~~~My Uni Experience so far~~~
So I've pretty much settled into university now with the course very much started and it has been pretty insane- in a good way.
My room is somewhat small but cosy- has a bed, desk, wardrobe... need to personalise it a bit more but it is pretty sufficient. NOT happy that it's right by the door and opposite the bathroom... the noise is insane--- I love my sleep :'(
My flatmates are generally very nice- though one is quite different when drunk- the tops of the fridge/freezer filled with alcohol bottles... our flat has become the party flat >< arghhh but flatmates downstairs are pretty crazy and cool :3
Freshers also flew by pretty quickly- the registrations and introductory talks didn't last that long, but the queuing was intense- at least an hour and a bit for the health one, and nearly 2 hours to hand in a cheque for my upcoming trip to Amsterdam... went to the 'Back to School' fancy dress party on the Monday of freshers- pretty good though a tad long- was sooo tired after that.
Raided Freshers Fair for freebies- didn't actually get that much- my bag was mostly filled with leaflets, though I did grab a slice of free pizza, a bag of food from Lidl stand, some pens... also got lots of free Domino's pizza vouchers :) Wished I'd gone and got the Mango Card someone told me about :(
Second week was really fun- at least in studio- made a chair our of cardboard which was so stressful as we were running out of time but so fulfilling that it didn't collapse :P and then did a people study on Thursday which was also really fun.
-walked into the flat as two of my flatmates were doing it in the bathroom
-flatmate put a bottle of piss under another flatmates bed
-flatmate dumped room full of stuff into corridor making it an obstacle course for me to get into kitchen
-being woken up at 3/4 am most nights to banter
-flatmate from floor below sprayed deodorant into fire alarm at 1am
-flatmate burst liquid detergent all over the kitchen floor
~~~TIPS AND ADVICE~~~
1. Get on the good side of your hallmates (to avoid piss bottles under bed)
2. Claim your territory in the kitchen (if self catered)
3. Making friends with people on your course is vital
4. Get lots of free stuff from Fresher's Fair - they're there to give you free stuff!
5. Make your room as cosy and as homy as possible so you don't become homesick
6. Fill out the inventory of your room and report any broken items immediately.
7. Take photos of the room condition so you have evidence of the state of the room to prevent being fined.
8. Eat regularly (not just the sweets in the fresher's box)!
9. Manage your finances - I know someone who spent £80 on alcohol in one night!
10. Know your alcohol limit- you WILL most likely be roped into drinking
11. Stay safe and have someone you trust to look after you if you do get drunk
12. Have taxi numbers stored on your phone
13. Drink lots of water and try to get some sleep- Fresher's flu is around the corner! The amount of people coughing around me during lectures is insane.
14. Read through all documents you receive carefully and complete any forms necessary.
15. Stay on top of your work- you are at uni to study above all else
16. Remember to lock your door when you go out- even if you trust your hallmates- it could be a random person!
17. Never drink something that's left unattended- one of my hallmates got spiked with Viagra.
18. Have fun!!
As the initial excitement/disappointment of A-level results day fluctuates out it soon dawns on you that in less than a months time you will be in a different city (may be) living alone for the very first time and attending lectures. I remember the weeks leading up to September were all very exciting for me I'd gotten into my University of choice, secured a scholarship and began ransacking Ikea for all the latest furniture and nick nacks for my very first 'flat'. Even after buying cutlrey, candles and bathroom mats it didn't sink in until I got to my flat with my parents and once I was settled in with my room unpacked they left and I was left with 5 strangers. I remember looking around the room and feeling lonely instantly - a far cry from the 'wahooo, freedom!' ideas I'd been having prior to moving in.
These are a few tips about moving in and some things that me and my flat mates forgot.
1. Sticky labels: These are a very good idea especially if you have to share cupboard/fridge space as it stops your items getting mixed up with others and thus prevents a lot of arguments!
2. A suitcase - my parents took my suitcase back home with them after I'd emptied my clothes from it. Bad idea - I had nothing to take my stuff home in for Christmas and had to go out and buy another one.
3. Don't forget to do a bit of food shopping whilst you have your parents with you as A) they might pay for it! And B) you'll probably go out the very first night you move in so will need hangover cures the nest day. Another pointer about shopping- don't forget to get a little alcohol if that's what you enjoy as all big uni nights out (and especially freshers week) start with pre-drinks.
It's the old saying - "You're all in the same boat and they'll be just as scared as you are" but it works very well in this situation. To avoid awkward silences over breakfast and to ensure you have some buddies to latch on to during Freshers week always KEEP YOUR DOOR OPEN! Just wedge it open with anything during the first week that you move in this way if anyone walks by your door they will have to acknowledge you and this breaks the ice. A pointer for when you first meet you new flatmates is to ask them about any plans they may have for that evening and plan to do something to get to know them and to make sure you don't miss out on any social events.
This is generally jam-packed with balls, pub crawls and student organised events such as 'Carnage'. Many of them tend to be based around drinking but if that's not your thing there are other events but they just aren't as well documented! At my university there was mass film nights and a comedy evening and things like that. Make sure you stay in the loop by visiting your University's homepage and Facebook pages.
Many students think that the first lectures will be pointless and 'induction' days. This generally isn't the case you find out where the lecture halls are and get all the right contact information and even some freebies such as core text books. You also get to meet fellow students so in a lot of ways they are really helpful and set you up for the rest of your Uni life.
Overall University is a great, unique experience and you only get 1 shot at being young and living in a big city with your new friends- embrace it.
Freshers week is an excellent way to get to know your university, know the area, meets loads of people from all over the country and world and it's one of the best times you will have in your first year at uni!
Everyone thinks that people will have loads of friends when they arrive, but everyone who starts their first year at university will want to get to know new people, people on their course and not forgetting that you will also get to know your flat mates better and meet their friends too.
When I first arrived at the uni, I was crying for at least an hour, cause my parents left and wanted to go home, I was home sick, I knew very few people, but they weren't arriving till the weekend as I arrived in the middle of the week, it was alot harder for me, but then a woman in receptition introduced me to a girl who also had the same problem as I had and met a few more people she had in a flat. Hours later, we knew each other better and ended being in the student union meeting more people and ended up having a house party in the flat!
I cried for no reason, but don't worry most first years have that problem.
Overall, I would make the most of the experience cause you only get it once, and every event is going on join it and whatever you do go to fresher's ball otherwise you will regret it later!
Fresher's week is probably the most crucial week to making friends at university. Usually students are still hanging around with the same friends they met in the first week throughout the whole year. Students entering university tend to be around eighteen or nineteen years old, although legally an adult its still an age of immaturity. Everyone has just entered university and there's a certain amount of excitement and uncertainty.
The impression you give in the first week will be the impression you leave during the rest of your time. For example if you come across as a sociable fun person with lots of friends that everyone wants to know you can guarantee an amazing and exciting time. However, if you come across slightly nervous especially if you're a guy talking to a girl, you may be treated like a creep that no one wants to talk to. To sum things up Fresher's week is crucial. Depend on how you go about it, you will either enjoy university or absolutely detest everything and anything about it.
