Starting university brings a real mixture of emotions. You’re excited for what’s to come, but, at the same time, you might feel anxious about the unknown and the prospect of transitioning away from your current day-to-day life. It’s also that stressful time of year when you are gearing up for A-Level results day and the possibility of applying for a course through Clearing.

Whether you know already that you’re joining us in October, or are thinking about applying for one of our courses in Clearing, I wanted to share with you some resources that might help ease any worries you may have prior to starting with us.
In the School of Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (PHAIS), supporting your personal, social, and emotional journey every step of the way is our number one priority. We are not just your lecturers—we are human beings too. (And all of us remember how we felt when we started uni!) Creating an environment where you feel welcome and supported has always been part of what underpins our values..

University is one of the most exciting experiences of your life, but it can also be testing at times! Sometimes that comes hand in hand with feeling alone, or isolated with questions or worries. Our community is small but mighty, and we hope that you can find a home away from home here—one with access to the support you need, when you need it.

A common worry is how will you make friends? During Welcome Week in October, we have a number of school events that will give you the opportunity to meet your classmates and build connections with people across campus, and, if you are living on campus, in your accommodation too. There will be in person and virtual events, including lectures, receptions, and fun activities, amongst lots of other things happening across the campus. (We’ll send you an email nearer the time with your event invites and details of everything that's going on!). While I'm confident that you’ll enjoy your first week here, if you’d like any advice or have any concerns, you're welcome to get in touch with me, and we’ll do everything possible to make sure that you have a smooth and enjoyable introduction to Essex.

We have such a diverse and global community here and we really champion your individuality. To help find your place, I recommend that you take a look at our student societies, which are run by the Students Union. There are over 150 to choose from, and they're a great way to meet like-minded people - or try something completely new. They include subject-specific societies such as the History, Art History, and the Philosophy Societies. We also have political and cultural societies, music societies, and other interesting ones such as the Ted X Society, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Society, and our Green Thumbs Society.

Top tip:

The Student Directory is your go-to place to find all the support, advice, and guidance you need throughout your studies. I've highlighted a few resources below that you might find particularly useful as you begin your new life at Essex: 

  • The Student Services Hub: Your Student Services Hub is the place for advice, support and all the information you need from accommodation, registration, exams, and so much more
  • Managing money and cost of living: from budgeting and working whilst studying, managing debts, student fees and the cost of living, we've got tons of advice, guidance, and support available to you.
  • Mental and emotional health: there are a variety of ways in which you can access support; from speaking to a member of our Wellbeing team to accessing our self-help resources, and referral to our specialist wellbeing services. Learn more about what support is available to you.
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion: we have many student communities here at Essex including our international community, students with children, LGBTQ+ community, and our multicultural community to name a few. Learn more about how we can support you.
  • Mature student community: if you're a mature student, there is a wide range of support services available to make your transition into education as smooth as possible.

Resources for international students:

  1. welcoming international students
  2. immmigration and visas
  3. EU students
  4. pre-Sessional English
  5. degree preparation courses
  6. country-specific information

I am very much looking forward to welcoming you to our community in a few short weeks!