Every fresher will have their own university expectations already – that (hopefully) your student days will be the best time of your life, you’ll meet loads of new friends and walk out with a first class degree. Your experience is what you make it, so grab every opportunity that comes your way, work hard and have fun! To help ease you into uni life, the Angels have put together their top tips for a university fresher…
- Preparation and packing
Get your admin in order! You’ll definitely be receiving plenty of emails from your university in the run up to your start date, so if you haven’t seen anything….check your spam folder. Don’t leave the admin until the last minute; you want to focus on netball tryouts and fresher’s fairs, not filling out forms. Know what you need to bring too. Books, stationery etc…it can add up, so check out Amazon or eBay for pre-owned text books. When packing, stick to the essentials. You might think you need everything including the kitchen sink, but you don’t. If you forget anything…you can always buy it when you get there.
- Moving out and moving in
You might think moving out for the first time ever is going to be hard and the thought of living somewhere completely new with people you’ve never met before is going to be scary, but you’ll be pleased to hear over half of the students asked in a recent Which? survey found living away from home way easier than expected. On move day, get to know your new flatmates, don’t shut yourself away!
- The famous ‘fresher’s week’
Fresher’s week is the perfect opportunity to get to know as many people as possible and get comfortable with your new uni life, make the most of it! Embrace the fancy dress, the meet and greets, the awkward introductions and enjoy it. Throw yourself into it and don’t have any regrets. Just remember on night’s out to not go overboard…keep a good night good by staying topped up with plenty of water between your drinks.
- Making friends
Your phone will be full of names you can’t quite put a face to by the end of fresher’s week, but that’s okay! You’re going to meet probably hundreds of new people in your first few days at uni, and some of them might turn out to be great friends while some of them won’t. It’s natural to cling to a few people in fresher’s week, usually your flatmates, but as the term goes on you’ll start meeting people on your course, at sports and social events and you’ll form your long standing friendships. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t find a friend for life on your first day…give it time.
Budgeting might not be something you’ve had to really do before, but suddenly you’ve got bills to pay and food to buy as well as a social life to keep up. Don’t blow your student loan…use it wisely! Also make the most of being a student…loads of shops offer a student discount and you can also get discounted travel by applying for a 16-25 year old railcard. When it comes to a monthly budget, get your priorities in order and plan in advance, so you don’t find yourself calling the bank of mum and dad standing in the middle of Tescos.
Let’s not forget the most important part of university…the studying. Once fresher’s week is over, the reality of the work involved will soon kick in. Get organised! Read the textbooks, stay on top of homework, take notes in lectures and get to know your way around the library, you’ll be spending a lot of free time there. 44% of students surveyed by Which? said they found lectures more interesting than expected. Make the most of your course and the vast learning material around you.
- Planning ahead
Okay we understand you haven’t even started yet…but it’s never too early to start thinking about life after university. Part of fresher’s week is a careers fair where you’ll have the chance to meet people from a range of different industries and find out about placement and work experience opportunities. Every uni will also have a careers office which we recommend you locate and pay a visit to at some point during your first few weeks, to help get a better idea of what you’re working towards during your time at uni.
You might have planned to live off dominos, but this is just not sustainable, for your health or your bank balance. Find some recipes that you know you’ll be happy doing after a long day of lectures i.e. that are fairly simple and quick to make, and even practise them before you go to uni, print them off and pop them in a recipe folder. Keep it balanced with enough fruit, veg, carbs and protein to feel full and energised every day. Check out our brain food recipe pack for great study snack ideas.
Find your uni’s official Facebook page or their Twitter account for freshers so you’re in the know when it comes to tickets, enrolling and any other uni prep. When you get to uni, you’ll be inundated with societies wanting you to join, everything from poetry, amateur dramatics and dance to well, whatever you want (you can basically set one up for anything)! There are loads to choose from so find something you really enjoy, it’s a great way to take some time out from studying and make like-minded friends.
- Don’t be THAT person
Especially during fresher’s week there’s going to be alcohol involved, but don’t go overboard and wake up with a nasty hangover the next morning. You don’t want to be bed-bound and miss out on all the other fun activities during your first week at uni! For every alcoholic drink you have, make sure you also have a glass of water. Remember you are responsible for yourself, especially when you don’t really know anyone yet, so stay safe and know when you’ve had enough for one night.
For more helpful information, check out our freshers survival guide and how to save money on a night out.