Welcome to York for all those who have had their offers confirmed. You are entering a great university where you will be hoepfully having the time of your life and a 3 years to remember. Congratulations on getting the offer. Many of you now are looking through your accomodation and thinking about the fun involved in freshers (which is a load of fun).
However, you are all here to study for a degree, which can be challenging and tough at times. You will be pushed to understand concepts and many times the safety net of your parents will be removed. University is about building independence and learning how to live by yourself.
Yet, that does not mean that there is not support available. You will have a supervisor who will be there to help look after you. Additionally, when things go wrong YUSU can offer great advice services that will help you if you are in a pickle. They are open 9-5 every weekday so you can drop in and say 'hi'.
Additionally, if you think that your department is doing something wrong or not helping you as a student I am there for you. My job is to represent you on your course and in the library and ensure you are getting the best education possible. Just because you are asked to be independent does not mean that you should take substandard educational practices lying down. If you think something ought to be changed, then I am there to help you and am delighted to do what it takes to ensure you are getting value for your money. Your education is important and you should not allow anyone to tell you that taking responsibility for yourself means lying down and taking what the world gives out. That is not, and never will be the goal of university. As a disabled person I can say unequivocally that sometimes students are given a bad hand. So, if your lecturer refuses to put slides up online, or if your department is refusing to give you proper feedback, don't take that lying down. Make some noise, give me a ring, because the university cannot ignore the might of student voices.
Finally, a great way to get involved is to run and get involved in your academic system. Every course has representatives, as does every department. Some positions are elected (like course reps) and others are appointed through interview (like department reps). No matter which they are very important. Departments benefit tremendously from these representatives. They can change the course of a department, bring in new ways of teaching that benefit all students. If you are interested, please get in touch with me. I will be around in freshers week stating this again but please do come along.
See you all when you arrive