Living away from home and going away to university is a blessing a curse for most young people. Fresher’s week is typically a blur due to partying, shots and induction lessons, and even though the first year doesn’t count towards the overall degree qualification it doesn’t have to be wasted. These are the things every student does at university during their first year as an independent, free soul. Although there are plenty of people who aren’t aware of what is involved with fresher’s week.
Cook a shared meal
Throughout Fresher’s week you’ll undoubtedly live off vodka, pizza and cheesy chips, but once you realise how much money you have spent by the third week, you’ll get creative in the kitchen. Those kitchen essentials you begged your mum to buy you will be unpacked and dusted off as you and your new flatmates cook a shared meal. Cooking with your flatmates is great for getting to know them, save money and food supplies for each of you and gives you a chance to hone your cooking skills.
Join a university society
First years love to join societies, they probably will sign up to a handful during Fresher’s week with every intention of attending every meeting and event and become the ultimate socialite. University is a diverse and exciting place, and some institutions have over a hundred societies, so there is bound to be a group that shares the same interests that you do. There are two types of society members, the first fights through a hangover and attends these meetings and get super involved, the other doesn’t even acknowledge the society ever again. Like, ever. We all have the best intentions, but when it gets down to it, laziness and the strong urge to nap will probably take control of these opportunities. Don’t feel bad if you don’t end up signing up to a society – or you do join and then never actually attend a meeting – because the majority of students do this.
Forget to pack that really important item
Packing your life (or in reality, your entire bedroom) for university is quite a tough ordeal. You basically want to just pick up your room and take it with you, but in reality, this can’t happen, so you try your absolute best to ensure you pack everything you need. However, when you arrive at university, and wave goodbye to your parents, this is when it hits you – you didn’t pack that oh-so-really important item and you panic. And when you call your mum to tell her that your life is over, she’ll you that she packed it for you, or that you left it in the car and they can drive back to give it to you, or the fact that they can send it to you no problem. Most students sigh with relief and when they finally get this item, they probably don’t use it for the entire year anyway.
Seek refuge in your Uni room
We all go through that stage of concealing yourself away in your new home because the idea of having to do small talk and introductions to what feels like a small country feels too much. I can be extremely tempting to close your dorm door, lock it, and tell yourself that you were ‘always a bit of a loner’ anyway. Avoid this attitude at all costs. Students will need to make friends, and Fresher’s is the easiest time to do this – as everyone else is feeling the way you do – and you’ll meet so many fellow students that it won’t matter if you don’t like someone or forget their name.
Transforming into the ultimate Fresher
You’ll attend every single Fresher’s event, collect all the freebies, take naps instead of sleeping through the night, and get a horrible case of heartburn from those Sambuca shots and Domino’s pizza takeaways. Although it is tempting to party as if the world is ending the next day, but eventually, you’ll realise that you love to sleep so much. Apart from Fresher’s giving you Fresher’s flu and a mini heart attack from depleting your bank balance, it is a week-long process and its okay if you decide to miss out on one event or two. There’s plenty of Fresher’s advice for those that are looking for it too!
Leaving your parents at the door
Most students arrive at university with the help of mum, dad, friends or other relatives and it can be really easy to become distracted and tempting to start your new life there and then. However, your loved ones most likely drove you miles away, helped to pack your things up and had to listen to you talk about university for 8 weeks straight. Try not to forget all the things they have done for you, and the chances are that they’re feeling emotional – either happy or sad – and want to treasure the moment.
Working towards the deadline – literally
Leaving that essay or piece of coursework until the night before is completely normal at university. Some students thrive on the pressure that they feel when they only have two hours left to submit a piece of coursework, and the notion that there could be a power cut or that their internet fails doesn’t seem to faze them. Typically, due to working right up to the deadline, a lot of individuals spend all night working on their work, and even though it seems this is the best solution, in reality, it isn’t the best time to finish that essay. Your brain is under a lot of stress, you are tired, the library lights are giving you a headache and you have no idea what words are anymore. Working under these conditions won’t provide you with your best work, and you don’t want this to reflect in your grades. Get that good night of sleep, plan in advance and knuckle down – you won’t regret it.
Go food shopping when you’re hungry
Attempting to food shop, especially on a student budget, on an empty stomach is the mother of all mistakes – it will cost you a fortune. Shopping whilst hungry is proven to increase the bill at the end due to individuals picking up items that they wouldn’t necessarily do at a different time. This will not only affect your wallet, but most of the food will go off because you’ll either forget about it in the fridge or not eat the item because you only fancied it in the supermarket.
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