Saturday, 5 September 2015

Fresher's Week | Tips and Advice


The week has finally come for me and many others: the time to go (back) to university! I felt it was therefore appropriate to provide all you budding first years with some tips and advice that I gathered after my Fresher's Week last year.

Meet your flatmates sooner rather than later. I was one of the first people to arrive in my flat (I was super keen), and as such I spent a long time hanging out in the kitchen (I brought shortbread to make myself seem friendly and approachable - I would've been better offering everybody alcohol if I'm honest) introducing myself to everybody as they moved in. It helps you feel less alone once your parents have left if you've got a little group of people to go to the initial university events with before you all branch out and make other friends too.

If something interests you, go for it! Fresher's Week is full of aimless first years walking around alone. Chances are there will be a whole array of events happening every day for every interest imaginable. So if you see something on the agenda for that day that you like the look of, go check it out! I went to a lot of events alone because I didn't know anybody to go with. Through this I befriended a lot of people with similar interests to my own. You never know who you'll meet!

Nights out will not necessarily be great. I'm not a big 'drunken night out' type of person; the whole thing just makes me ridiculously uncomfortable and self-conscious. But I was still keen to immerse myself in all aspects of Fresher's Week. The problem with that, however, is that you're essentially spending a night out with complete strangers. If you're drunk enough not to notice, then it's not an issue, but personally I hated it. It's much better later on in the year when you actually know the people that you're spending your time with.

Fresher's Flu is a very real thing. You're going to be surrounded by hundreds of new people from all over the place, which means that illness will surface at some point. A combination of late nights, homesickness (more on that next Saturday!) and an ill flatmate left me feeling poorly on the Friday and Saturday of Fresher's Week. Luckily it meant it was out of my system by the time I started classes! Stock up on some medication to get you through it, have a day in bed or a few early nights, and know that it will pass.

Be the most outgoing version of yourself. I can be quite a shy and self-conscious person at the best of times, but I knew for Fresher's Week I had to put on a much more lively persona if I was going to make friends. While introducing yourself to every person you sit next to in any lecture, talk, or social event ("Hi I'm Chloe, I'm studying French, I live in x halls, I'm from Scotland - your turn!" was my most-used sentence all week) sounds exhausting (and it is!), it's how I met the girls that grew to become my closest friends.
(NOTE: not everybody that you introduce yourself to will stick around - you'll meet a lot of temporary people in Fresher's Week and gather countless new Facebook friends and random phone numbers!)

I hope this post helps prepare you for your first experience of university life! I have a feeling that Fresher's Week as a second year might be slightly better for me, as I know my university and the town and the people much better this time round. But Fresher's Week is what you make it, so make it a good one!

Are you starting university this year? Let me know how you're feeling about it!

Speak soon!

Chloe x