For this reason a lot of planning is required. If you have difficulty making friends, do not try to come across as sociable when you're not. What you need to do is give the impression of knowing lots of people and being popular. This may seem superficial but this is the hard truth coming from some who has experienced the absolute best and absolute worst of social interactions. There are times I have been treated like a hollywood celebrity and times I have experiences the complete opposite.
The first rule is never be seen on your own unless you are walking through a corridor at fast pace. Sitting on your own in the union bar or a lecture is social suicide. If you do happen to be left in that situation, pretend you are talking to a friend on your mobile. You need to be seen with other people, the more popular you are thought to be, the more others want to know you, especially when it comes to the mindset of a student who is only 18 or 19 years old.
You don't need to try and make friends in the first week, you need to know people. When you meet other students for the first time and you are on your own you have to make yourself seem like a valuable asset so drop hints about certain parties that you plan to go to even if you have no intention to do so. You can use this as an excuse to become aquainted and swap numbers. No one really wants to know who you are and where you're from so don't bore them about your background and history.
Go to the fresher's fair, find out about all the best events, this is when you call up your new contacts and invite them along. When you arrive at a party along with a few people you will be seen as socially adept and so without any effort be introduced to others. If you're a guy try not to go with just guys, bring a few women along as well. The conversation when meeting people just has to be centred on what you have been doing during freshers week, who you know and what amazing things you plan to do.
If you follow the simple rules as above, you will have a great time.
As Im working in a hall of residence at the moment, I thought it would be fitting to write about as the freshers are starting to arrive.
Freshers week at Leeds University = meeting people, freebies, lots of paperwork, flyers and a lot of alcohol and going out.
Theres so many nights out, most people go to the union in their first week, as theres something on everynight in the club and in the bars.
In the daytime there are freshers fairs, where you can sign up to societies, get freebies, buy your bus pass, and go to find your way around your department.
I found the easiest way to meet people was by going to the bar that was in my halls and just going up to people. If I didnt really like them, I moved on, and I met my best mate on the first night in there.
Dont feel you have to drink loads, you dont know if your mates will be able to get you home, or even remember that your out with them. So just have a few to get rid of your nerves, and then stop so you can get home safely.
Get a night bus or taxi home. In Leeds Amber taxis will take your student card as payment if you have no money, then you go to the union and pay them to get your card back.
Dont feel you have to go to everything, I ended up just watching films with my friend Liz some nights as we needed a night off from going out.
If you dont like your flatmates, you can move if theres space. I didnt like the first flat I was in, so I payed a tenner and moved across the road to the flat that had people in that I had made friends with.
Join a society. I am doing music so joined the music society in order to get more orchestral experience and more concert opportunities. I also met more people on my course, and a few from other courses.
Make sure you phone your mum everyday to stop them worrying, and so that someone knows your ok. I phoned my mum everyday for the first 2 weeks and she was very grateful to hear I was fine. Also if your going out with people other than your flatmates let them know where you are going and make sure you have each others mobile numbers.
Its important to go to all the meetings that your school arranges, as they often give out important things like keyfobs to get into your building, and theres often some important signing up for modules.
Get insurance. Im with Endsleigh and have had to make several claims, they are great and not too expensive. Mine was 80pounds for the year, for accidental damage and theft. Also it had an open door thing where your housemates might leave the door open, but you can still get your money back.
Get your parents to take you to asda so you can stock up on all the essential foods and all important alcohol. I didnt go food shopping for a month as my parents bought me all the stuff I would want to eat and could cook easily. I always had a bottle of wine in the cupboard in case there was a girly evening in.
Freshers week isnt the best week of uni by far, but it is a good opportunity to meet people whilst not having to worry about going to lectures.
Their is nothing more enjoyable then knowing that university is about to start within a few weeks, but to some it can also be a time of stress and uncomforted. I am going to write the key points of what fresher week is like and what you should expect and how you can make it more enjoyable.
On the first day of starting university, you are likely to have a fresher fair. I strongly advice that you attend this as you will get some many freebies and also have a chance to find out what is happening for the duration of the week. I remember my freshers fair as if it was yesterday, once I entered the big tent, I was handed with freebies left right and centre. Take advantage of all the freebies, however pay attention to certain form you may be asked to fill out. Certain stalls which are represented by banks offer free incentives, such as phones, mp3 players, clothes etc if you sign up for a credit card. My advice to you, don't do it, although you may not use the card, their is always a spur to spend what you don't have. I no a few people in my course who signed up for these cards and had found themselves in some difficult situations.
You will have a chance to sign up to societies, their will be a large number of these societies, but it would be best if you only apply for a few, pick the ones you are most interested in, as you will normally have to pay a few quid to join. I would defiantly recommend these societies because it gives you a chance to make some new friends and you can also get some handy freebies. For instance I joined a clubbing society; in turn I got free passes into certain clubs in London and well as free samples of alcohol very now and then.
Societies are fun and enjoyable and are a really good way to make some valuable new friends.
You will also be given out flyers and coupons for free entries into clubs and pubs, take as many as you can as they all come in handy. The rest of the week should be split up equally into getting to no your uni by day and getting to no the drinks by night.
Uni's normally give tours of libraries and give tutorials on how to use computers. I would strongly recommend this; I missed my induction to the library and was so stuck later on down the line. Its normally an hour long, but its well worth it
The nightlife is always great and is the best time to make some new friends and is always just a great laugh.
The drinks and normally always cheap during freshers week, and you can always get discount if you dress up e.g. Pink Night.
All in all fresher is a time to enjoy yourself and get to no the area and the people, just make sure you can wake up for lectures.
Now university is a scary time and when people used to laugh at me (mainly referring to my family here) and saying you are going to be a fresher, I thought it was a scary thing and was dreading it. My family however had not been to university so had no idea what a freshers week was so when they thought it was an insult I am telling you it is great being a fresher and here is why.
What is Freshers Week?
Well freshers week is that time of year usually at the beginning of September when university life begins and all of the new university recruits for that year are bought in scared and shaking and are introduced to what university will be like.
What to expect;
The First Night:
Expect a warm welcome to the university residence you are staying in by being introduced to your new housemates who will hopefully become your university family. Freshers week begins on the first night where usually the student union will have a special night planned. Of course although I have referred to just people living in the university, others are of course allowed to join in to. Expect the first night in the union to be loud, crowded and usually very hot and sweaty. They will usually be playing some decent music which most of the time contains a lot of the recent chart hits. Expect this night to be very crowded as remember the majority of freshers who are living in the halls of residence will be there so there will be lots of people. This is why I would recommend not taking your coat to the union and keep yourself cool. The first night is fun as you get to meet people and just have a laugh. The fact that the student union sells cheap alcohol will probably get most peoples spirits up but just have fun.
As well as the union you will probably find that most of the local pubs around the university will have special deals to draw you in. They know that freshers are happy to be at uni (in most cases) and also that they will be up for a laugh so if you want cheap drink then you will be able to find it in a local pub.
In the week:
Freshers week brings the freshers fair to universities and I really do recommend going and having a look. What this is is a lot of stalls which will try to sell you things. You may find phone companies and banks there to try and give you good student deals. You will also find university clubs such as football or badminton, there to sign new people up to join. At our freshers fair there was always a poster stall too so you could buy some huge posters to put in your rooms which is great if you have moved away from home and you dont like the bare walls in your uni residence.
