Freshers: Your first night at university
Beginning your new journey at university can seem stressful and daunting, but one your biggest goals should be to be seen and to meet people. Here is what your first night at university will feel like, and how to get the best out of a – for some people – scary situation.
Now that you have finally kicked your parents out of your room, (your mum may still be tearing as she hugs you for what seems like an eternity, whilst your dad inspects your room to guarantee you’re in a secure place for the next year) the real university experience will begin. Freshers’ Week is here – Even though you have been counting down towards this day for what could be counted as ‘forever’, your first night at university will be like no other night you have ever had. We hope it will be full of socialising, new experiences and have a general buzz all about it!
Although, nobody can ensure you have a great first night of term if you’re not willing to put the effort in. The first few encounters are the hardest as you’re putting yourself out there, but everybody is in the same boat as you, so don’t fret too much! You’ll find that all the other students in your dorm are as eager as you are to meet their neighbours, and you shouldn’t come across anyone that unsociable!
It is important to not close yourself off during the first night, as this is when the majority of students are getting to know each other and starting to let the anxiety where off, and you don’t want to miss this! A lot of Freshers meet each other during the first few nights and it may be hard to include yourself into a group if you miss out on that initial first night!
Also, the best place to meet your new housemates is to spend time in the communal kitchen. This is the large kitchen which up to 10 students and dorms can share, and even though it might seem scary to walk into a room with lots of people you don’t know, you have so many excuses to be there, like, unpacking your utensils, putting your shopping away or even just making yourself a cuppa! The communal kitchen will most likely be the pre-drinking zone during Freshers and stay that way for the rest of the year, so becoming familiar with the room and socialising in there will be a great idea.
Try to study your Freshers’ timetable; you don’t need to be the know-it-all of every single course at the university but you can be involved in a lot more conversations by having an idea of what the week entails. You can discuss Freshers events or ask new housemates about societies they’re interested in, and it will make good conversation starters!
You don’t need to exclude yourself from Freshers if you don’t drink – you will be surprised at how accepting people can be! And if you don’t drink you can still be a part of the drinking games and socialising within your new group of friends, just with the alcohol removed! There will be lots of events during the week that won’t include drinking, so make sure you attend them as well to meet lots of different people.
Lastly, another vital piece of advice is to not make assumptions! Don’t assume what the first night will be like, or judge people as soon as you meet them. If you are living next door to a person that is your complete opposite, don’t shut them out completely straight away. Making assumptions about people and how you’re going to feel during Freshers is the biggest mistake you can do! Walk into university with an open mind and an enthusiastic attitude, and it will be the best thing you ever did!