Advice for Freshers' Week
Fresher’s week is on the horizon, so you may want to prepare for the hectic time ahead. It’s bound to be nerve-racking moving to a new place, not knowing anyone, and not knowing quite what to expect. Luckily AFS is here to save the day with a list of top tips on how to survive fresher’s week, from budgeting nights out to avoiding fresher’s flu!
1. Unpack straight away. Everyone’s been in that situation when you become distracted mid-way through unpacking, or perhaps been in a rush and told yourself you’ll finish it later. From my experience, fresher’s week can be frantic at the best of times, so not being able to find certain items during this because you haven’t unpacked properly can be such a pain.
2. Do a BIG food shop. If you haven’t already, on the day you’re moving in, complete a big food shop with your parents or friends to stock up for the first week. It removes the stress of having to do a big food shop when you’re busy socialising and getting your bearings, as well as stocking you up on essentials that can last you a good few weeks!
3. Avoid Homesickness. If you are feeling homesick and missing your family, pets, and home comforts in general, try to not visit home too early on or too often. Not only is this expensive travelling if you live far away, but it makes it harder to get over. Instead, call or facetime your family or home friends a couple times each week to make sure you stay in contact.
4. Be confident and socialise. Fresher’s week often revolves around socialising and meeting new people, so make sure you talk to your flatmates as soon as you move in to avoid awkwardness and perhaps look at trying out different societies. If you are worried about this, the best thing to do is to fake confidence and really put yourself out there. Remember: the friends you make in your first couple of weeks at university aren’t necessarily the friends you’ll have for the whole time. You will make friends through your course, going out, and societies.
5. Gauge your surroundings. Once you arrive at your accommodation and unpack, have a wonder around your town and your university. You can do this with your flatmates to get a feel for your surroundings and know where everything is. Find your closest (and cheapest) supermarket, where your washing machines are, and where you’ll be going clubbing and attending lectures! This is a fun way to bond with your flatmates and essential as to not get lost later!
6. Save money in advance. For a lot of universities, your student loan will often arrive after fresher’s week, so try to save some money over the summer if you can so you can fund going out!
7. Go to your welcome lectures. Whilst you may think that welcome lectures are a waste of time, or perhaps you’re just hungover, it is essential to attend as important information is shared that you don’t want to miss. Even if the lecture is pointless, or you think you can catch up on it on a recording, it is also a great way to initially make friends on your course in-person!
8. Discuss chores with your flatmates early on. It’s important to discuss the way you’ll be sharing the kitchen, including cleaning and other chores and how you’ll share them equally. Also talk about whether you’re choosing to share kitchen utensils. This will really help to avoid arguments later in the year.
9. Say yes to everything (in your best interests). Saying yes to everything is great advice when you arrive at university as it helps you make friends and forces you to overcome any apprehension. However, know your limits and when to say no to things, whether you’re running low on money, or feeling run down. Don’t worry, you really won’t be missing out on much if you say no to a couple nights out!
10. Pre-drink to save money. Buying your own alcohol and mixers saves a lot of money, and pre-drinking in your house is a great way to meet people. If you’re going to the student clubs there are often deals on drinks, such as Jager bombs, so look out for these to budget your clubbing money!
11. Eat before going out. This will make sure you’re being safe whilst drinking and help avoid the hangover the next day. Keep hydrated with water whilst you drink and at the end of the night.
12. Avoid fresher’s flu. This tip seems impossible, as pretty much everyone becomes ill after freshers’ week’! However, making sure you’re eating and drinking water, getting enough sleep and not running yourself down doing too much will help avoid flu. I also recommend purchasing vitamins and medication in advance, just in case!
13. Prepare for fancy dress. Fresher’s week is prime time for fancy dress, so I recommend finding your local charity shops and utilising Primark for affordable outfits, as fancy-dress shops are often overpriced. Swap outfits with friends to save money and be sustainable in re-using your outfits!
14. Buy a wristband for the clubs. Fresher’s week often consists of a fun night out every day of the week at different clubs. Look for a wristband to get cheaper access to all the clubs in a bulk deal, rather than paying entry on the night, as this is also risky as it could be sold out.