Everything a King’s student will/should do in their first year

The ultimate guide to KCL’s finest attractions


So you’ve ventured out of your little hometown and decided to move to the big city, and now here you are at King’s. Whether you’re petrified for your life, or ready to experience the rush of what London has to offer, there are a few things that will inevitably happen during your time at King’s, and a few that are definitely worth figuring out for yourself.

When you first arrive at King’s there’s so many things to do and experience, and that’s just in the first week alone. One thing you should avoid missing out on is Freshers Fair. It will give you the chance to have an insight look into over 300 different societies. I remember when I went and signed up to every possible society I could imagine.

However, I made the foolish mistake of not even joining one, and I missed out on so many fun opportunities that my friends were experiencing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learnt there is always time in second year, but it’s better to expand your horizons from the get go and make the most of your first year at King’s.

If you study in the Strand, then it is an absolute must to experience the hustle and bustle of the Waterfront Bar. Located just down the road from the Strand campus, it is a great place to completely relax and meet fellow King’s students. While it is generally overcrowded and impossible to have a genuine chat with anyone, it is something that has to be done.

With a chilled out vibe, pretty cheap and delicious food, it is a great escape after a hard day of grasping all that university life has to offer. Never forgetting that it is also perfectly situated to overlook the River Thames, making the view reason enough just to come along.

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Remember that day when you got accepted to King’s and you couldn’t believe your luck. You were so grateful and proud, you vowed to yourself that you’d attend every lecture to make sure you get that first? Sorry to disappoint but it’s pretty inevitable that you will miss lectures.

As a fresher, you will go out more than you ever expected and eventually it will catch up to you. It was usually impossible to find anyone at a 9am lecture on a Thursday, because it was never worth missing sports night out on Wednesday.

If you’re as lucky as I was and live in Intercollegiate Halls, then you will learn how epic the hall parties are. You’ll roll out of bed at 2pm, attempting to recall anything that happened from the night before, and eventually realise you missed that really important seminar today. It happens to us all so don’t worry, just try not to make it a regular occurrence as when exam time appears and you have absolutely nothing to revise from, the struggle will be real.

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Whilst at university, you will learn the work load can get extremely stressful, and the halls or flat environment seems to just hinder any form of concentration. This is when the library will become your best friend, and as the Maughan is the largest and the most impressive, it tends to be the most popular.

However, it is a bit of a maze, so it’s extremely likely that you will get lost. From the number of floors and various hidden stairways, it’s enough to leave anyone confused, so never be afraid to ask for help. Also, while it is super helpful getting you the books you need, a lot of the time you’ll go there and find the eager people before you have beaten you to it.

Remember there are plenty of other places to go, such as Senate House and even various online sources. As I still get told by lecturers today, ALWAYS do additional reading, trust me it will get you far.

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Moving to London can be a really scary experience, especially when it’s the first time you’ve moved away from home, try and make the most of living in such an incredible place and explore the city. Sometimes it can be difficult, especially when the only friends you’ve met live outside of London, so you have to do a 45-minute commute just to meet them for a coffee.

Don’t be afraid to experience London life on your own sometimes. Go to Camden market and eat everything in sight, sign up for £5 tickets at the National Theatre, visit museums, and if you’re like me and miss your family pets then visit a cat café.

There’s no denying that London is extremely overwhelming and it can take a while to adjust, but take advantage of living in one of the most inspiring cities in the world.

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Leaving home and going to university is enough to terrify anyone, even when they won’t admit it. However, first year is the time to experience new things and make mistakes, so don’t worry if you made a fool of yourself at that party last night, or you got a third on one of your assignments.

First year is a scary time, but if you’re as lucky as I was to have an older sibling who prepared you with a ‘University Survival Kit’, then it is slightly more bearable. From medical essentials to copious amount of chocolate, and the little book of drinking games (definitely recommend), she had me covered.

But always remember, the most important thing to do is have fun and make the most of it. Just because your first year doesn’t count for much, don’t let it go to waste.

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