Now why else did I love the freshers fair? You get loads and loads of free stuff. Seriously we went every year to walk around the fair and get given the free bags of goodies that they give away. Now although the majority of stuff is rubbish you still get things like wall planners, bottle openers, stationary and keyrings so we really enjoyed it.
In your freshers week I really do recommend joining a university club. You will find information on clubs from the freshers fair but also there will be people dotted about around the university and you will also find leaflets pinned up on notice boards around the university. Joining a club is a great way to make some extra friends and a great way to throw yourself into uni life.
I joined the badminton club which was great as I got to play the sport once a week for an hour which I enjoyed and it gave me a break from the halls of residence which to be honest sometimes you need. I made some friends there who were mad and it gave me an extra social life. I should also tell you that I did give this up after a few weeks but that was due to the fact that I had a part time job that offered me Sunday work so I stayed at home for the whole weekend so missed the training sessions.
My only advice if you do join a club is to be careful with the drinking games. They always seem to initiate the club by drinking loads so do be careful as I knew somebody that was doing these games and because he couldnt handle it but was scared to say no, ended up in hospital for a few days. If you think they are taking it a bit far then there is no problem with you saying no.
Now although you are in freshers week you will still have to do some important things to get yourself ready for university life. The first and for everybody, the most important thing is to get your student loan sorted. Now not sure if it is the same now but I had to pick up the first student loan by cheque and put it into my bank where as the next two were sent straight into my bank account. As I am guessing you will need the money for food and books, well ok for alcohol and kebabs then I suggest you find out exactly how to claim your student loan and do it as soon as possible.
The second thing you will have to do is visit your school i.e. science, sports, law and enrol. This will give you your student ID card and you will also have to put details on how tuition is going to be paid. It is so important to attend this so you are sorted for the year but it is a tedious thing to do because there are queues for everything and it takes ages but hopefully you will make friends talking to people in the queue.
The third thing you will have to do is attend a talk with one of your lecturers. This will be a basic introduction to whichever subject you are studying and will give you a chance to meet people who will be in some of your lectures. It was in this first tutorial that I met the people I was to spend my entire course with and the people that I am still good friends with now. Remember to take a pen and paper so you can jot down notes. It is here that you will find out what lectures you will be taking and can choose from and also when they are.
So thats it;
Freshers week is one great big laugh and it is a wonderful week because when you first get to university people are usually a bit scared and freshers week allows everyone to come together.
Although freshers week does seem like a week full of fun and games, please do remember that there is a lot of important things to be getting on with too as I would hate for you to get yourself in a bit of a muddle once lectures start so remember it is best to get them over and done with in the relaxation week.
Please enjoy yourself, I loved freshers week for the entire three years I was at university and everybody I know did. Plus if you see people giving away free pot noodles at your university which they did at ours a lot in freshers week then I recommend getting a stack of them as they are great after those drunken nights at the university.
The best advice I can give is to have fun as the next week is when lectures start. Also good luck everybody who do go to university and are living this week now.
Thanks for reading.
Universities know better than to throw you straight into lectures when you arrive at the start of the autumn term. If you’re a new student (or fresher) you need a few days to settle in, find your way around, sort yourself out. Get back into the academic way of thinking – it’s been a long time since your last A Level, and 3 or 4 months of nothingness can really turn your brains to slush. If you’re a returning student, it’s not all that different. You need time to meet up with all the friends you’ve not seen since the last day of term, find out what’s new in the city, and, again, put your thinking cap back on. Universities understand this and so kindly give you the deceptively called “Freshers’ week” after the official start of term to get you back into the swing of things. “Deceptive” because ours is more of a “Freshers’ 3 days” than a whole week, but still. It’s nice to have. If you are a brand new student, you might be feeling overwhelmed. As far as the eye can see you’re being offered new and exciting opportunities – parties to go to, clubs to join, things to sign up for – and in your hurry you might try to see everything and do everything that you often manage to see and do, well, very little. Not a good plan, unless you like the idea of burning out in your first fortnight, dropping out and spending the rest of the year lying on the sofa recovering from your breakdown. But, with a little bit of forward planning (hence why I’m posting this now, a good 2 and a half months before the first freshers’ weeks) and some common sense, you can get through it. So, here they are. The golden rules for surviving the week. 1. Remember why you’re there Stuck? I’ll give you a hint: to get an education. Yes, the parties might be fun, but they won’t help you get a job, will they? So, the first thing to do is work
out where you’re supposed to register for your course, and at what time. Registration is a loooong process which, in my experience at a relatively small uni, involves hours of queuing, signing a piece of paper, and a few more hours queuing. But, it has to be done. The way it works where I am, you can only collect your loan cheque after registering. First installments each year are given by cheque rather than being transferred into your bank account, to ensure that at least once during the year, you show up at uni. Take the cheque and get it banked asap. Don’t wait a week or so, safe in the knowledge that you have savings from your summer job to tide you over. You might lose it in the meantime, and the SLC do NOT like reissuing cheques. 2. Learn your way around I’m at a campus uni, and we have maps available, and signposts all over the place. Some people, though, will be at other sorts, where things are more spread out. Locate your department building, and any other places you’ll be having classes and tutorials. Find the computer rooms and the library. If you’re really brave, locate the sections that house the books you’ll be needing for your course. The nearest cash point (often in or need the Students’ Union). The supermarket. Bookshops. Local branch of Thorntons / Victoria Wine (depending on whether you’re one of us, or one of them). Since I live in a city with 2 other unis, I also needed to know where they were for meeting friends who study at them. If you are interested in keeping healthy / working off the after effects of all those nights out, locate the nearest gym, pool or sport center. Even better, get your ass into gear and book an induction. These are impossible to get for ages after the second week of term, so beat the queues and you can squeeze in an extra month or so of training ahead of the masses. Work out the best way to get to these places from where you are livin
g. If you’re anything like my friends, a few nights later you will be stumbling around having had a little too much to drink, trying to find your way home. If you can’t do it sober, you haven’t a chance when you’re drunk. 3. Talk to people You’re (probably) living in a new place and in need of new friends. Most of us will have met our previous friends through work or school, simply by being around them, and uni is only slightly different. On my course there is one other person. A very nice person, I must add, but just the one. Needless to say, most of my friends study completely different subjects. If your department is bigger than mine (last count: 10 students) it doesn’t automatically make it easier – in a lecture theatre with 300 others you can still feel lonely, especially when it seems that everyone else knows everybody. There’s only one really good way to combat this, and that’s to jump in feet first. Talk to everyone, and I mean everyone. Random people you meet in lifts. The person standing next to you at the bar. The staff on the tills in the union shop (usually students). Don’t know where to start? The usual questions (that you will have to answer a million times during the first week) are simple: what’s your name? Where are you from? What are you studying? It’s like the standard Brit-abroad questions that *everyone* asks (“Are you from London? You’re from Blackpool? Is that near London?”), just with a uni-tinge. If you’re lost or confused, ask someone. Most people will be happy to help, and if they’re not, just ask the next person you see. I met a lovely girl in Nottingham once when I turned up at their (huge!) campus for a meeting and didn’t know which building I wanted. She was going in the same direction, so we walked the 10 mins or so together, chatting away. 2 years later we now email each other regularly, and I k
