University Guest Post: A Guide To Freshers Week

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!

 photo Freshers Guide_zpsruufliqc.pngFreshers’ 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.
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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.
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(picture from Josie’s guest post on Dissertation Tips)

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.

Try to allow enough money to do everything you want to in that first week, you don’t want to be held back by a simple thing like money at one of the most important times of your uni life.
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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.


Student Summer: Freshers Discount at Hungry House

It’s been two years and twelve days since I moved to university. Now that was a stressful weekend – saying goodbye to my boyfriend, realising my stuff and us didn’t fit in the car (mum and sister ended up getting the train) and worrying about everything. Most Freshers this year seem to have started last week, so here’s a great deal to help celebrate surviving your first week.

 photo uk_140911_feedingfreshers_nl-3_zps01902254.jpgHungry House have a great selection of takeaways to choose from (Bombay Mela is on there – woo!) and this year all students with a valid university email address can take advantage of a pretty tasty 25% off. Just head over to their Student Portal, enter a few details and there will be 25% off for you until 5 October. Who knows, maybe there will be more student offers in the future too – definitely worth signing up in case!

Hungry House have also created a great guide to popular Student Takeaways, so if you’re in a major city it might be worth a look – a new favourite to be found perhaps? Either way, I know I’ll be signing up, and whilst I maybe won’t be taking advantage of the student discount (I’m currently suffering from Freshers Flu despite not being at university!) I know I’ll be bookmarking the site for future use.

Disclaimer: I will be receiving a Hungry House voucher for the post, but all opinions are my own.

What’s your favourite takeaway? Indian? Chinese? Pizza? Craving a curry right now…

Student Summer: A Shy Girl’s Guide to Freshers

I was too shy for Freshers. For one I rarely drink more than a couple of drinks (I was ill when I was 13, and it felt like I was constantly drunk. I genuinely don’t understand why I’d want to make myself feel like that!), and on top of the fact that I didn’t really know anyone, was missing my boyfriend like crazy and already starting to dislike my housemates I really wasn’t off to a great start. But I discovered you can have a good Fresher’s without drinking, without going out, without the ‘typical’ Fresher’s experience.

2014-01-20 16.15.29My absolute number one tip is to try and find people to meet before you go. Be they on your course or living near you, everything will seem so much better if you have someone to go over and say hi to. Facebook is the number one place to do this (your university halls and schools will often have fresher pages), as is The Student Room. I actually met one of my closest friends on Facebook before moving to university; we spent the first evening of Freshers together, and she introduced me to another of my best friends. Not sure how I would have survived starting university without the people I met beforehand!

 photo 2014-07-08105917_zps2bada689.jpgI’d also go with reading about the official events planned for Freshers – there just might be something that interests you. Apart from going for a couple of casual drinks in the quieter bar, I didn’t actually go out on Freshers at all. Which brings me to my next point – I wouldn’t buy the wristbands you will no doubt be offered. Yes they might save you money, but more often than not you’ll have to commit to events when buying. New friends might end up going to different things, so it’s best just to wait and decide on the night.

And if you don’t drink, don’t. If you have the confidence, just say that you’re not drinking. No one will think bad of you, and I know a lot of people that will respect you more for saying so than playing along. If you’re too shy to admit to not drinking, take part in Sober October (note: this is not why I took part last year), or just be the first to get drinks. No one will know that the vodka-and-coke in your hand is actually sans vodka.

Now that (kind of) brings me onto Fresher’s Flu. This is a real thing, and you will probably get it. My friend Caroline had it really rather badly, and the episodes in both my years so far (it’s not just limited to first year!) have been made worse by health issues. Freshers Flu less than three months after a nose operation is not fun, though actually far more pleasant that have a dodgy nose. I digress, you didn’t come here to read about my nose problems. I recommend buying and taking vitamins, having orange juice on standby, and ingredients in the cupboard for nourishing noodle soup. And register at the local doctors as soon as possible after you move in. If When you come down with FF, take it easy, dose up on paracetamol, and get plenty of sleep.

Not sure how useful my ramblings will be, but that’s my guide to Freshers. Just be yourself, don’t get pressured into anything, and you’ll be fine. I was terrified during Freshers week, but when I spoke about how I was feeling most people felt similarly. Most importantly, know that there is an opportunity to have a great Freshers if you’re not into going out or drinking.

Disclaimer: I was asked to write this post for #StressFreeFreshers organised by StressFreePrint, and was sent a goody bag in return. Any opinions are entirely my own.

What are your tips for starting university?

Failure of a Student Lifestyle Blogger

I have huge apologies for not having posted much over the summer. The series about starting university I meant to write (as an effort to help new Freshers) just didn’t happen, and nor has the collection of student suppers than I have (honestly!) been practising and photographing for you.

I cannot pretend that all of this failure lies in the fact that my health still hasn’t been wonderful. On top of this I worked an awful lot over the summer (unfortunately not doing a high-powered internship, but gaining some pretty valuable skills at an old retail job of mine), and may have also forgotten my WordPress password…! But all is well now, and I hope to be blogging a little more in the coming weeks!

For now I leave you with a picture of my lovely satchel, which you can read about here, here and here, and remember that you get a cheeky little discount when you quote the code 2KVEAQQ3YXPJW when ordering directly from the Leather Satchel Co.

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