Your first year at Chichester University is likely to be an incredible and emotional rollercoaster, making new friends and having experiences that will stay with you for life.

First Year Survival Tips

Your first year at Chichester University is likely to be an incredible and emotional rollercoaster, making new friends and having experiences that will stay with you for life. It’s easy to get carried away in the variety of it all, so we’ve put together some hints ‘n’ tips for those coming straight from school or college to help make this year the best it can be.

Firstly, try to make friends with your hall/flat/block/housemates – They’ll likely be the first people you get to know in Bognor and Chichester. As a group, agree that you won’t leave each other alone in town and that you’ll tidy up after yourselves and things should get off to a good start. If you don’t get on don’t worry – just let the staff or officer team at the SU know and we’ll work to get you sorted. 

There’s a first time for everything... University may be your first experience of living away from home. That new found independence can be exciting, but also daunting. Here’re some tips for dealing with a few firsts:


Your first overdraft

A student overdraft feels like a happy bonus, but it’s not free money, especially if you go over your limit as the charges can be hefty. Closely monitor your money and spending; most banks have mobile apps that can make this very easy.

If you have concerns about managing your money, would like to know about funding available or you feel that you need help reach out to the Student Money team and/or read about the further support they can offer.


Your first job

There are lots of part-time job available across both Bognor and Chichester, including close to home at the SU, in our bars (Zee and The Hub) and retail outlet (The Shop), as well as Welcome Rep and University Ambassador positions. Many companies will offer flexible hours to fit around studies.

If you are looking for work check out the current open positions at the Students’ Union but also get in contact with the careers department who would closely with companies and recruiters year-round who are looking to employ students.


Your first drunken night

It is easy for ‘a few drinks’ to get messy very quickly: Firstly, before drinking, eat! Secondly, drink plenty of water! Lastly, don’t mix your drinks! If you start to feel that you’re losing control: let someone know, have a break and drink water. The SU bars are a safe space for students, our friendly security, management and staff will always be on hand to offer support and assistance if you, or a friend, needs it.

Remember, you do not need to be drunk to have a good time. The SU, clubs and societies run many non-alcoholic events, and never will there be an expectation that you drink. Check out what’s on at the SU to see what takes your fancy – there is something for everyone.


Your first experiment with drugs – DON’T

The SU and the University have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY to the use, possession and/or selling of illegal drugs and all cases are reported to the police.

If you are offered drugs, feel unsafe in our venues/your accommodation or feel that you have an addiction that you would like help with – tell us, we are here to help.


Your first one-night stand

If you do go home with someone, make sure a friend knows where you’re going, that you have protection (condoms, femidoms, dental dams, etc.) and if you have sex, make sure it is consensual. The definition of consent has changed, and only a positive yes means yes.

The SU and the University have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY towards sexual harassment and assault. If you have concerns, feel unsafe or need to talk to someone, there will always be someone on hand it Sudent Support and Wellbeing or in the SU.


Your first serious relationship

The SU doesn’t want to stand in the way of love or hint that it may not be forever, but don’t isolate yourselves from new friends and housemates by spending all your time with your new love. Keep a good balance, and if it turns out they aren’t the one, there will be friends around to help pick you up and carry on; if it turns out they are, you’ll have more people to invite to the wedding.


Your first house-share

Halls and shared housing can be especially tricky to negotiate as you start out as a group of strangers, but remember everyone is in the same boat and may be just as uncomfortable. Communication, negotiation and compromise are key to a healthy and calm household - if in doubt talk it out.

If you are looking for accommodation, either in halls or with a private landlord (accredited), get in contact with our accommodation department, they will be able to help find what you are looking for.


Your first time cooking 

There’re lots of guides to student cooking and easy recipes to follow for a balanced diet. Check out Pinch of Nom and Mob Kitchen – two great online resources for you to use, get ideas and learn how to cook, there are some great videos for you to check out.


Your first Students’ Union

As your Students’ Union we work with you, our members and leaders, to ensure that you have the best time you can whilst you’re at the University of Chichester. We represent and support you throughout your time at University. We are a democratic organisation led by students (elected by you) for students. We are solely here for you.

If you ever have any questions or suggestions for us please get in touch.