Hey everyone! Most of you have probably gone back to school by now but for any of you starting university in England, you’ll all be getting ready for freshers!
I’ll be moving into my second year of uni in the next few weeks so I though it’d be the perfect time for me to give you my top 10 tips for starting university as a fresher that I learnt in the last year! Let’s get going!
- Make sure to have numerous ways to stay in contact with friends and family –I actually chose to live at home throughout university so thankfully I’m not missing my family in the same way many of you might be when you move away! One thing we all can relate to though is missing your best friends! It’s likely that you and your friends are all spread around the country and you’re well aware that in a few weeks you won’t be seeing them until Christmas 😦 that’s a long time to lose contact. I find it’s really important to have a number of ways you can contact your friends and family – me and my besties have a group chat on Facebook messenger we talk on everyday. Then there’s texting, whatsapping and for times when you’re really sad and need to hear your mums voice: phone calls and skyping. Keeping in contact is the difference between losing contact with your besties and continuing your friendship for years to come!
- Stay organised – You’re gonna have a hell of a lot of notes from all your lectures and it’s really great to organise them by module so you know what’s gonna be in what exam or in what assignment. Whether that be ring binders or in your documents on your computer, whatever’s easiest for you personally! But whatever you do, keep them organised so you know where they are when it comes to revision and assignments!
- Know your deadlines – At uni, you’re not going to be reminded of what days assignments need to be handed in – you’ll be told early on in the year and you need to remember them! My best advice is to have a planner/calendar and write down all your deadlines at the start of the year, that way you can see what’s coming up and when! Same with your normal and exam timetables!
- Be prepared for lectures – This one really is just about being on the ball. Know what lecture you’re going into, what you’re going to need and what resources you need to bring along with you – if it’s a certain module and you have a workbook for that module, don’t forget it!! Because then you’ll be stuck.
- Get used to budgeting! – This one is universal to all students whether at home or living away, you’re still gonna have to get used to having no money! A student loan doesn’t make you rich for the term, you’ve got to make the money last all the necessities for survival so don’t blow it all on freshers on drinks and nights out – save some for the food that’ll cure yor hangover!! But don’t forget to save some for fun because you’ve got to enjoy your time at uni, just make sure to save and budget for it!
- Remember everyone is in the same position, so don’t be scared to ask for help – Whether you’re homesick or lonely or don’t know anyone or don’t know the town or city you’re in very well – remember everyone is in the same boat! It’s a new experience for everyone so don’t be scared to turn to old friends, new friends or even the university support system for support – there’s so many people there to help you when you need it so don’t be scared to ask for it!
- Know your surroundings for the first day – One of my most traumatic times at university was trying to find a lecture in a building I thought I knew…turns out the building I needed to be in was not the one I thought it was so I had a last minute panic 10 minutes before the lecture, running around campus trying to find my building. I made it there on time but nobody wants to feel rushed and any more stressed on the first day than they need to be! Know where you need to go, have a scout of campus and know your way around before you’re thrown in at the deep end.
- Look after yourself – For anyone who’s moving away, this is getting a somewhat varied diet, getting enough sleep on days of lectures, and stocking up on any first aid you’re going to be needing. With uni comes independence and you need to look out for yourself and your buddies and make sure you’re staying healthy (although, freshers flu is a real thing and you will get it no matter what)! Also yeah the ‘freshers 15’ is another joked about occurrence and it’s a huge change in lifestyle so don’t beat yourself up about it if you gain a bit of weight in the first few months of settling in! On nights out, make sure you’re knowing your limits and know your way home! And if any of your friends or flatmates are in trouble, try your best to help them out and look out for them too if you can.
- Enjoy yourself! – Half of the university freshers experience is totally not to do with your studies. Of course that’s what you’re there for but in your first year it’s also about making new friends, learning life lessons and independence, having a great time and letting your hair down when you want to! So don’t forget to enjoy this journey.
- My final additional tip which is crazy important is don’t forget to get your Meningitis Vaccine before you set off for uni or straight away when you get there, ideally to want it at least a week before you go. It’s so important because meningitis is a really overlooked issue for teens and it can be really life threatening so don’t forget to get yourself protected! Same goes for stocking up with any medication you’re in need of and making sure you take it when you need to! Stay safe people!
So, for any of you starting uni in the next few weeks, enjoy and good luck and don’t worry, you’ll figure things out!
Love, S x