now that if I’m ever back in the area, I can look her up. Talk and talk and talk, and pretty soon you’ll know a lot of people, at least by sight. Friendships cannot be forced, but be open and cheerful, and talk to lots of people, and they’ll form naturally. 4. Remember the mantra “Free is always good” Almost all universities have freshers’ fairs – full-day events where businesses rent stands, smile welcomingly and try to entice you to sign up for whatever it is they’re selling or offering. Freshers’ fairs (which, incidentally, are not just for freshers, nor simply for students at the university in question – anyone with free time on the day can go along to ours, and most of us usually pop into those at the other nearby unis too ) are a great place to start one your first free day. The only rule as far as these fairs are concerned, is “if it’s free, take it”. Many stalls give out nice, useful things – everyone I know, for example, both here and in the UK seems to have a Times sponsored magnetic bottle opener. Other popular give-aways are pens, key rings, wall planners, condoms and balloons (not to be confused unless it’s a theme party you’re decorating for). However, some stands go for more obscure items. Last year I was given baked beans, pasta sauces, a dubiously flavoured Tango, and Blackpool rock among other things. I like none of these, but took them all. Each day (there are so many students stand workers never remember faces) you can go back and get more of whatever they’re giving. Change your clothes and you can even go back several times on one day. The fact that I wouldn’t personally consume them didn’t matter – they would still be useful. A very quick way to make friends is to trade or simply give away anything you’ve acquired that you don’t want. But save some supplies, and you can use them as bribes lat
er on in the term – sometimes a mini pot of Dolmio is all it takes to shut up some people who think singing S Club songs outside your room at 3am is acceptable behaviour. This is a family site, so I’ll stick with 5. “F a Fresher” Girls are just as bad as boys with their unscrupulous targeting of the new naive little 18 year olds. I’m not here to deliver the “sex is infinitely better in a loving, committed relationship” spiel (though it totally, 100% is). Sleep with as many people as you want, just select them carefully. As important is the “What’s your name?” question, is the “Where do you live?” one. Avoid those living in the same halls as you if you possible can. I have a friend who met someone at a freshers’ ball. They got on brilliantly and the next time we saw them they were eating breakfast together in our kitchen. A few days later and the alcohol induced love affair had fizzled out. Neither had much to say to the other, and they each went their separate ways. The only trouble was, he lived in the same building, just two floors below us, and for the rest of the year, they bumped into each other on an almost daily basis. Cue lots of painfully silent embarrassed-eyes-glued-to-the-floor rides in the communal lifts (when you live on the 14th floor, stairs really aren’t an option). 6. Get involved Yes, you’re there to study, but there’s still room for other things in your life. Most societies and sports clubs will have stalls at the freshers fair (or AU – athletic union - fair if you have a separate one as we do) so go along and talk to the students running them. If there’s something that you might be interested in, and which is free to join, sign up then and there. You can always drop out later, and as a newbie away from home for the first time, it’s much better to be busy than have a social calen
dar so empty it gives you plenty of time to miss where you’re from and the people you’ve left behind. Last year I had something on each weeknight, from committee meetings to trampolining training. Even ze ozzer half was scheduled in – he had to be if he wanted to see me, because I’m the sort of person who loves to be busy. Extra-curricular activites are as important on your CV as your hobbies were on your UCAS form, especially if you have a nice mix: say one sporting activity, something creative and maybe even a care-in-the-community style project. Voluntary work is very well received, and if you take the time to find a suitable project, can be really fun. Finally, don’t worry if you can’t fit in everything you want to. You have at least another 2 of these weeks to go over the course of your degree, so you can always make the most of them then. I had the best freshers’ week ever as a 2nd year, since I knew all the orientation stuff, and could go straight to the fun and freebies. And, assuming they’ve not done any major building work I need to familiarize myself with in Manchester this past year, come September I’ll be back there wreaking havoc and stockpiling the goodies. Plus, for good measure, I’ll probably look in on the University and Met ones too. It’s my last chance, so I’ll have to make the most of it.
You've done it, passed all your exams and earned a place at University. Looking forward to getting down to some hard work? Looking forward to endless assessments and exams, public humiliation when your presentations go horribly wrong? No? Then make the most of your 1st week at University because it all gets a little bit harder from there on in! It's playtime! So, when you first arrive at your halls of residence/digs you'll probably be brand new to the whole thing of living away from home, having to look after yourself financially and physically and there'll be all sorts for you to go through and to find out. Freshers' week is the place to get it all under some kind of control and to meet some brand new people. You've gone through the registration process, you've got your little maps of the campus and you're ready to experience Freshers' week in all its glory. The usual way to go through Freshers' week is to get on down to the Freshers' fair - this will generally be held in the Student Union bar or some kind of hall relating to the SU. The first tip is to get hold of an timetable of events - the fair will be the guide to just about everything involved through the life of a student and you need to know what is going on through the week. Finances: --------- Probably the most important part of the University experience. If you have still to find that one Student Bank Account from the plethora available you'll get a LOT of info from the Freshers' fair. Each bank will usually have a stall there at some point or other, shop about to find a good deal and get the freebies as soon as possible. Find one with a progressive overdraft, you WILL be using this throughout your degree course and to get hold of an account which remains at the same level throughout is not a good idea. I'd recommend HSBC - begin with a £1000 limit and rising to £1250 then to £150
0 for 2nd and 3rd years. As I say, there are a lot of banks out there and you'd do very well to get about and see as many as you can to find a good deal. Clubs: ------ At University you will be meeting a load of new people. Freshers are fair game for the University clubs and societies and these offer a chance to meet like minded people and enjoy the particular activity together. Joining fees and weekly subs are usually applied to Uni clubs but they are generally very cheap and offer you a way to get to know a lot of new folks. Tip 2 - Be a joiner. Meeting people and making friends: ---------------------------------- Now, as you'll all be aware you've entered the twilight zone of social connections when you move away from home. You know nobody and all your mates from home are all over the country now. You'll be bound to feel a bit out of sorts and not really know what's what. Remember - everyone is in the same boat! Freshers' week is the time to meet new people and make loads and loads of lifelong mates. In the Halls of Residence: -------------------------- Here's the folks you're going to be spending the next 9 months living with, you don't know anyone and nobody knows you. Get on down to the pub! On my first night in my halls I was in a bit of a gloomy mood, I'm a fairly shy kind of person and not the best at meeting people. The thing to do is to PUT ALL THAT BEHIND YOU. Straight away you want to be getting out and meeting your new living partners. Get into the communal kitchen and pull the ringpull off a beer or boil the kettle for a cuppa - see how quickly you've got some people to talk to? Here's the starting point for your adventure. In Freshers' week you're bound to find a lot of time on your hands to go out in the evenings, you'll be finding all th
