Hi everyone! This is just a quick post before the real hard work starts. Monday sees the start of Freshers Week for many people and here are a few tips to get the most out of the experience. I had a mixed Freshers Week but looking back I can see where I went wrong. I’m going to break this list into five top tips, hopefully to make Freshers seem less daunting.
- Get Involved~ Easier said then done for a lot of people. Once my parents had dropped me off I wanted to stay in my room and never leave. I got into a pair of pyjamas and got under the covers of my freshly made bed. Then the Facebook notifications started pouring in. My course had arranged to met at the student bar just to met up with people who had moved in. This was my first choice at university. I could have stayed in bed but I chose to go out and met people. It was terrifying. It was the moment for me where I realised that if I didn’t push myself into new social situations I would find university a lonely place. Push yourself to meet new people. Get involved with as many opportunities as you can, it will be worth it.
- Ask Questions~ Outside of the social aspect, my mornings during Freshers Week revolved around meeting my academic school. On the Tuesday I met with my personal tutor for the very first time and she asked if I had any questions. At that point I hadn’t received a reading list for any of my upcoming modules and as an English student I was expecting to have a long one. This question brought to the attention of staff that an email hadn’t been sent to students and that afternoon everyone had a reading list. If you ever feel confused/anxious/nervous about anything that a member of staff can help with ask them. It will always help you.
- Making New Friends~ Some people you meet at university will become lifelong friends (as I’ve been told). A lot of friendships are created in Freshers Week, however do not feel bad if you don’t find your group straight away. Mingle with flatmates, course mates and people within any team or society you may become involved with. For me I didn’t form any really strong friendships until a couple of weeks in. I then met the people who I immediately clicked with. The best thing about university, in terms of creating relationships, is that you will meet so many new people. Don’t force relationships in Freshers if you don’t meet the right people.
- Try to Relax~ Freshers can go by like a blur. With academic meetings in the morning and socials in the evenings you can feel like you have no time for yourself. Try to create a daily plan throughout the week where you have a couple of hours for yourself. You will probably get tired, so grab a nap. Make sure you are eating and drinking water. Pamper yourself with a facemask, or watch one of your favourite films by yourself. Cook yourself something yummy. Treat Freshers like a marathon rather than a sprint, especially if you are drinking a lot of alcohol throughout. The worst thing during Freshers would be being too hungover to do anything so pace yourself, take it slow sometimes and relax!
- Parties~ obviously with Covid, Freshers is going to look differently this year. You will have to take Government regulations and University guidelines seriously but you also want some fun. One thing I can recommend is try to budget the amount of money spent on drinking through Freshers as your student loan probably won’t come in until classes actually start. Have fun but be careful. If there are online events get involved. If you can meet up in person with others remain aware of precautions. One of the best nights of my Freshers was the Wednesday. Everyone in my flat was feeling tired, some people were missing home, but we all gathered in the kitchen and played some drinking games. Having fun is at the core of Freshers so do what you can to make sure it’s a week to remember.
Freshers is really what you make it. Remember to be yourself, get involved, have fun. It will be a great week. I struggled to get involved myself but looking back on Freshers week last year and looking forward to this one (yes get involved in any Freshers week you are at university) it really is one of the best weeks at university. It feels like the last week you have before starting serious work. I do have one final tip for you. Sleep. Sleep so much during Freshers week. Sleep will make you feel refreshed before starting classes. Sleep will become your best friend.