Entering University can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for anyone. Ultimately, you are about to embark on a brand new adventure that will bring with it a bag load of independence that you may not be used to.
And like many things in life, the hardest part of entering Uni is getting started. Getting the ball rolling as it were.
For many years, universities have recognised the importance of easing the home-to-university transition for students. That is why universities have adopted this very effective strategy called Fresher’s Week.
For new students, this can seem like a rather exciting prospect but also feeling somewhat cautioned about this unfamiliar territory.
Essentially, Fresher’s Week is almost like a good learning curve. From learning how to budget your pennies for the week to understand how the Uni washing machine works, fresher’s week isn’t all about the partying. Technically, there is some learning being achieved!
While there is a lot to consider coupled with you having mixed feelings about getting started, it is important to embrace one simple tactic and that is, being prepared.
So, in order to survive Fresher’s Week, here are some of our tips:
Unpack Those Chock-Full Suitcases
You are moving into your temporary home for the next nine months so it makes sense to make your own personal stamp on it.
It is wise to start this mini project sooner rather than later, as you will soon find out that the days and weeks fly by when you are having fun! It is also a nice mind reliever knowing you have conquered one of your first missions of settling in.
We also recommend you to invest in some boxes to store your possessions, as this makes life a lot easier than dealing with the needless cluster that can build up. These boxes will also come in handy when you eventually move out at the end of the year.
Ultimately, creating your own home-from-home environment is a great way of feeling confident, comfortable and secure. You will be thankful of this when you have those late night assignments to do or when you come home from those busy late nights of socialising.
Want more tips about pampering out your new temporary home? Then check out our two blogs, How To Make Your Student Room Feel Like Home and International Students: Get Kitted Out And Feel At Home
Familiarise Yourself With The Area
Whether you are 15 minutes up the road or live miles and miles away from the University, it is recommended you become familiar with your surroundings.
University tends to be a world of its own for students, so it is best to be aware of some of the amenities you will most likely be using during your time here, such as:
- The launderette
- Registry Office
- Student Union
- Student Services
- Careers Service
- Security office
Of course, it also recommended you are aware of the surroundings outside the walls of the university. Get to know the public transport system, the local bus stops, the train station, the taxi service, the corner shops and so forth.
Always Be Yourself
It is very easy to consider changing the way you are in order to fit in, which is particularly relatable to students. Sometimes you may have trickling doubts about your personality when you are around people who you are just getting to know. In some cases, students try to be something they are not just to fit in.
However, trying to reinvent yourself here can be a hazard you may want to reconsider. The reason being is that you have three years to hold this act together! Realistically, this spells disaster and just isn’t worth the headache for you.
Anyway, how can others reap the benefits of your company and personality if you are pretending to be something you are not, right? As Oscar Wilde once rightly said:
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
Seek Out The Clubs and Societies
When it comes to University many would stress the importance of getting involved in some extracurricular activities. This is because you have the chance to immerse yourself in varying cultures and meeting like-minded people who share similar interests with you.
Your opportunity to have a full browse of these clubs and societies is during the University’s annual Fresher’s fair. This is typically in full swing within the first few days of Fresher’s Week.
Awaiting you is virtually everything you can imagine. For instance, if you are more of a sports person you will most likely have a whole host of sporting activities to choose from, such as rugby, football, netball, hockey, tennis and basketball. Of course, there is plenty more, so be sure to keep an eye out for the full sporting offers.
As for societies, the opportunities to challenge yourself and meet new people are endless. Universities often have a wide array of choice catering for everyone’s needs and tastes. Some societies may specialise in history, art, music, newspaper, religion and the list goes on and on.
These are just examples but you may find that your University is a level above the rest with extremely unique and quirky societies. From The Viking Society in Plymouth University to Quidditch and Harry Potter Society at the University of Nottingham, anything is possible!
Allow yourself to be open-minded when it comes to choosing a club or society. Have a walk around all the tables and speak with some of the members of these clubs/societies. If you are interested then you can put your email address down at that table and away you go exploring the rest of the tables.
Don’t worry though, you are not signing your life away if you do happen to sign up and then decide you no longer wish to partake in this club/society.
As well as exploring the University’s many clubs and societies, the Fresher’s Fair is a great way to investigate everything else that the Uni has to offer.
Here, you will be able to chat with members of the Student Union, sign up to scheduled trips like skiing, and even meet some of the local businesses who have strong affiliations with the university.
More importantly, the Fresher’s Fair is full of freebies. From pizzas to t-shirts to bags of goodies, you will certainly be sorted for the year.
You may or may not head this advice but here it goes. When it comes to budgeting, students are often bamboozled by what this actually means and how to go about achieving such a mammoth of a challenge.
During Fresher’s Week, you will find that keeping track of your pennies is tricky as getting up for your 9 am lectures. One piece of advice is to gather your cash at the start of every week to avoid losing track of what you initially had to start with.
And while you think your student loans will come and save you, think again because your trusty student loan won’t always land into your account immediately.
On a side note, one good thing here is that students have the precious experience of having student discounts. Be sure to check out what you are entitled to when it comes to purchasing all those necessary items!
Remember, try to be savvy with managing your money and you will reap the rewards.
For many students, moving to University is there first time flying the nest and into a new environment as an independent individual. Whether Fresher’s Week is still in full swing or the weeks that follow, we are here to reassure you that it is perfectly ok to feel homesick.
Homesickness is when someone is missing home or missing their loved ones who they associate with at home and it is very common for students to encounter. Should you, or someone you know, is suffering from homesickness then lend an ear as a way to reach out and comfort them.
Alternatively, there are many services on offer to students at University and one important one to be aware of is Student Services. The department is a team of dedicated people who specialise in different areas that focus on helping and assisting students.
Particularly during Fresher’s Week, the Student Services team welcomes anyone with open arms if they are experiencing any emotional, mental or physical difficulty, including homesickness.
Be sure to familiarise yourself with The Student Services department, their contact details and their social media.
Don’t Be That Liability
Of course, this wouldn’t be a blog post about Fresher’s Week if we didn’t mention the party side of it all.
You are right in thinking that much of the week consists of dressing up in fancy dress attire for specific themed nights, as well as exploring the Student Union bar, the local pubs and nightclubs.
But while the week is full of entertaining activities that frequently involve the consumption of alcohol it is important to remember your safety and the safety of others.
Undoubtedly, you will most likely feel like you have been defeated by the power and strength of Fresher’s Week but have no fear, you will fight this off and bounce back to your normal ways in no time.
Unfortunately, there is no official manual or student bible that we can offer you but these tips are sure to give you a good head start in your new university life.
If you want to know more about the funnier side of life at University then take a look at our blog, 22 Things University Students Can Relate To.