e cheap deals down the SU bar and local "Studentie" pubs so you won't feel a great weight on your finances. Get the beers in and let the good times roll. Clubs (again): -------------- Once you're in you're in. You'll generally be welcomed with open arms and invited to the next knees up - go along, et your hair down and find those people with the same interests as you and get yourself chatting - you'll have the friends you miss from home back again (although they'll look different, sound different and be different people altogether - oh, you know what I mean) Classmates: ----------- Once you've registered and made the choices needed for your course you'll usually meet your new classmates. Bear in mind that these people will be divided into the "Want to work and nothing else", "Want to get the degree and have some fun while about it" and "Just here to have a laugh" categories. Find the ones you're most likely to hang out with and get into the group. They're usually very easy to spot and, if you get in with like-minded people you'll never be short of a friend to go out to the pub with, study with or a mixture of the two. Freshers' Ball: --------------- Here's the pinnacle of the Freshers' week thing. Everyone gets dressed up and gets drunk to the sounds of some dodgy local band (in the case of our university) or a quite well-known band (in the case of a lot of universities with a bit of cash about them). It's the end of the week, one weekend to go and you'll be delved into the world of essays, practicals, exams and stress that will embody the rest of your time at university so the Freshers' ball is the chance of one last blow-out. Get yourself dressed up. Use the new friends to get opinions on suits/dresses/jewellery/hair etc and build that bond further. Once you g
et in have a lot of fun. Dance the night away and have a good old drink, it's always fun to make something of a fool of yourself in front of relative strangers and again - everyone will be doing it! I think what I'm trying to say in this bit is that you should forget all about your inhibitions, forget that you don't really know the people you're around and just go for it. If I can do it then anyone can. Sex: ---- If you're just away from home and have followed the above advice with regards to having no inhibitions you will probably be on the lookout for some sex. It will (probably) come your way in some shape or form over the Freshers' week madness. Serious time now folks! Be careful. It's an obvious tip but one that can easily be forgotten. The surest way to ruin your time at university is to either get someone or yourself pregnant or to be lumbered with a strange itching down below. Use a condom! Drugs: ------ I'm not going to lie to any of you, you'll find these available all throughout even the best and poshest universities. Don't be alarmed, in this day and age taking an "E" is just like having a cuppa. Hardly. Drugs can be a lot of fun, I won't deny that and neither will any of the leaflets you will be able to get hold of at the Freshers' fair - you are at university for an education. Use your brain and make educated choices. I will never say "Don't take drugs" to anyone. What I will say is take them if you like but be aware of the consequences. In Freshers' week there are a lot of opportunities for drug taking and boozing. If you know what you're doing you're better prepared for the effects and consequences so PLEASE get some info on what's what. Everyone likes to experiment and have fun and where better to do it than at Uni? Overall: -------- Freshers' week is, and always will be, a time for you to meet new people, get to know the university campus and to get drunk in all sorts of silly locations with silly people. If there is one tip I can give it is to ENJOY Freshers' week as much as you can. You'll be 18 at least when you get to Uni, old enough to have a little common sense and a bit of streetwise. You're old enough to vote, to drink and to drive most classifications of vehicle - use the sense you have to make informed choices. Join the clubs you're interested in, meet the people you're living with and make friends with everyone you bump into. Once you've been there a while little cliques develop and you'll be bound to end up in one. The Freshers' week playtime is great to get yourself settled in, meet people and get used to the way of living away from home. Don't shy away from some serious stuff, we all need to know timetables, rooms and all that but do it early! Get on with the fun because it all gets a bit harder from there on in. In one line? Enjoy your Freshers' week!
I doubt it, but one or two of you may have noticed that I haven't written anything in quite some time, especially given the fact that I used to do pretty much one op per day, but there is a good reason! I am now one of those students - y'know the noisy drunken hard up people who never wash. Or maybe not. But anyway, here I am, back at ya from the good ol' Uni of Durham, with what I think of Freshers Week!! Everyone has preconceptions about freshers week. It's meant to be wild and crazy. Sex, drugs and rock and roll if you believe the hype, although I wouldn't touch the drugs myself. Two weeks ago I packed my stuff and set off for Uni, fully expecting the wild opening week that I had been lead to believe was par for the course. It didn't quite turn out that like that in reality, although after a shaky start it did improve towards the end. Now don't get me wrong - there's plenty of fun stuff to do, infact a week of non stop drinking and partying sounds like heaven, or at least it would be with your friends - you know the ones you either left at home or who've headed off to other parts of the country. If you're lucky you'll know some people, but for most people it's a completely fresh start with completely new people. As much as you'd probably like to hear of my misery, I'm not a friendless fool, I have made lots of friends, but there's no way in the world that after 2-3 days you're going to know anyone nearly well enough to call them a good friend, which means that all these parties are a bit of a let down. Or maybe that was just the way it was for me, but for the first few days at least I did feel a little like I didn't really know anyone. So anyway, there I sat, a few days in to this new fangled thing called Uni, and to be honest I felt out of place. I didn't know anyone very well, I was sitting in my room on my own and I really wasn't very happy.........then ever
ything seemed to sort itself out. One of the things about freshers week is meeting a million new people, asking them their name, course and where they live, then moving on to someone else, more often than not forgetting everything they said in a matter of seconds. Then after a few days I started remembering people, talking to them and getting to know a few people better. I got quite lucky in that the floor I'm on is very friendly, and there's about 6 of us who get on really well. Anyway, before this turns in to a story of my freshers week - some general points that I better get out! Everyone's gonna be a little nervous when they arrive - it's natural - but resist the temptation to hide in a corner! Go out and talk to people, knock on doors, say hi to people in the corridors, just be friendly. Everyone's in the same boat, and if you want to talk to people then the chances are that other people want to talk too! Also I would say that it's probably a good idea to get to your Uni early, I arrived late and walked in to a bar of what looked like life long buddies. Of course it wasn't this way, but it's easier to be there first and have people come to you than try to join in a group conversation. I tried to pick someone on their own to talk to, but unfortunately I picked the one unfriendly person in the whole college to talk to first, he just grunted at me and went back to watching the football. Don't let some people put you off, because the vast majority of people are very friendly - indeed more so than normal! I guess I should say be wary of some people, as everyone really is artificially nice for the first week or so. That's not to say that everyone isn't nice all the time, but you know as well as I do that in life there are some people you want to be friends with, and others you'll want to avoid! Next up, go to all the parties\socials\ents\whatever that you can. Time, and the fact that everyon
e needs at least 'some' sleep mean you can't make everything every day, but getting involved is the best way to get to know people! Strange as it may sound, I got to know more people by dancing in an overcrowded, hot and sweaty club than I did all day wandering around freshers fairs. I'm not normally the kind of person who goes to clubs, but I went anyway because everyone else was. Freshers week isn't about doing anything serious, you don't go clubbing to have a good time clubbing, and you don't go paintballing to practise your marksmanship - they're all just excuses to get to meet people!! Apart from sleeping and drinking, you're going to have to a few other things too (I know, it's a shame!). Daytimes for me normally involved lots of queuing. You had to queue to register, queue to sign up for each module, queue for your bill (although they were much happier giving you that than the loan cheque!), queue for medical registration. And when the days queuing was over you might think you'd get to go back to your Halls and relax? Of course not, you had to queue to get the 'food' (I say 'food', because it really is a disgrace to the word food!) and then queue to get drinks at the bar. There wasn't much chance of getting wasted on he first night, not when it took 30 minutes to get a pint! Anyway, moans aside, it really is a fun time, and once I'd done the registration I headed off to the Freshers fairs to join some clubs. Unfortunately one my friends who happens to be a local took us on a tour of the City, and we ended up spending a little too long in some of the local drinking establishments. The net result was that we missed most of the freshers fair, but never-the-less I still got their in time to sample most of the freebies on offer, and even join a club or two!! The way these things work is simple - take a big room and fill it full of stalls with people eagerly trying to convince you
