Congratulations on starting your first year at BIMM Institute! Settling in this year is no doubt going to be very different than when I began my time at BIMM London two years ago. But, while you and your fellow freshers might not be able to socialise in groups of more than six, there are still plenty of safe and responsible ways to settle into life at uni in 2021.
1) Turn up to your lectures
Whether you’re timetabled to attend online classes or in-person tutorials, the best way a new student can feel settled is by getting to know their coursemates and lecturers in class. BIMM have been working hard since March to develop a streamlined and effective approach to online learning, so showing up for all your lessons will be beneficial to your studies and your social life!
2) Hang out with coursemates
Coronavirus permitting, another great way to settle into your course is to spend some time hanging out with coursemates after your in-person lessons. No more than six people at a time, of course – and responsible mask-wearing will always be appreciated by the good people of Fulham – but local parks and cafes (including the BIMM cafe) with outside seating are a-plenty within a ten-minute walk of the college and provide a safe hangout space for musos.
3) Join online social sessions
Keep an eye on your BIMM emails and the Moodle for online society mixer sign-ups, artist development one-on-ones, CV advice sessions and other opportunities too. Tickets often sell fast; you snooze, you lose! My favourite so far has been a Zoom songwriting feedback session with none other than Will Young – the very man who soundtracked my 2005 post-sports-day cry. I never did get my head around the egg and spoon race…
4) Get to know your lecturers
Whilst on the subject of celebs on Zoom, get to know your lecturers! Not only are they talented human beings with interesting and successful projects of their own, but they’re also ready and willing to impart their wealth of knowledge unto you. Make a note of their BIMM email addresses and keep them up to date with your projects – you never know what tips and tricks they might be able to offer to help you make the most of your time on the course.
5) Explore BIMM student Facebook and Whatsapp groups
Many of my peers have also found that BIMM student Facebook and Whatsapp groups have helped them to settle in. The groups are many, but my personal go-to is this one here; submit your new releases for playlist consideration, chat with other students, post classifieds in the search for new band members and rally the troops for live music opportunities(now predominantly online). For other student Facebook groups, you can join:
- BIMM Institute Birmingham Student Group
- BIMM Institute Brighton Student Group
- BIMM Institute Bristol Student Group
- BIMM Institute Manchester Student Group
- BIMM Institute Dublin Student Group
- BIMM Institute Berlin Student Group
- BIMM Institute Hamburg Student Group
6) Lean on the Student Support Team when you need
One email you’ll definitely want in your address book is that of the Student Support team. Whilst you settling in, whatever your situation may be, Student Support are there to make your time at BIMM as easy-breezy as possible. For anything that requires their assistance, please email your local Student Support Team.
Best of luck for beginning your journey at BIMM, I’m sure you’ll smash it (from a responsible distance)!