Thursday, 10 September 2015

Get ready Fresher...

If you're just about to head to uni you're probably going though one or more of these feelings: scared, nervous, excited, confused at how you're whole life fits inside your parents' car, wondering just how much fancy dress you should take and also if taking a slow cooker will make you appear boring. (Just for the record slow cookers are a wonderful invention and I don't regret taking mine one bit!)

I felt all of these things before I headed off to uni along with fear of being/feeling super old after my two gap years. Nevertheless you get in the car, you drive for a few hours then, in my case at least, your uni halls mess up and you queue outside on a busy London road along with the other 800 people trying to move in for four hours. No biggie.

So I've had a think and come up with what I reckon are my top 10 tips for being a fresher...

This is in capitals cause it's my biggest piece of advice, yeah your halls probably have a safety regulation against it but just promise me if the fire alarm goes off to shut your door behind you. I loved my door stop in the first year of uni, not just because the doors were so heavy if it slipped from your hand it sounded like a firework had gone off, but because people can't help but pop their heads in to say hi if your door is open. Open door = friends.

2) Take something comforting from home with you.
I have absolutely no problem whatsoever telling you that I took my teddy to uni with me and he slept on my bed every night. Even if you've done a huge amount of travelling and are pretty spectacular at sleeping anywhere and everywhere it will be really nice to just have something with you that reminds you of home. Along with that, ring home every once in a while. You'll love hearing about what mum got at the shops and what dad has just started painting for no reason even though you may not have been that fussed when you lived at home and they will be dying to hear from you so just get on the phone!

3) Get involved.
I am not the worlds biggest fan of a big night out but it is kind of unavoidable in freshers. I did also end up having brilliant fun every time. Go out with your flat mates, grab a coffee with someone on your course, go to your course society events. You're going to meet so many people and you will have an instant bond with some of them and not be that fussed about others but that is a-okay. Just get out there and you'll be amazed at the different kinds of people you meet (you may even find someone who wants to sing show tunes with you when you walk home drunk..!)

4) Know your way home.
While we're on the topic of walking home drunk with a friend. Always make sure you know how to get home. I know that's such a mum thing to say but it's true. Whether you're in a big city or a smaller campus uni just make sure you know where you're going and that if it's the end of the night you've got a buddy with you. 

5) Explore the area you live and study in.
Maybe not while walking home singing songs with your friends after a big night out but one morning get up a little bit earlier and discover the local cafe that sells amazing breakfasts and the park that has a patch of grass the perfect shape for your bum by a tree. These are all the little things that you will take for granted a few months down the line so get out there and find them.

6) DONT 'Down it fresher!' (unless, of course, you want to)
There is a strange lad culture going around universities at the moment and you really don't have to be part of it. Have a few drinks, have a laugh but don't feel you have to drink extra or do stuff because someone from a year above you is telling you to. You are your own person and if you're bright enough to get into uni you are certainly bright enough to make decisions for yourself.

7) Take LOADS of photos.
Take a few with you of friends and family and stick them on your wall and just go nuts at taking pictures while you're there. Everyone says these are the best years of your life and it would suck to feel like you don't have enough pictures to show your kids/grandkids one day or just to look back and cringe over.

8) Get to know your flatmates.
I was very lucky, my flatmates were brilliant. If you feel like you may have hit the jackpot too get together for meals and movies. Have a big hungover, middle of the day, breakfast and have a ridiculously huge Christmas dinner. One night we all piled into one of the bedrooms and watched Mean Girls, there definitely wasn't enough room for all of us and all the movie snacks but we made it work and we had a good laugh, and that's what it's all about really.

9) Look after yourself.
Put a bottle of water by your bed before you go out for the night, you'll thank me later and eat a salad every now and then. If you get 'freshers flu' don't whine about it, truth is no one really cares, you brought it on yourself. Get some sleep, treat yourself to an early night every once in a while. Find someone with a Netflix account, 'borrow' their password and just have some you time to unwind.

10) BE YOU.
You are brilliant. You got through your exams. You got through the torture of personal statements and then you went and got a place at uni. Well done you. You've done enough trying over the last few years to last you a few more so don't try to be someone you're not. You'll make better, longer lasting friends if you're your slightly strange self from the start.

You may notice I've not mentioned any work in these ten tips. Don't be an idiot about it, do some but don't freak out about it. I go to one of, what seems to be, the only universities where your first year actually counts towards your final degree and I still managed to have fun. Maybe make sure you know where your library is and what your essay titles will be but be sensible about it. 

Now go off make friends, try not to doze off in your 9am Monday morning lecture and have a great time. Oh and buy a door stop.

(Let me know in the comments if there's anything you would add to your top ten, or if you're a soon to be fresher say hello and ask any questions!)



    I'm not heading off to uni just yet (I'm spending my gap year in India) but you've really made me feel a whole lot better about it anyways! I'm still patiently waiting for offers to come in *fingers crossed*

    Great post!

    Anne x

    1. Oh thank you so much Anne, this was my favourite post to write! And go you for having a gap year, I ended up taking two, oops! And the offers definitely will come in, don't panic! x


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