to sign up to their societies. The popular clubs seemed the most active, whereas the 'Train Spotting and Stamp Collecting' stall had one dejected guy (or geek?) sitting silently. Of course, most of the societies didn't interest me at all, so I resorted to one line put downs to most of the unwanted advances I received - who really wants to join the 'Conservative Soc' anyway!! Deciding that I better take some interest in my chosen subject of Physics, I joined the relevant society which is actually called the 'Physical Society', which sounds more like an exercise group to me, so at least if I want to impress a sporty type then I'm sorted! One word of warning, don't join up to loads of things - my friend spent £50 joining the 'Union Society' because the guy made it sound important. I'm sure it is if you want to spend every Friday night in a debate, but when you could go on the local 14 bars-in-one-night pub crawl I think I know where my loyalties lie! And another word of advice, grab all the freebies you can! I got some newspapers, free pizza, sandwiches, pies, key rings, pens, posters and tonnes of vouchers. Not bad for a half an hour spent wandering! And remember folks, as one stall said - 'There ain't no party like a Chess Club Party!'. So anyway, to sum up so far I'd say get involved and meet people, and don't go mad at Freshers fairs. Another good thing to do is try not to get upset! Sounds pretty silly when I say it, but loads of people get depressed. I'm lucky as I only live about an hour away, so I don't feel as if I'm stranded miles from home, but lots of people feel quite lonely. Everyone's seems to talk about the great stuff in freshers week, but it seems no one mentions that people get homesick - I know me saying don't get depressed won't change much, but just remember everyone's in the same boat, and it does get better after the first few days. Wher
eas once I was desperate to talk to anyone, now I'd kill for a few hours without anyone around to get in my way - I actually do need to do some work. And if things aren't going too well, homes only a train journey away!! Lots of people said freshers week costs loads, and while it did cost more than a normal week of Uni, I'd have to say it was money well spent, as in the end I had a good time. You will drink too much alcohol, you won't get enough sleep and you're bound to do a few stupid things. Not to worry though, the chances are that loads of other people will have done worse things.....and if they haven't then look out for your name in the next edition of the Uni newspaper!! Freshers week was good fun, and although it didn't live up to the hype I would still like to have another one - the thing is I can't!!
Well hello there! About to start university? Scared? Nervous? Well don’t be – Fresher’s week is great – you’ll love it. And here I am – about to start my second year and I’m more scared than I was before being a fresher (the exams actually mean something this time!) I thought now would be a good time as any to plonk this op into dooyooland - being the week before we all go off to uni and all. So here is my A-Z guide of being a fresher – I hope it helps your nerves a little bit! *** A is for Alcohol *** Yep, believe me, there will be lots of it and you will get drunk! (Unless you don’t want to of course!) The student union (I shall explain later!) offer cheap prices in their bar and if you’re up north then everywhere is quite cheap compared to down south! But be careful kids – Alcohol contain loads of calories and if you drink loads every night it is inevitable that you’ll put on weight – believe me, I did! *** B is for Banks *** What? You haven’t got a bank account yet? Why the hell not? Don’t worry there are loads of others in your position. Different banks have different offers so shop around. Some give away money, mobile phones or railcards- others give you special offers and most come with a nice interest free overdraft! But be careful y’all – don’t forget if you’re in debt it has to be paid off one day. I use HSBC – those lovely people gave me a nice £50 to start with and a £750 interest free overdraft. I was a very happy bunny, and I still am but I have heard a couple of nasty stories about students who have dropped out of university and have had problems with them. Keep an eye on the pennies - I thought I’d never use my overdraft but you’d be surprised how much you actually spend During Fresher’s week a lot of banks will be advertising themselves on campus R
11; most universities have a bank on site. But don’t make an on the spot decision if some lovely looking lady from Barclays approaches you, why do you think Barclays employ such a lovely looking laydee? *** C is for Children *** Well, being a student is there to be enjoyed right? It’s that middle bit in between being a kid and a responsible adult. So go on – act like kids, be loud, run around and scream – just respect everyone else around you k? And don’t hurt yourselves! *** D is for Discounts *** Take advantage of these shamelessly! There are so many opportunities for a bargain down the high street now. Just one flick of your student identification can give you 10% off things at shops like; Topshop/Miss Selfridge, Evans, HMV and Dorothy Perkins. Nice one! *** E is for Enjoy yourself *** This is probably one of the most important sections but the shortest… …Fresher’s week is meant to be the best time of your university life (apart from graduating!) ENJOY IT WHILE IT LASTS! *** F is for Free Stuff! *** Oh – I wish I was a fresher again – you lucky LUCKY people! Most universities have an event called “Fresher’s Fayre” and this is when local companies come in and give you loads of free stuff! My advice is to GRAB AS MUCH AS YOU CAN – if you don’t want it you can always give it to someone else or throw it away (Well, its not a waste is it? It’s free!) From Alcohol to Pens – Fresher’s Fayre is the place to pick up loads of special discount coupons and posters and keyrings and food and calendars and and and… *** G is for Guess *** If you feel a bit uneasy asking someone’s name just guess what it is – they’ll soon correct you! When you are around new people its expected of you to forget names/places etc so you won’t look complet
ely thick if you don’t know. And if you guess right – ohhhhhh SMART-ASS! *** H is for Halls and Houses *** Well you need to live somewhere don’t you? Houses usually belong to 2nd years not Freshers but fret not if you are in one with noone you know. Your new housemates are all going through the same thing. And if they are really freaky you always have a lock on your door! Halls are the greatest inventions known to 1st year students. These places thrive on social activities. Everywhere you go there’s always a friendly face to chat to. I recommend halls if you have the chance – it’s the best way to kick-start your uni life, making new friends as soon as you get there. The first girl I met when I reached my room is now still one of my fantastic mates (um, that’s you Nic!) – she even made my Dad a cup of tea bless her! (And she’d better make him one when we get to Hull again this time – else he’ll be soooooooo upset!) *** I is for Illness *** I’m not trying to scare you here but there is a predicted spell of Fresher’s Flu this year. I’m not some kinda psychic who can tell the future though – it happens every year! When everyone is in Halls, mingling with each other germs can spread and provide everyone with the chance to have the flu (or a cold!). I cant give any advice for this – just get your Mum and Dad to buy you some Lemsip with your first load of groceries – just so you can save yourself some money in case you get it! There is also the dreaded “hangover”. Now, this isn’t an illness but it can make you feel ill! My advice? DON’T GET DRUNK! Well, actually do get drunk – cus you might not have as much fun but you’ll most probably be saying this when you have the hangover from hell and a 9 o’clock lecture! *** J is for Just being you *** Noone can do
