Top tips for students starting at RGU

Starting university can be scary, but with the right support and advice it can be way easier to settle in. We asked our Instagram community to share their tips for new students starting at RGU this September. Find out more in this blog!

Choose an early bus to get to campus

RGU student Emma shares an important piece of advice: “Always choose the earlier bus”.

This might seem trivial, but you should plan your bus journey to campus carefully to ensure you arrive on time for your lectures. During Semester 1 and 2, there will be hundreds if not thousands of students trying to get to campus everyday, which will make the buses at rush hours – between 8am and 9am or 4pm and 5pm – cramped.

Make sure to leave early to be able to catch a bus that is less busy or to give you enough time to hop on another one if you haven’t managed to get on the first one.

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A post shared by RGU: Robert Gordon University (@robertgordonuni)

The main bus lines to get to our Garthdee Campus are the First Bus 1 and 2. They both take students from the city centre to RGU, just via slightly different routes. You can get the First Bus app on your phone to purchase tickets online and save time when getting on the bus. This will also allow you to access one of their packages offering unlimited travel for a certain period of time.

They offer a wide range of day bundles, as well as weekly, monthly, or annual subscriptions. Don’t forget that you get discounts as a student, as long as you travel with your student card!

Make sure to be one step ahead

For Joanna, the key to starting university off on the right foot is to be organised from day one!

“Make sure to be one step ahead and do things future you will thank you for. I would encourage you to read your module outlines on CampusMoodle right before the course starts, or just at the start of the semester, if published.

“Make a note of the reading list and be early to borrow the recommended books from the library. This will help you not be stuck waiting if all the books have been taken out already. Starting to read as early as possible will also help the lectures make more sense as you go and save you from panicking about not understanding things.

“If you have an essay or assignment that is already available on the Moodle page early in the semester, read the requirements as early as possible and try writing as you go. For example, when a lecture about a certain section of that essay has been taught, go home and start writing up that section while the teaching is still fresh, rather than waiting until closer to the deadline. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed as many of the assignments are due around the same time!

Bond with peers and tutors

RGU student Rhys wish he knew how important community was before starting university.

“Make sure to bond with classmates and tutors. Get other students from your course in a group chat early and interact with each other. You can also try to organise something for your cohort, such as a small social event to create connections. When you attend classes, speak to other people. The more time you spend with your classmates, the more likely you are to form friendships.

“With your tutors, don’t be afraid to ask and answer questions. They should be supportive of you whether or not you are struggling or don’t have all the right answers. You could also even ask questions about their career or themselves if they are comfortable answering them. But above all, make sure to show respect to get it in return. This applies to your in-person conversations or email communications.

“When talking to your tutor and lecturers, understand that not everything is personal. Sometimes they are trying to coach you so you do well later. Some students can work themselves up when they receive constructive feedback and blow it up to be far bigger than it is.”

Get to know RGU’s support services

Callum shares that it’s “important to know the wellbeing support services that are available” at RGU. Don’t forget that you’re not in this alone! The staff at RGU is here to support you with academic and personal setbacks. Here are some of the services that you can access to support your wellbeing during your time with us:

The Inclusion Centre

The Inclusion Centre supports students with dyslexia, sensory and mobility impairments, mental health issues, medical conditions, autism spectrum disorders and temporary impairments such as broken limbs. They can provide arrangements for you, such as extra time during exams, to help you achieve your academic potential.

If you haven’t been diagnosed yet, they can also provide dyslexia screening and evaluation to ensure you get the support you need. Head to our webpage to learn more.

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Counselling & Wellbeing

Our Counselling & Wellbeing team offers a non-judgemental space to talk over personal and academic issues that are worrying you. You can access up to 6 counselling sessions for free, either in person or online. Visit our website for more information.

RGU Peer Support

If you would rather talk to other students about your issues, you can get in touch with RGU Peer Support. The RGU:Union group offers one on one sessions with student volunteers trained by our Counselling team. During these sessions, you can talk about any concern you have in regard to your studies or personal life.

Find out more and make an appointment on the RGU Union website.

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Make the most of your student life

“Make the most out of it! Join societies, go clubbing, socialise, and study.” – andreasfms

Andrea reminds us that university isn’t all about studying towards a degree, but a rewarding personal experience as well: “Make the most out of it! Join societies, go clubbing, socialise.”

RGU:Union has loads of societies for you to take part. You can join an academic one, based on your course or field of interest, a cultural one to meet people from similar backgrounds, or one which will allow you to take up a new hobby or pursue your passion. There are also over 30 sports clubs to join, from athletics, dance and kickboxing to basketball, football and rowing, among many more!

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A post shared by RGU: Robert Gordon University (@robertgordonuni)

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A post shared by RGU: Robert Gordon University (@robertgordonuni)

Joining a society or club is the best way to socialise with peers at university so you should definitely consider it. But Aberdeen in general also has a lot to offer to stay busy and meet new people! Browse our Aberdeen blogs to discover what the Granite City has in store.

Enjoy the moment

We end our list today with an important message to all new students, which is to savour your time at university. Caitlin tells us from experience that “the four years will pass before you know it, so enjoy them.”

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While working to deadlines, sitting exams, and sometimes having to juggle work alongside your studies can be stressful, make sure to take in the moment and appreciate everything good that also comes from your time at university.

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