So many people will be starting university soon and that means fresher’s week! In this post I’ll be creating a freshers week survival guide full of tips and tricks for fresher’s week!
What is fresher’s week?
Fresher’s week is the first week of university in the UK before classes start. It’s an opportunity to meet people on your course and to sign up to societies or sports teams. Despite these, Fresher’s week is most famously known for the nights out and getting drunk before you have to start the hard work. At my university, examples of welcome parties/night’s out were a foam party, UV neon paint party and a huge karaoke. My university is campus so night’s out are fairly small, in city university the nights out may feature Love Island stars and smaller celebrities.
Tip 1: get to know your flatmates straight away
This may seem obvious but as soon as all your flatmates have arrived and unpacked, all meet in the kitchen and get to know each other. First impressions speak volumes and you can get a feel as to if you like them. If you feel like you won’t get along with them or are uncomfortable with them- DON’T GET TOO DRUNK! I met my boyfriend on the first day of university and I instantly knew I could trust him and I’d like him. I did get a little too drunk on one of the nights, but I was completely safe with my boyfriend (even though he wasn’t my boyfriend at the time). I wouldn’t have let myself go that much if he hadn’t of been there on the first day.
Tip 2: attend the fresher’s fair!
It’s not the first thought on people’s mind but you need to go to freshers fair! You’ll find all the sports teams and societies here and that’s the time to sign up! Even if you’re not interested, I still suggest going as you may be surprised at something the university has to offer! You also get so many freebies! I can back with a bag full of free pens, highlighters, stationary, and even 1 month gym membership after my university’s fresher’s fair.
Tip 3: attend all the scheduled course activities
Most aren’t essential but attending these will help you make friends on your course! I met one of my best friends on my course on the first day. It can be hard to just go up to someone and introduce yourself, but it’ll pay off. I’m sure almost everyone will be as nervous as you and as eager to make friends. Even if you don’t end up staying friends with this person, at least you’re not alone on your first week!
Tip 4: don’t go to every single fresher’s party
Unless you’re sure you can do it, don’t go to every event, it’s not attainable. Not for me, at least. Before I went, I chose 4 events I wanted to go to. This gave me a day of rest and recovery before the next one. This worked best for me as I can barely stay up late and needed to sleep as much as possible the next day! If you’re used to surviving on 3 hours of sleep a night then this tip may be okay to ignore.
Tip 5: Read course/module handbooks
It is a boring one I know but it’s so helpful. I spent a morning writing deadlines in my planner so they were there when I needed them. They also give an idea of what you’ll learn each session and the contact details of course/module leaders. Lecturers won’t tell you their contact details in the sessions so it’s down to you to find them. I can guarantee you’ll find it in the handbook. Again, not the most interesting tip but probably the most important tip!
Tip 6: eat properly!
During Fresher’s week you may be too overwhelmed to eat or you may be so busy you forget. This tip is one to not be ignored! Don’t just go to McDonald’s everyday because it’s quick and easy and don’t just have super noodles. This next part may make me sound like your parent but you need to line your stomach properly before you drink! It makes drinking slightly safer and helps you manage your drinks better. I’ve never woke up with a hangover yet and never been sick and I can promise you I’ve had times of being very drunk. University also gives you the opportunity to try new things- take advantage of this!
Tip 7: set a budget
Do not, and I’ll repeat in caps DO NOT waste all your student finance on drinks and food during freshers. You will most likely spend more than a weekly budget during freshers but let yourself know where you’ll sacrifice in return. I drew money out for freshers and once that money was gone, it was gone. This helped as it meant that I didn’t spend more money than I could imagine and I still had enough money to get me through the semester. Chances are, your accommodation money hasn’t been taken out yet and if you can’t pay that you dip into your overdraft and that cuts into your payments next semester. It’s never ending!
Tip 8: have some time to yourself!
Moving out can be very overwhelming and you’ll be surrounded by loads of new people! Have a day of Fresher’s week or at least a couple of hours just to yourself to do something you enjoy. After my activities during Fresher’s, I took a couple of hours to just relax in my room and be by myself for a little while. It made me feel so much better and made me want to go out and socialise that night!
Tip 9: keep in touch with family
This one is important. Your family will be worrying about you and they’ll want to know how you’re getting on. My mum was like this but didn’t want to message me a lot in case I got annoyed (which I wouldn’t have!). I made sure I called my every other day of Fresher’s week, even if just for 15 minutes and I texted her at the end of the day and in the morning. Once I’d properly settled and had a day routine sorted, I called her once or twice a week just to catch up.
Tip 10: don’t buy all the essential reading books!
Chances are, you’ll get a long list of books that each module wants to read, now you didn’t hear this from me, but usually, you don’t have to do wider reading in first year! I’ve passed all my modules with good grades this year and didn’t do extra reading. Not only that but any books you really do have to read, can often be found in the library. This is really useful as the price for certain books can be extortionate!
What are your top tips for fresher’s week / what are you worried about regarding university?