20 tips on surviving Freshers Week

Ahh Freshers Week. Billed as being the best and most important week of your entire uni experience, it’s filled with meeting new people and getting to grips with your surroundings. At times it can feel overwhelming and downright exhausting and make you wonder what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into. Don’t worry though, we’ve put together an essential guide to surviving Freshers Week, with advice from people who’ve been through it all already.

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  1. Do some life admin

    Ok, so this is the not so glamorous side of Freshers Week but it is still just as important. Getting the admins out of the way nice and early leaves more time for the fun stuff. Register at the doctors and pre-enroll for those optional courses now so you don’t have to worry about it when you’re on the inevitable Freshers Week come down.

  2. Don’t still with be with your high school boyfriend/girlfriend.

    This might be hard to hear, but trust us. 99% of the time they are not the one and you’ll only end up splitting in a few weeks’ time anyway, so it is best to break up now and go to uni free and single.

  3. Don’t overpack or forget the essentials.

    Seriously. There is nothing worse than travelling hours to uni, unpacking all your stuff and realising you’ve left your laptop charger at home. Be like Santa: make a list and check it twice. Same goes for bringing stuff you don’t actually need like a popcorn machine. They’ll just take up unnecessary space and either get sent back home or end up getting chucked in the bin. You can view our checklist of the essentials you’ll need to bring with you here. For a more comprehensive list check this great Buzzfeed article. 

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  5. Don’t arrive too late.

    Where possible, try to arrive to your accommodation as early as possible. Not only will it ensure you nab the best fridge and cupboard spaces but arriving after everyone else means you miss those all-important early bonding days.

  6. Make a real effort to speak to people and make some friends.

    Your parents have just left and your standing alone in your room feeling just a little bit overwhelmed and scared thinking now what do you do? Get out there and start speaking to people of course! Prop your door open, offer around those fancy biscuits your mum packed you and get involved in that awkward small talk.

  7. Remember that you don’t have to stick with the first people you meet.

    Not everyone you meet is going to be your immediate BFF. In fact, they might turn out to be complete weirdos that you’ll have to try and avoid for the rest of the year. If you’re unlucky enough to have people in your flat that you don’t really get on with, DON’T PANIC! You’ll still be able to make friends with the people on your course or in societies.

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  9. Be yourself.

    This sounds so obvious but when you’re trying to make friends with a load of strangers it can be easy to be pretend someone you’re not. So, don’t say you’re into techno music when you’re more indie rock and don’t make up complete lies about your life either. The truth will always come out, usually when a mate from back home comes for a visit and tells your new mates that actually you’ve never hiked to the base camp of Mount Everest…

  10. Don’t tell boring stories about your gap year or about all your high school mates.

    Seriously. Nobody is really going to care about the trek you did on that remote Thai island. Yes, it was magical and life changing but to everyone else it’s boring and you’ll just come across as being really obnoxious.

  11. Make your room nice and homey.

    You’re going to be living in this room for the next year so make it is as comfortable and cozy as possible. Fluffy blankets, posters and pictures from home will transform an empty room into your home from home. Check out some of our student room bedroom decorating ideas over on Pinterest.

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  13. Be a good neighbour.

    Chances are you’ll be sharing your living space with people you’ve never met before and it’ll be a long year if they all end up hating you because you leave dirty dishes in the sink for days and play loud music till 3am every night. So, wash those pans and invest in some headphones!

  14. Try to budget

    When that student loan first hits your bank account, you’ll be feeling richer than the Lannisters. But that money has got to last months so whilst it might be tempting to blow it all on takeaways and endless rounds in the pub, maybe don’t? Yes, it’s boring but if you don’t come up with a budget and stick with it, you’re going to be screwed. Invest in things like a rail card and scout out where you can use your student discount and get money off things like food, clothes and cinema tickets.

  15. Actually call your parents.

    As uncool as it might seem, give your poor parents a break and call them at least once to let them know you’re still alive. It’s always best to stay in their good books too when the inevitable time comes that you’ve run out of money and need them to transfer you some more so you can eat that week.

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  17. Don’t sign up to pointless societies.

    Walking round the Freshers Fair, you’re going to see societies that cover a whole range of interests. From photography, to cake decorating, to quidditch, there is something for everyone. Societies are a great way to explore new interests and make lifelong friends but don’t sign up to ones you have no genuine interest in, especially those that require an upfront fee. Your inbox is just going to end up flooded with pointless emails.

  18. Don’t buy a Freshers Week wristband.

    Same goes for pre-buying club night tickets. Chances are you won’t got to any of the events and it’ll just be a waste of money. Instead, wait till you get there and see what everyone else is doing.

  19. Take a night off from the clubs/alternative nights in.

    Freshers Week is pretty intense and at times can feel very overwhelming. It’s ok to want to take a night off from the clubs and endless rounds of shots, actually get some sleep and wake up refreshed and hangover free. We guarantee you’re not the only one who’ll be feeling that way and it won’t hinder your chances of making friends. Suggest a movie night in with your new flat mates and have conversations you’ll actually remember in the morning. Remember that Freshers Week isn’t just about endless drinking too. Make sure you check out the alcohol-free activities put on during Freshers Week too.

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  21. Make friends with your accommodation site staff.

    Your accommodation site staff can make your year living with them easy breezy or a bit of a nightmare if you get into the bad books. Make a good impression during Freshers Week and you’ll be set for the year. Don’t be the one to set off the fire alarm at 3am or completely trash the building with your leftover late-night takeaways.

  22. Get to know your new city and campus.

    Chances are you’re not going to be familiar with your new home town and remember very little from that tour you took of your campus all those months ago. Get together with your new-found mates and take some time during Freshers Week to explore your new surroundings.

  23. Be prepared for Freshers Flu.

    Freshers Flu is not a myth. You will get it at some point and if you’re really unlucky you’ll get it twice. Be prepared and stock up on all the cold medicines, stay hydrated and try to eat at least one fruit or vegetable a day.

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  25. Learn how to cook something that isn’t just noodles.

    As much as you think you love Pot Noodles, they get pretty boring after you’ve eaten them every day for a week. If you’re a complete cooking novice, try and learn a few easy recipes before you leave for uni. You’ll impress your flat mates by cooking them all diner and it’ll save you a lot of money in the long run as you won’t be relying on unhealthy takeaway meals. Beware of the excessive weight that tends to be piled on during Freshers from all that unhealthy eating and excessive drinking.

  26. Stay safe and have fun!

    You’re about to start the potentially best three years of your life, so relax and try to enjoy it as much as possible! Have the number of a reliable local taxi number in your phone, don’t wander off on your own and always use protection. You’ve come to uni to get degrees, not STDs!

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So there you have it, our guide to surviving Freshers Week. Remember though, this is just one week out of your entire university experience and if you don’t particularly enjoy it, that’s ok. If you find yourself to be struggling with being away from home for the first time or having to meet new people, don’t shut yourself away in your room. It’s best to speak to someone as soon as possible and get some help. You won’t be the only one who’s struggling and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

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