Once the hard work’s been completed, the exam results have been returned and the final offer from your chosen university is on the table, the excitement of leaving home for the first time can feel almost overwhelming. But although the buzz of meeting new friends and living on your own will have you counting down the days until it’s time to load up your mum and dad’s car, heading to university can also be an extremely daunting experience.
In amongst the rush and the panic to prepare yourself for life in the outside world, it can be easy to forget some of the basic essentials you’ll need to both bed in to your new student digs and survive the imminent onslaught of Freshers’ Week.
Unfortunately we can’t necessarily provide you with any Dutch courage or the superhuman resilience to headaches that you’re likely to need during your first week of student life, we can however provide you an essential guide of how to make the most of your first few days as a fledgling undergraduate!
Keep saying yes
Roman themed fancy dress down at the SU? Do it. Lunchtime drinks with your newly found course mates? Dive in. Party in the halls of those funny looking people down the end of the corridor? Get involved! Whatever the social event, make sure you make the effort to go and meet new people – even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. You’ll get back what you put into Freshers’ Week so be sure to throw yourself at every event possible.
Invest in a calculator
Budgeting over beer might seem like one of the most tedious suggestions imaginable but as soon as you get your loan through, it really is worth taking ten minutes to break down your finances and work out how much you have for the semester ahead. Allocating yourself a weekly budget might seem like common sense, but there will be sure to be someone in your halls who is living off Ryvita bread with four weeks left before loan day. Get it done early.
Open door policy
Whether you choose to use a DVD case, banana or mahogany crafted ornament to keep your door open in halls, be sure to see that it stays wide open throughout your first week. Be it a brief passing joke with another housemate or an invitation to address your neighbour’s dodgy omelette-making skills… Don’t miss out on interacting and getting to know new people by sitting on your own scouring through Facebook.
Soak up the Freshers’ Fair
Freshers’ Fairs can often be confusing experiences and if you’ve been out in the SU the night before, dozens of stalls, tables and oodles of free hand-outs probably aren’t likely to appeal too much. But they can provide a really useful way of helping understand what your university has to offer, as well as serving as the gateway to enrolling in a whole variety of societies – an absolute must during your first week.
Bring your uniform
Following the completion of your GCSE’s, the chances are that you’ve probably consigned your school uniform to a dark, decrepit corner of your bedroom. If so, make sure you dig it out and give it the same priority in your suitcase as your favourite hoodie has received. You’re likely to spend more time in an array of whacky and ridiculous outfits during your first year than your favourite shirt or dress, so be sure to pack whatever zany outfits you might have kicking around – including your school uniform!
Save yourself some hassle
Freshers’ Week is one of the most enjoyable and important events you’re likely to experience during your course of study, so the last thing you want to do is waste precious time on basic tasks. Make sure you sort out any banking or medical documentation, student contents insurance or other miscellaneous but equally important tasks such as printing out passport photos, before you arrive. This way, you’ll spend less time worrying and more time doing what matters most during your first week…socialising!