1. Do your paper work
Before you say it, we know it’s boring but you have to just get all of your registration documents signed, dated and filed away before you become an official student here at university. You have to sort out your student finance, your identification cards and your timetables before anything else. Usually, this happens on one specifically defined day – which will, inevitably, drag on. Only once you get all of the important stuff out of the way can you get to the partying.
2. Save your pennies, spend wisely and work out a Weekly Budget
Believe me, we know how easy it can be to just blow all of your money in the first week of Freshers. Drinks, your first proper food shop, outfits for those fancy dress nights out… Freshers will be a drain on your finances, whichever way you look at it. For many of you, it is your first time away from home and you will want to enjoy yourself, but you still want to be able to afford food 3 weeks later.
The best way to do this is, before arriving at your accommodation, to sit down with a parent or a friend and really work out exactly how much being a student is going to cost you each term. There is a really useful article, here, which can help you create and stick to your student budget.
3. Make the most of the new experiences uni offers
Your years at university can be the best years of your life, if you want them to be. Although it’s important to be comfortable in yourself, it can really pay to push yourself to do some things that you wouldn’t normally do. We were given a challenge in one of our lectures during our first year – aim to do, or experience, something new every single day. This ‘new’ can be something big, or something small – it can be anything from trying something new for breakfast, or walking a different way to uni to experience more of Huddersfield. It can be joining a society that you would normally have shied away from, or introducing yourself to a complete stranger. As long as it’s something you’ve not done or experienced before, it counts. It helps to keep a list on your calendar or in your diary that you can look back on in the future.
4. Don’t give in to homesickness
For those of you who will be moving into halls and will be away from home for the first time; it is so important for you to fight the homesickness for the first few weeks. We all remember the feeling as we laid in bed on our first night in halls. You’ll probably never feel so far away from home in your life, whether you came from Leeds or Portsmouth. It’s so important to try not to let missing your home spoil your Freshers week, as this is the time you’ll look back on long after you’ve left university. Spending Freshers week in bed, clutching photos from home and crying yourself to sleep will be regretted the moment that you settle in. And you will settle in, soon. We promise.
We find that ringing your mum, grandparents or your friends from home if you are really feeling down helps a great deal – but, if you can help it, try and refrain from jumping on a train straight away. Freshers is over in a flash and it would be a shame to miss one second of it.
5. Responsible drinking…
Don’t have any more than one shot a night, ever. Don’t drink more than two pints in an evening. Refrain from joining in with any drinking games!
We’re obviously joking here. Freshers is about experiencing the nightlife, and a lot of that includes drinking. Of course, don’t be pressured into drinking if you don’t want to, or if it’s against your beliefs, and we will reiterate that you don’t need to be drunk to have a good time at all.
BUT for those of you who are wanting to experience the drunken Freshers night’s out, then going out for the first time with your flat mates is the best feeling once you get past your introductions – everyone gets a little crazy and silly, and it is fun to embrace it all and see what happens – as long as you’re all safe in doing so. There’ll be a lot of ice broken on that first night out whether you drink or you don’t drink, and it makes living in the same house as these new people a lot easier.
Having said that, it wouldn’t be much of a survival guide if we didn’t include this next, gross part. Here, my little Freshers, is how to clean up vomit from carpet… just in case:
- Remove as much of the vomit as possible from the carpet without spreading the mess.
- Pour stain remover all over the area.
- Blot the area with a dry cloth, preferably one of those white ones that you can just throw away after.
- To get rid of the smell, pour a little bit of fabric softener onto the area and blot.
- Flood the stain with water.
- Blot again with the cloth.
- And leave to dry, if it still smells or you can still see where last night’s Kebab landed then repeat.
6. Don’t fret about home friends, they will still be there
When we started uni, this was one of our main worries. We thought that if we went away for weeks and weeks, when we came back our friends would’ve forgotten us as some weird, distant memory. Take it from us, honestly, your friends will still be there when you come home. Good friends who are staying in your home town will understand why you can’t come home as often, why you’re harder to contact than before and why you’re wrapped up in a host of new experiences.
If your friends are going away to university too then they will be feeling the exact same as you are. The key to maintaining healthy home friendships is to ensure that you don’t fall out over not seeing each other as much, and to keep in touch for the important things such as birthdays, Christmas and results days if you can. Facebook and Skype are a big help, and soon your home friends will become a part of your uni experience, as you pop them on your laptop screen whilst sorting through your workload in your room.
7. Take lots of pictures, this week will be madness
You’ll want to take pictures that you can look back on in 20 years. And if you don’t take a load of pictures yourself, there will always be someone with a camera so jump in, get yourself tagged on facebook and hunt out those club photographers. It will be worth it.