and seeking condoms, download the C-Card Condom Finder App.
- If you’re finding it hard to settle in or join in with social activity, you are NOT alone. It is very common to feel like this. Everything is new and very daunting! But please do not suffer in silence. More students than you think find this transition a difficult time!
- If at any point, not just during Freshers’ Week, you are struggling or concerned about any mental wellbeing issues you can either;
- Speak to an advisor in the SAC
- You can call Nightline, the confidential listening and support services, or just for a chat on 0191 261 2905
- Pop in and speak to your Welfare and Equality Officer in NUSU
- If you have any concerns regarding your course, please come and visit the SAC. If you are thinking about changing your course, you need to do this ASAP in your first term, as it may become more difficult further down the line.
- Budget early! Follow this handy budget planner to get you on your way: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner
- If you ever struggle with your finances, or want to seek any advice, visit the SAC. They will provide you with relevant resources, or direct you to our Hardship Funds.
- During your registration period, you will be directed to the sign up area to register with a GP (General Medical Practise)
- The nearest A&E department is at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) on Richardson Road
- DON’T PANIC! It is very easy to get reeled in by agents to sign up to a house in November. There will be a week, and a Housing Fair dedicated to housing information, so keep your eyes peeled and avoid signing up until within your first few months!
- We recommend you wait until Spring Time to begin house hunting (after January Exams)