Hello everyone! I’m Steven Suresh, President of KCLSU.
I hope this blog post finds you well, whether you're sipping your morning coffee at The Shack before your lecture or pulling an all-nighter at Maughan Library (oh, how many nights I spent there in my first year!). As someone who's been through the highs and lows of first year and who now has the privilege of serving as your Students' Union President, I felt compelled to share some insights that might make your journey at King's a bit smoother than mine.
It's Okay Not to Know
First and foremost, it's perfectly fine if you don't have everything figured out. Really, it's okay. Whether you're an undergraduate or a postgraduate, the first year is a time of adjustment and exploration. Many of us come in with this burning desire to find our life's calling in week one and become a mini-expert in our field by Christmas; that's not how things usually work and it's okay to be a little unsure. Flexibility is key to surviving university life.
Say Hello, Even When It Feels Awkward
As a first-year student, I can't tell you how many times I hesitated to initiate conversations, either in lectures or during society events. Turns out, everyone is as nervous as you are — yes, even that person who seems to have it all together. A simple "hello" can lead to study sessions, lifelong friendships and sometimes, unexpected opportunities. We're all in this together and you never know how much a smile and a greeting can mean to someone who's having a rough day.
Take Care of Your Wellbeing
Student life is a whirlwind of deadlines, social events and personal challenges. It's easy to forget about yourself while juggling the demands of your new life. I wish I had known how important it is to set aside time for self-care. The Student Health and Wellbeing Services offer fantastic resources and I highly recommend taking advantage of them. Whether it's counselling, financial advice or general well-being, don't hesitate to reach out.
Utilise the Resources at KCLSU
King's College London is a treasure trove of resources, from the world-class libraries to the endless array of seminars, workshops and career services. In my first year, I was so overwhelmed by the academic workload that I barely scratched the surface of what was available. However, one aspect often missed by new students is the Students’ Union. At KCLSU, we’re here to support you on absolutely everything, whether you need help with starting up a society or struggling with your academic, were here to help. Make sure to explore all the opportunities that KCLSU has to offer.
Get Involved but Don’t Overcommit
From societies to student politics, there are plenty of ways to get involved. In my eagerness, I made the mistake of overcommitting in my first year. I wanted to do everything, meet everyone and be everywhere; all it led to was burnout. Find a couple of societies or activities that genuinely interest you and commit to those.
Reach out for Help
Whether it's academic pressure, social anxiety or something personal, you're never alone. Reach out to your professors, your advisors, your friends or us at KCLSU. As the President of the Students' Union, I'm also here to listen and support you in any way I can. We have an incredible community here at King's and we're all invested in each other’s success and wellbeing.
Use Your Student Discounts
As a student, you're eligible for a wide array of discounts, from transportation to cultural events. Don't let these opportunities pass you by. They can make living in London far more affordable and enjoyable. There are apps such as UNiDAYS, TOTUM and Student Beans which offer discounts to a variety of outlets and restaurants around London. P.S, Don’t forget to carry your Student ID with you when you go out, you’ll be surprised at how many establishments offer student discounts if you just ask.
So here we are, at the end of this blog post but hopefully at the beginning of a great year for you. Take these lessons with a grain of salt and make your own way through the labyrinth that is university life.
Trust me, by the time you’re where I am, you’ll have your own wisdom to pass down.
Wishing you all a successful and enriching year ahead!