The Bartlett


How To Make The Most Out Of Your First Week At UCL

by Ekta Barot

Before I started at The Bartlett, my main concerns was whether I would be able to make friends with people on my course, and how I would cope with the workload and adapt to the different teaching and assessment styles at university.

However, my first week at the Bartlett was one of the most wholesome experiences I’ve had! There were multiple events organised for new students, firstly with a meet and greet where I saw my tutors and other students on my course, it was an extremely welcoming atmosphere. Here our department provided us with an Induction week programme brochure for the rest of the year, this is something I would definitely keep safe because it helped me plan and prepare for all my modules, it contained all the module details and how we would be examined. This was accompanied by a special goodie bag surprise which definitely made me proud to be student at UCL

View of London from the London Eye

We had a trip to the London eye organised by the Bartlett School of Planning. This was one of the most vibrant and energetic trips I have ever been on, it instantaneously forced us to communicate with each other, even the students who were initially quite reserved had no choice but to open up to each other when we were encapsulated in the pod surrounded by breath-taking views of London straight from the clouds.

On the trip, we also met our tutors, we were able to ask them any questions about the course, this really helped me especially in the first week when you may get overwhelmed by the abundance of admin and preparation tasks you have to do before teaching begins, however all the tutors are very approachable and will always be happy to help with any worries. The adrenaline and excitement allowed us all to share a common experience upon which we all reminisced at a drinks event that was organised by BUPS (Bartlett Urban Planning Society), one of the many engaging society’s at UCL.

These experiences in the first week allowed me to not only become comfortable with my new peers but also build trustful relationships where we have now created a network amongst ourselves to support each other throughout the next 3 years.

Top tips

Reflecting upon the first week made me realise a list of tips I wish I knew before my first week to ensure I make the most out of the wonderful events organised:

  1. Before term begins, open Moodle and make a list of all important information for all your modules this term e.g. how you will be assessed, deadlines and timetable for lectures/seminars.
  2. Go into the events with an open mind and willingness to go out of your comfort zone.
  3. Keep a planner or digital planner to organise yourself for all the different modules.
  4. Make sure you turn up to the in-person events.
  5. Join WhatsApp group chats for your course, enquire with your tutors if you aren’t aware of any.
  6. Check your UCL email regularly for updates on lectures, seminars and events.
  7. Join societies you’re interested in.

And lastly, don’t be afraid to approach any member of staff or students (eg your personal tutor or transition mentor who is assigned to you in your first week) UCL provides you with multiple teams and departments who are always there for you.

As long as you put in the work and stay organised you will never miss out on the amazing university experience!

About the author

Ekta Barot is a 1st year Urban Planning and Real Estate student with a passion for sustainable urban cities.

Ekta Barot