Another week, another guest post! Siobhan from lifestyle blog Siobhan Rothwell has written a guide to Fresher’s week, and it really is fab. I actually think this post extends way beyond Freshers and counts for the whole of university – but it has definitely made me itching to go back to university. Only a few more weeks and I’ll be back, I can’t wait!
Freshers’ week is a strange mix of scary and exciting. It’s full of firsts, lots of hellos and goodbyes, and a lot of lasting memories. It’s easy to wonder if you’re doing all you can to make the most of it all, or if you’re missing the bits that’ll be more important than others in the long run.
Everyone knows the basics before they even arrive at uni. Things like buy posters for the walls, a kettle will be provided, you’ll probably get drunk on your nights out, first year doesn’t count so we’ll just skip these lectures, keep your door open for the first week. So I’m hear to tell you the things that people don’t really talk about. The times when it’s not all partying and you actually need to get involved without alcohol giving you a helping hand. The little things that will make a difference to your whole university life, not just the start of it. Because for me it’s just got better each year. There might be a lot more work to do but uni life gets more interesting as well.
I’m kinda sad that this will be my final year. So this is for all you Freshers who I want to make uni the time of your life and one long happy memory.
You need to throw yourself in.
Not just with the nights out, but with the societies and clubs.
Honestly, I haven’t actually joined any societies. I just didn’t build up the courage in first or second year, and managed to convince myself that I have too much work in third and fourth year. A few of my flatmates are in the dance society and they have made amazing friends from that.
Unis have the widest range of clubs and societies imaginable, sign up to any that sound appealing in your first week and then pick and choose the ones for you throughout the year. Don’t limit yourself!
You’ll be offered lots of free things.
Most unis have a freshers’ fair where different stalls will be giving out things like pens, tote bags, pizza. Grab everything you can! You never know when something might come in handy – students aren’t the most well equipped people. And everyone could do with free pizza every once in a while.
A night in can be a good thing.
Freshers’ flu is very real! Multiple nights out and not the best sleeping/eating pattern weakens your immune system. Suggest a night in with your new pals, order in some pizza or cook a huge meal together, and cramp into one room with a film. Bring in the blankets and duvets and have some well deserved relaxing time.
You’ll eat more pasta than you ever have before.
Try to have a few meals under your cooking belt before you head off to uni! You’ll feel a lot better for it rather than a microwavable thing every night. But you will resort to pasta way more often than you thought. It’s just so easy! Make a big pan-full and you’ll sorted for a few meals. FYI, cold pasta tastes heavenly after a night out.
You’ll get lost. A lot.
It’s a brand new place! Of course you’re bound to get lost. Don’t worry about this, it comes with the package and before you know it you’ll be able to navigate your way around the campus with your eyes closed. No doubt most of your classes will be in the same area so you don’t really need to know everywhere anyway. Same with the town/city you’ll be staying in. Try to take at least one trip into the city on your first week with your flatmates to get to know the area. Perfect bonding time too!
It’s okay to feel homesick.
It’ll probably be the first time living without your family, so it’s fine if you’re not feeling A-OK sometimes. Take the time to phone your mum up for a quick chat or video call your sister for all the latest gossip. Definitely put some pictures from home up around your room, and take some home comforts with you as well. You probably don’t need that piggy bank or that weird ornament off your Grandma, but it’ll make you smile when you need it most.
Attending those seemingly pointless meetings is important.
All those induction classes at the start of term? Go to them!! Especially the library one. You might think you’ll know your way around the library easy enough, but when you’re panicking about a reference the day before your deadline you’ll be thankful for it. Basically, don’t be like me and spend all of first year using just the 24 hour loan books, resulting in not great marks and a £20 fine.
You’ll meet people you might never talk to again.
You’ll meet so many people in this first week that you might never even see again. There’ll be people on your course who you talk to, but then don’t have a class with again. People on nights out who vanish into thin air. People who are from close to home who you’ll obvs talk to all the time because home. But you won’t. And that’s not a problem, because the people you do keep talking to will be friends for life. Those you can always pick up where you left off after a summer apart.
Spending money is a must.
Definitely set a budget for the year, but allow yourself a little extra for your first week. You never know what you might need to buy because you forgot it at home, or how much a taxi might cost.
An act of kindness can go a long way.
Everyone is in the same boat. Even though people might seem as though they’re getting along just fine, they’re probably as confused and lost as you are on the inside. So show people that you understand. Buy a packet of biscuits or doughnuts and share them with the flat, it’ll make everyone feel better. Sugary treats always bring people together, and you’ll be sharing embarrassing ‘getting lost’ stories in no time.
Make it your own.
University is such a special time in your life, and you’ll change so much whilst you’re there. So do anything and everything that makes you happy because you’ll only regret it otherwise. You’ll be studying something you really enjoy, with some potential best friends for life. I don’t know what could be better really. Prepare for long nights, Netflix marathons, group cuddles, mental breakdowns, ridiculous memories, and so much more.