this better than you! One lesson in life that people need to learn is that some people will like you – and some people won’t! Kinda hard not to take things personally and worry about that sorta thing though isn’t it? But don’t worry – if you are yourself people will take you for whoever you are. And don’t forget – everyone else is going through the same thing and you might not like him or her either! Usually there are a lot of barriers at first – people tend to be quieter than usual, nervous – but being genuine will stand out more and enthuse more people to do the same thing. *** K is for kissing *** Kissing, hmmm, well what can I say? During Fresher’s week there’s parties a’ plenty and loads of fit blokes and women just waiting to snog you silly there! These are usually one night thangs and you’ll never see the person again (thank goodness some of you might sigh with relief!) but I have known a couple of people who met for the first time at a Fresher’s do and they are still together now. *** L is for Lectures *** I’m sorry – I had to put this one in. Just be aware that although you are having the time of your life you are at university for a reason – to um… study! There are few lectures during the first week and they are important so shouldn’t be missed. These first lectures tell you everything about what you’ll be doing throughout the year. *** M is for Mums and Dads *** Smile at them, hug them, accept their money, say thank-you, kiss them goodbye and don’t forget to phone them. They do worry! *** N is for Noise *** Well, during Fresher’s week in halls people are getting to know each other, playing drinking games, showing off their brand new stereo system etc. So it is inevitable that there will be a lot of noise. Accept that fact – and if you cant beat them
well JOIN THEM! *** O is for Orientation *** Trying to find your way around your new university is like being a little 12 year old lost in your new secondary school again. But don’t worry – there aren’t any bullies to guide you in the wrong direction. Usually there are signs around the uni during this week so USE THEM! And if you are still honestly lost ASK SOMEONE – they’re bound to know! But don’t worry – you’ll find your way around soon! ***P is for Parties *** Yep! PARTIES! Fresher’s week should be full of them. What better way to meet and socialise with new people? Go to them! Get drunk at them! Make yourself known at them! *** Q is for Queues *** ARGH! This is the unavoidable thing about Fresher’s week – all years have to put up with them! At our university you have to queue up for ages to get your student card and get registered – it seems like forever! My advice is to start talking and take an interest in the people next to you – you could make some great friends or you could never see them again ever. Either way its still something to do isn’t it! *** R is for Roommate *** Argh! Have you read your accommodation contract and found out that you’re sharing a room in halls? Well ok – I went through hell with my ex-roommate – I shan’t tell you now though – don’t want to scare you! (Nic’ll tell you anyway!) But usually in most cases you’ll love your roommate. The hall warden didn’t put you together if he/she thought you would be at each other’s necks! As I’ve said before – just be yourself! *** S is for Socialising *** Mingle! Mingle! Mingle! Fresher’s week is all about socialising and meeting new people. If you don’t socialise you’ll end up on your own in your room with no friends but the TV and
your talking dog slippers! I’m quite outgoing and day two of Fresher’s week I ended up walking into someone’s room, taking an interest in who they were etc and they’re now another one of my great mates from uni! *** T is for Traffic Cones *** Right, drunken students are stereotyped as nicking things like For Sale signs and Road signs and/or running off with a traffic cone on top of their head. This is a generalisation, but my friend has a back garden full of these novelties left by the old occupants. It aint funny and it aint clever and it is against the law – but if you’re drunk enough and you could get away with it well … (don’t blame me for encouraging you!) *** U is for Union *** Your student union should be the bestest place in the world! Most of the activities, do’s, parties and get togethers take place here. The main student bar is located here as well – offering you subsidised drinks and a lovely friendly atmosphere. You will be introduced to it during the week and told how it works, who runs it and how to get involved! GET INVOLVED! Pleeeeaaaaassssssse! You have so much fun doing it, meeting new people and organising different things, it’s just so rewarding! *** V is for Veteran Freshers *** Yep the veteran Freshers – those who have done it, the 2nd years, the older ones. But don’t you dare in any way look up to them! They can influence bad habits upon yourselves and warp your fragile little minds! They aren’t that bad – if you need help don’t hesitate to ask them – loads of them have volunteered to help during the week anyway – so they can’t be that scary can they? *** W is for Wolf in Lamb’s Wool *** GIRLS BE CAREFUL! Lurking around at every Fresher’s party/union night there are so many of these men! Usually 2nd/3rd years/finalists looking for an easy fresher t
o pull! They dress rather innocently, they are very polite, and they are very nice indeed until BANG! They end up trying it on with you and not being such a nice blokee after all. You have been warned! X is for X amount of fun Fresher’s week is what you make it. You can have little fun at all or BIG TIME FUN! It all depends on the amount of effort you put in. *** Y is for Yearly *** Fresher’s week is an annual thing. The volunteers who help show you to your room or around the university have all been in your position. And you could be one of those volunteers the next year if you wanted to. Fresher’s week is planned to the best of the organiser’s abilities – they want you to have the best time possible. Just remember that it is actually planned in advance so your first few days can go as smoothly as possible – and they will! *** Z is for Zucchini *** It’s a courgette – thought you might like to know that if you’re self catered and/or if you are ever asked what it is on “Who wants to be a millionaire” or something! Doh! Anyway – I hope this has been of some use to you just about to start university. Good luck in your studies, enjoy yourselves and have loads of fun – just take care whilst doing it! Oh and if you’re going to St Andrews give a BIG HUG to Wills from me and ask how his Gran’s doing. HuGz xxx PS: if you’ve experienced Fresher’s week ages ago I’d love to hear all your past memories – reminiscing is great isn’t it!
So you’re off to university to start a new parent-free, skint lifestyle eh? You’ll have been invited to go for freshers week then. That wonderful time where you pack all your bags, count your pennies, get dropped off by your parents who don’t leave quick enough. And then there’s Aunty Mabel who insists on kissing you in front of all these strangers who are to become your fellow students after they have stopped laughing! (Their aunty Mabel left an hour ago!) And then suddenly, you are all on your own, in a strange place, and you wish you were back at home again. Of course you don’t, because you have been reading all the ops on dooyoo, and feel well placed to cope with your freshers week. Well, here’s my twopenneth worth of experience, from Freshers Week in Hull University, oh, about 10 years ago! 1. ~~Say Hello~~ You don’t know anyone, but neither doe anyone else. So your first job after waving goodbye, is to unpack the stereo and the kettle, and then go and knock on your neighbours door. You’ll probably be in halls of residence, and you might as well get to know the people you’ll see first thing in the morning when you are suffering a hangover. So go and knock up your neighbours (quaint term that!) and get the kettle on, and get to know them. Before you know it the whole floor will be gathered together, and you’ll have made a dozen friends. 2. ~~Get involved~~ You should be given a list of all the activities that are available in the first week. Make sure you attend as many of them as you can, and make sure your neighbours come too! If you don’t, you’ll find everyone else knows everyone, and you will be quickly left out. The unfortunate thing about students is that they’re a cliquey lot, and if you haven’t shown your face in those first few days, you will be forgotten. 3. ~~Get joining~~ Sometime in the first day or two you will get a chance to join all th
e student clubs that the university provides. Make sure you have a good look around and then join the ones you think you will like. There should be a good range of sports clubs, movies, games, hobbies, religions, and then a whole range of strange ones such as the Dr Who Companion Knickers Watcher Brigade and so forth. Joining these are a great way of widening your circle of friends, and also finding people who share similar interests as yourself, to compensate for the dorks who are your neighbours! 4. ~~Don’t get joining~~ Following on form the previous point, don’t get caries away with yourself and join every club you can find. You will never have enough time to get involved with them, and there is nothing more disappointing then attending one meeting, and then giving up. Neither will you appreciate having meetings on every night of the week, stopping you from sleeping/clubbing/ revising/ dosing or whatever. Be realistic! 5. ~~Find a tutor~~ You will probably be assigned a tutor who will oversee your pastoral development, i.e. look after you when you are blubbering. Make sure you introduce yourself to them, and keep in touch with them. You many not need them yet, but they will be invaluable when you need to hand assignments in late and want someone to break the bad news to the professor concerned. There’s nothing worse then approaching your personal tutor, and they go “Do I know you?” Which is what happened to me! Hope you have fun, hope you get bladdered as much as possible, and hope that Saturday job pays minimum wages! Enjoy!
