Hindsight is a powerful thing. Nothing can truly prepare you for your first week of University, except a few partial words of wisdom from people that have done it all before!
One of the main things I wish someone had sat me down and prepared me for is freshers’ flu! You will more than likely at some stage be snuggled up in your awkward three quarter beds wishing your parents were there to provide you with paracetamol and TLC. However, for the first time, you won’t have that comfort and it’s not a nice ride. So do yourselves a favour and get some lemsip, soothers, albas oil and any other healing recipes you can find in Morrison’s and be ready.
Don’t forget to travel well! You’ll be living your life on a student budget now and sometimes it’s a right pain in the pocket. One huge way to save money is by getting a railcard. I know it’s a lot of effort printing off a form and signing it but trust me it’s worth the while. Getting a rail-card is one of those things that you put off until you realise it’s too late – by then you could have saved that extra money and afforded a cheap RyanAir flight to Tenerife for the summer.
Another pearl of wisdom for you freshers’ is that friends are for life, not just for Freshers! It’s easy to make friends, but sometimes it’s a lot harder to get rid of them. When choosing who you’ll be living with in the following year, make sure you’ve had enough time with these people before reaching any kind of decision. You will have plenty of time to find a house, so don’t panic.
Get involved. The chances are that you’ll get on with the people you are living with, but why limit yourself? By joining societies you will be able to go on socials and take part in activities with similar minded people and you could meet a friend for life! University is not just about the people on your course and the ones you live with, it’ll be one of the last chances you get to make friends with people that wouldn’t be your usual cup of tea, so why not join a completely random society and who knows you could meet the love of your life, opposites do attract!
Be Facebook friendly. If you see people off your course online, why not add them? Coming across as eager doesn’t count when you’re at Uni because everyone is in the same boat, constantly looking out for new friends. You may not speak to them straight away but in a few months’ time when you have an essay due in and you have no idea what it’s about, that Facebook friend might be able to help. Facebook is also a great way to join clubs and societies. If you’re like I was in first year, you’ll be too hungover to make Serendipity! But that’s fine. Just add whatever club/society you’re interested in online and it will provide you with all the answers you need.
Don’t be afraid to start up random conversations with people you just happen to be standing next to while waiting for something – that is how you make your new friends. Chances are, they’re just as nervous as you and will welcome the chance to have a conversation without having to start it themselves
Also, write down the rules to ‘Ring of Fire’ before you play. This saves a lot of drunken arguing as it is played differently in all parts of the UK!