You’ve passed your A-levels with a bunch of good results and a new duvet set in tow, you’re ready to head off to the big wide world of university. Countless people will have advice to impart onto you such as “freshers week will be the best week of your life” (while it is good, let’s hope it’s not the best, as it’s all down hill from there otherwise) or “I bet you can’t wait to leave home” (it’s ok if you’re having mixed emotions about it, it’s a scary time) or “you’ll meet your friends for life” (don’t stress if you haven’t located your soulmate who also loves reruns of Peep Show within the first week, you’ll find each other). While we are being quite hypocritical by adding to the stacks of advice, here are some useful and some unruly thoughts from some people who went to university not all that long ago. We hope they help.
1. Be open minded
Play ultimate frisbee, join the broadcasting society, go to the dingy pub your next door neighbour is desperate to check out, listen to your tutors and absorb everything. Putting yourself out of your comfort zone is one of life’s most joyful experiences, while not all the results may be fruitful, we can’t think of a better time check out some of these new experiences.
2. Scope out all of the nights before you buy tickets
A lot of the time student promoters are attempting to make a little extra buck (no qualms here) however, they might take advantage of naive freshers looking for a good time and sell you a ticket to a club that that is more The Inbetweeners on Malia strip than Pacha at Ibiza. Check out what you’re signing up for and maybe ask around before you giveaway your hard earned pounds. Most likely, the tickets are not going to sell out.
2. Call your parents
For you and for them. Hearing familiar voices will always make you feel better than you’ll initially realise.
Probably best to use a mobile
3. Go out, have a tonne of fun, but go to the educational activities too
Freshers week is a wealth of parties, pasta at 3am and ping pong based drinking games. But, it is also week full of educational talks, seminars and opportunities to join societies. Make sure you make the most of this side of things too. You’ll meet a different set of people from the ones on your corridor and you never know, you might come across some future career opportunities too.
4. Stash away your moving boxes
By the time the first term is over you most likely would have sorted out a place to live for second year and when you come back after the new year you’ve only got around 7 months until it’s time to move again. Given how quickly time moves at University you don’t want to be wasting any of it doing mundane things like sourcing new boxes, so tuck them away under your bed, you’ll be feeling very smug come summer.
4. Don’t rush into any big decisions
While undoubtably things can move incredibly quickly at university, it’s important to remember there’s still time for the big decisions, like who you’re going to live with next year. The hilarious guy that sets the fire alarm off at 3am might be good value for making you all laugh that one time, but when it becomes a bi-weekly occurrence the night before your 9am, you might think twice about making them your housemate.
Shop around for deals, get a job, don’t buy your 10 new friends tequila shots at 2am on a Tuesday. One of the best tips we had for not falling into the pit of your overdraft (which is pretty difficult to come out of) is to move your student loan into a different account, then split it into weekly instalments and transfer yourself the set budget every Monday. Apps like Monzo can really help with tracking every last penny.
Transfer yourself your set budget from another account every Monday
6. Don’t buy your reading list brand new
This will cost a bomb and it is so easily avoided. Join your subject’s society and chances are at freshers week they will have a used book sale. Second years will be desperate to shed themselves of their weighty anthologies and make a few extra pounds in the process. You’ll pick up the term’s reading for a fraction of the cost.
Snacks left out in the communal kitchen with a nice note can go a very long way to making some new friends.
7. Lastly, bring snacks
A few snacks left out in the communal kitchen with a nice note can go a very long way to making some new friends. Luckily, being snacking experts, we can help you out here. We’re running a competition on our Instagram where you could win snacks for your corridor (essentially a very nice ice breaker for new friends). Here’s where you can enter.