So you're starting University? Most likely you won't have any idea what to expect apart from knowing that freshers will be one on the most memorable moments of your University life. However it does come with its up's and down's. I've been there, I know it can be stressful moving to a new place, meeting new people and trying to fit in.
So I'm here to provide you with my top tips and essential items that you need to make freshers more stress free!
- Arrive early (or within your allocated time slot) giving you enough time to settle in and have a look around campus.
- Prop your door open. It makes it so much easier to meet new people, and at this stage it's much more important to say hello than arrange your bedroom precisely.
- Sharing is caring, and this goes for everyone in your flat. No, you cannot bribe them to be your friends, but if they are in dire need of loo roll or a tea bag, you could make their day by lending out a helping hand. They might even return the favour if you ever need help too.
- Something you can actually do before the first week of freshers is find your course mates. Many Universities set up Facebook pages so students can speak to each other before the term even starts, so keep an eye out for those! Speaking to your course mates before you attend your first lecture can relieve a lot of stress!
Find Your Bearings
- Once you've scouted around your campus, take note of where your lectures will take place because you will not want to find this out at 9am of your first lecture with a hangover (so don't forget to keep painkillers handy and munch on something beforehand even if it's a breakfast bar).
- Explore the University so you know where the nearest shop, SU bar etc. including the nearest cash point!
- Sign up to everything and anything, don't be afraid to try something new. You don't have to be an expert, so put your name down for anything that interests you.
- There is usually a small fee to join societies however during the first week or two, the events are mostly free to participate in! Membership can be bought at any time throughout the year, so don't feel as if you will be missing out if you don't sign up straight away.
- Some sports may expect you to have some knowledge of what is required, however newbies are more often than not welcome to join and take part in the teams.
- Freebies, freebies, freebies. Even as a second year I still took advantage of the many freebies given out at the sports and society fayre! Get it right and you won't have to purchase any pens throughout your time at University.
- You'll most likely bump into lots of promoters for clubs as you walk around, so look out for wrist bands being sold for the events you want to go to - but stay aware that these should be legit and official.
Going "Out Out"
- If you don't already know this term, you will do soon! (or just learn about it here)
- Make sure you have numbers of the people you're going out with, just in case you happen to separate at some point during the night.
- Make sure you know your way around the city - or at least remember where some landmarks are to help you out.
- Store a few local taxi numbers on your phone just in case you get lost, it doesn't hurt to have a back-up plan.
- Before you leave make sure your phone is charged up, you have your ID and also a bit of loose change.
- Put a kit together (of just a few plasters, vitamins, and ear plugs etc. similar to the stress free freshers kit shown above, courtesy of StressFreePrint) for the times when you will need them the most. I have already had to use pretty much all of these since moving to the centre of town, especially the ear plugs as it's quite loud at night living next to a club as you can imagine, so they are vital for a good night's sleep).
One Last Note...
Once you say goodbye to your parents, chances are you probably won't see them again until Christmas, so you're fending for yourself until then. And yes, this means cooking and cleaning for yourself! Purchase a student cook book from a bookstore such as WHSmith, as these recipes are designed for students on a budget. It also means you will save money by making cooked meals instead of ordering takeaways (although the odd takeaway here and there isn't always a bad thing!)
My last piece of advice here applies to your entire experience at University, and that is to purchase a reliable USB stick. You're responsible of your own work at University, and they won't accept corrupted files for an excuse. So remember, back-up your work and take advantage of online storage!
I hope my tips will help you get through the start of your University adventure, as they are what I have discovered helps as I went through freshers myself.