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A sense of anticipation as students begin their new journeys

Borders College

There’s been a real buzz around @BordersCollege over the last two weeks, with students beginning their course induction and starting their new journeys for the academic year ahead.

Seen as one of the most important times of the year, staff welcomed back our new and returning students with eager anticipation.

Our fantastic Students’ Association team organised a host of interactive online sessions as part of their Welcome Week programme. The events were designed to give students a warm welcome to college, put their minds at ease, and start to build a student community at the start of a new college year – something that is more important than ever as we start the year learning from home.

Timetable sessions included daily Breakfast clubs, which provided opportunities for students to make new friends and get to know the BCSA team, and Big BCSA Welcome sessions, which provided all the need-to-know info about college life. Sessions with the Supported Learning team and top tips on working from home were also included.

Other sessions included Bingo and a meeting with the Student Advice team, giving students the chance to learn about the great support that’s in place to help them through their studies. Mental health sessions and learning support were also on the agenda.

Many other sessions were attended throughout the induction period, including quiz nights, cutest pet competitions, an online music festival and even a mind reader! All were well attended by students.

The highlight of the week was BCSA’s Welcome Fair, hosted on Wednesday 9th September. The event was an opportunity to showcase the range of support available to students in the local community and was supported by a number of fantastic local organisations and charities who all ran engaging sessions throughout the day. Sessions included discussions on mental health and wellbeing, support for victims of domestic abuse, LGBTQ+ support, fertility support and addiction.

Student President Ann Letham commented:

“It’s quite normal to feel a bit nervous when starting at college and the online nature added an element of uncertainty for some students. We wanted to make sure that students know that there is lots of support available to them and that BCSA are still here to help students form communities and make new friends.

“We couldn’t replicate the “Freshers” experience because all of the events were online but we have helped students form the relationships that will help them through their time at college and beyond. It has been really exciting welcoming back familiar faces and introducing ourselves to lots of new ones!”

The start of the academic year has posed a number of challenges for both staff and students, with induction taking on a different format to the usual process. Nevertheless, this has been a great success and students are now on the way to starting their new adventures.

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