The past couple of months have been my first few as a buddy for first year art history students. I was assigned two students from the year below who were incredibly similar to me. They are both from London and both seemed to have a similar attitude and personality. At the first initial meeting, there were questions about timetables, the library and lectures, as well as shock that they would be getting their coursework assignments in the coming week. Week one at university is all about making friends. You are so concerned with meeting people and making a good impression that thinking about your course is just added pressure.
This is where the buddy system comes in. We are there to hold back that pressure, help with unanswered questions and explaining things which new students feel are complex. For example, signing up for subsidiary modules is a confusing thing to do in your first week. You are told to fill up 20 credits each term with subjects outside your department, and then sent on your way. You’re given a list of subjects you may be interested in and buildings they’re located in. As a second year this seems pretty straightforward, seeing as we know our way around. However as a first year and being new to a giant campus with a substantial amount of buildings, along with the added stress of a time limit, this is a really stressful task.
I hope I’ve been useful for my buddies. In the first couple of weeks it was mostly me making contact, messaging or texting to ask how everything was going and so on. After this, there’s been a lot of contact from my buddies regarding coursework and referencing, amongst other things. I believe this is a positive thing and this is what I aimed to do and that I made the first term a little easier.