I have no doubt when I say that the worst moment of my entire life was when I closed the door of my new room in Hall attThe University of Durham, having just hugged my mum and dad goodbye and I was left sitting amongst boxes and suitcases in a strange place where I knew no-one! And I wanted to cry so much but at that moment I had a choice - sit in and cry wondering what the hell I was doing and how on earth I was going to survive, or get out and find the rest of the Freshers in the pub. I was physically shaking when I walked into the crowded 'Hogshead' - everyone was talking to someone and for about 30seconds I stood in the doorway debating running out, back to my boxes were I could shut everyone away and cry. But just as I was about to turn away, a hand was thrust into mine 'I'm X and I study Y and I'm originally from Z'. What I'm trying to say is, no matter how tempted you are to hide away in your own little world of fear and sadness...DONT!! Fresher's week is all about getting to know people, learning all about your University and course and for the first time in many young people's lives, their first experiences of living away from home. Some people handle Freshers Week wonderfully others really struggle, like me! But after you get over the thousands of 'What do you study?' and 'Where are you from?' questions, it's great and turns into a really big party! Here are my top tips for surviving the worst and best days of your Uni life... * Be yourself...in order to find a crowd who are truly like you, you must be yourself (and remember any act must be kept up for 3 or 4 years!!) * Don't panic if you think you don't fit in...there are hundreds of other Fresher's and soon you will find someone just like you - it may take time though (I met my best ever friend when I was just starting 2nd year!) * Don't cling to a particular group too early...
be open minded and meet and talk to as many people as possible and then you can settle with some good friends * If you have any worries you must talk to someone about it...remember everyone is in the same boat as you and maybe a friend has the same problems as you - or speak to a tutor or a staff member in your Hall, generally people are keen to help. * Dont get really drunk until the 3rd or 4th day of Freshers Week...people remember first impressions so if you make a complete pratt of yourself in the first few hours, it'll be difficult to forget!! * Hold back on pulling until the 3rd or 4th day of Freshers Week (and don't go bersurk when you do go out on the pull)...as above - remember people pick up nicknames at this time and you don't want to be called 'Dirty Clare' or 'Loose Ben' for the rest of your Uni life! Also many people arrive at uni with girl/boyfriends back home and you don't want to be hitting on someone already attached. * Make sure you phone your parents to let them know that you are alright and having a good time (if you mum is anything like mine, she really panics if she thinks I'm having a bad time)...and rememeber that they will be quite sad and scared for you too, after all you are their baby flying the nest!! * Don't panic and have fun. There will be lots of activities planned and many opportunities to meet new people. It's all very nerve-wracking but everyone survives. Just remember to give your new friends/course/Uni time - if you hate it after 2 days, give it a few more weeks and don't give in too soon. Uni is absolutely brilliant and I can't see how anyone can fail to enjoy themselves - follow my tips and I'm sure you'll have a ball...GOOD LUCK!
When I was a fresher at Uni, 3 years ago, I messed it all up, and on the 2 subsequent freshers weeks, I haven't ever made full advantage of it. Here's what I feel is important.... *** SMILE *** However scared you feel, and no matter how stressed, and probably also feeling left out in a "nobody loves me within a 100 mile radius" sort of way, keep smiling. It's one of your best methods of coping with this. *** DO STUFF *** Even if you really really hate anything liek exercise, if someone asks you to go swimming with them, for goodness sake, go. Doing stuff with people is perhaps the easiest ways of making friends, and appearing to be busy also makes you a desirable person to spend time with. In other words, you may find yourself not particularly enjoying yourself, but if you make the effort to do things, and are active, you'll get friends, and life (in the long run) will be much much better. Trust me, this was something I didn't do. *** JOIN SOMETHING *** Be it a social society or a sports club, join something. You don't have to be an olympic-level netball player to join the team. It's really a more of a social thing anyway. If you want to take it seriously, but the most important thing at freshers week is to get involved. *** LEAVE YOUR ROOM *** Yes, you'll be knackered if you're going out 'til 3am, and getting up at 9, but it's worth it. If you're around more often, you'll speak to more people, and hence make more friends, and be happier. Try to spend as little time as you can in your room alone. It's OK if there's 15 more of you in there, but try to get out more! Hehehe. *** ERM, GO OUT *** I'm sorry to sound repetitive, or to state something that's obvious, like going out. But do it. Go whenever you can with as many people as you can. It's good to follow, but also take the initiative sometimes a
nd ask people if they want to go out. Buy tickets for as many events as you can too. Yes, I know it's expensive, but freshers week will always be so. *** DON'T STUDY *** (Too hard) You've got 3 more years to get your head down, and trust me, it's easier if you have friends to support you. So leave the studies for a few days, yes, attend lectures and get to know people off your course, but don't stress too much in this week. It's important for you to get settled, and the University knows this. *** DON'T PANIC *** If you don't get friends immediately, then you're like me. Don't give up and hide, it's just because people have to warm to you. I'm just like that, and I find that I get much better friendships if people take time to suss you out first. Just be patient and it'll be fine. So, all in all..... 1. Smile. 2. Do stuff. 3. Join something. 4. Leave your room. 5. Go out. 6. Don't worry about work. 7. Don't panic. Oh, and ring your Mum, she worries about you.
Freshers week, for me was a really odd experience. Mainly because I can't remember too much of it. But anyway here's a few tips Be Outgoing It's true, this is the time when students are most likely to make friends when everyone's in the same boat. Make sure you don't cover your face in your pillow as soon as you get to uni. Get out there and make friends, as if you don't you'll regret it as everyone has developed their own circles of friends and your not part of it. Remember, everyone's just as scared as you! Societies I reckon it's worth joining 1 or 2 you are interested in, as 1 - Meet new friends 2 - Pursue an interest 3 - Remember your CV! But don't join too many, or you'll get yourself down. Same with sports clubs, the sport you enjoy is good but with training and commitments you'll find yourself too busy. Remember it costs money to join and societies need money to survive so they are going to pester you! Books This is something I feel strongly about. Buying all your textbooks is a mugs game. There are some you blantantly don't need. One good trick (If you feel comfortable) is getting a copy of the syllabus and going to the libary to look up the relevant topics and get the books out that, because they aren't listed nobody has and you are saving money yet learning (this won't work for people who worry though). Remember second hand bookshops as well. Basically keep your wits about you when you are buying, don't just buy. Enjoying Yourself This is the important thing, but don't feel pressured into something you really don't want to do. Keep your wits and enjoy freshers. Don't spend all your loan either, it's for 12 weeks not 1 week!. Keep an eye out for the freebies, most are rubbish but I've had free burgers and chips, drinks and other fun. Enjoy! Good luck