Attending University is a significant and exciting step in most people's lives.
It may be the first time you've lived away from home and had to take care of yourself. You'll probably be making a new group of friends, who may stay with you for the rest of your life. You might pick up new hobbies or habits, discover new interests and take the first steps in your career.
It's also around this time that you begin to be treated as an adult by society. You'll have more choice about what you do and who you'll be than ever before. But be aware that, as an adult, you are responsible for yourself and your actions. Here are some of the things you should consider to get the most out of your time at University, whilst staying safe and secure.
Student life doesn't have to revolve around alcohol, you can still have an active, hangover-free social life whilst at university. But if you do decide to take part in drinking, please so do responsibly and make sure you know your limits. Eating plenty before a night out will not only line your stomach, but it can even rid the effects of the next morning's hangover. Don't let drinking games, peer pressure or social media fads convince you to put yourself at risk.
If you're out in a group, look out for each other. Exchange numbers before you go out - in case you get separated - and make sure no ones left behind. It's a good idea to save some local taxi numbers in your phone and put aside emergency cash for transport home.
Follow our party safely tips and respect your neighbours on the way home. You are part of the local community while you're here, and your actions reflect on yourself and the University. Be aware of alcohol and drug's effect on a person's capacity for sexual consent, and never violate a person's trust when they are vulnerable.
Everyone arrives at university with different experiences and ideas about sex. If you've never thought about or discussed sexual consent before then you're not alone. Sexual consent means a person willingly agrees to have sex or engage in sexual activity - and they are free and able to make their own decision. Any sexual contact without consent is illegal and can have serious consequences, take time to understand sexual consent.
If you become unwell, don't suffer in silence - registering with USW Health Service when you arrive at University will enable you to access health advice and support. If you're living in student halls, the Campus Life Coordinators provide peer support and can point you in the direction of our Support Services.
If you're unsure where to start, your campus Advice Zone offers a welcoming first point of contact for all your student enquiries.
It's important to know, or have easy access to, contact information for emergency services.