By Florence Stanton, second year Pearson Business School student
So you've got the email from Pearson College London/UCAS informing you
that you're going to be starting in September. Super exciting right? I don't doubt that questions will be racing around your mind about the college, from accommodation to freshers and meeting new people etc. Hopefully I can answer some questions not just about the college but also London student life!
Here is everything I wish I'd known before starting at Pearson College London:
It's just not that scary
You're in the same boat as everyone else, nobody knows anyone or will have a clue where to go, they're new to it all too! On your first day you may recognize the odd person from a Business Workshop but everyone is just as nervous as you. It may be out of most people's comfort zone but you just have to go and introduce yourself to people, this is made easier by the networking event at induction and the freshers events to follow. There seems to also be an unwritten rule that in your first week it is completely acceptable to just introduce yourself to the other students, so make the most of it!
Don't panic about what to wear
Initially at the induction days I'd recommend avoiding the beloved Adidas tracksuit and Nike huaraches and go for subtler, smarter clothing. However, a full Tom Ford tailored suit is not necessary either. As the weeks go by you will find wearing jeans to a lecture is more than acceptable, so no need to stock up on shirts and ties.
I'd definitely suggest owning a suit/smart clothing for industry days, but it doesn't need to cost a fortune - utilise UniDays offers and discount codes for House of Fraser and similar. Closer to the time the PCSA (our student association) will give details on dress codes for each freshers event, but we will ensure you have enough time to plan for any formal or specific fancy dress events.
You don't have to "go hard or go home" at freshers (unless you want to)
Of course you have the opportunity to go out as much as your heart desires each night throughout freshers week; it's also completely acceptable to go out and be tee-total. Just remember, we're a small college, and word will get around about hilarious drunk antics that you may wish had gone undiscovered! We're a friendly bunch though, so don't be too shocked when the lecturers turn up; they won't judge you too much for dodgy dancing, trust me!
Don't forget to download Uber before moving to London if you haven't already got it. Promo codes are by no means in short supply online to get your first journey free. This just ensures you'll get home if you miss the last bus/tube (although it is looking fairly likely that the night tube will have started running by then, along the lines that go past Tufnell House, Urbanest King's Cross and The Arcade student accommodation). It's definitely worth downloading the Uber app for nights out and days when you're feeling extra lazy, but also make sure to apply for your student oyster ASAP too. The sooner you can get it completed and signed off by the Student Services team, the better. This gives you a third off when buying travel cards.
Another thing worth mentioning is that if you don't have a contactless debit/credit card by now, it is definitely worth calling up your bank to organise getting one. You can use this in place of an oyster and the same caps/travel card costs apply (no student discount though). They are also super useful for the speed of London: there isn't much worse than being in a hurry in Cafe Nero and the person in front of you fiddling around to find
TFL travel planner (tfl.gov.uk) is similar to the Citymapper app: just pop in where you are and your destination and it will plan the fastest route via public transport for you. If attending lectures at 80 Strand, use Charing Cross or Embankment tube stops. If at 190 High Holborn (the new MidTown campus), you'll need Holborn station, or it's just a 10/15min walk to Tottenham Court Road.
There's no denying that London is a pricey city to live in, especially when it comes to going out, but if you know where to look you may not need to fork out as much as you'd think.
Student night's worth noting are Proud Camden, KOKO Camden (both only a short bus journey from Tufnell House/The Arcade), XOYO (Shoreditch) and EGG London (in walking distance of Urbanest King's Cross).
Student bank accounts
It’s worth starting to looking around for the best student bank accounts now as they can take some time to set up if an in-branch appointment is required. Most banks will offer a large overdraft but each individual bank provides different offers. HSBC offer an amazon voucher and Santander offer a free 4 year railcard which will get you a third off rail fares. Read more here!
General Pearson College London student life
There'll be plenty of opportunities thrown at you throughout your studies at Pearson College London but it's your job to sign up and get involved, the more you put in, the more you'll get out of it!
The industry days are always worthwhile, but they're popular, so places get taken quickly; make sure you check your emails regularly (it would definitely be worth downloading the gmail/outlook apps). If you make the most of the opportunities provided you'd be surprised what can come of them in terms of networking and further opportunities.
Furthermore, first year is not something to worry about. There is no required reading before you start any of the courses and unless you are absolutely clueless about your chosen course then I wouldn't worry about needing to catch up with your classmates.
Before starting at Pearson College London I'd never studied business or economics and haven't had a problem with any of the content. First year is all about getting everyone to the same level of knowledge. There is essential reading set after each lecture but if you stay on top of this you shouldn't struggle with the coursework (which is fairly straightforward provided you've attended and participated in seminars).
Ultimately, enjoying your time at Pearson College London all comes down to you; be yourself and don't be afraid to speak up. As we are still a new college if you have any ideas for societies, sports teams or events make sure you speak to a member of the PCSA (we will introduce ourselves and be around during Freshers week). Soon we’ll be inviting new students to join our Facebook group so you can get more information and ask any questions! Get involved, be prepared to voice your opinions and enjoy many a night out and first year will pass before you've even realised it.
Interested in studying Business from within a FTSE 100 Company? Check out the Pearson Business School section of our website.