So you got into uni. The results day euphoria has worn off and the panic and nerves about moving away are beginning to sink in. There's one thing on your mind. How on Earth are you going to survive Freshers' week? Worry not, just read on to see our top twelve tips for making it out alive.
Come prepared, but not too prepared
Every experienced uni student will tell you the same thing; that you will inevitably end up bringing too much with you when you fly the nest. Sure, make certain to have the essentials such as bedding, crockery, things to decorate your room with etc., but don't bring things you won't need. That jacket you bought in year 7 that doesn't fit anymore? Ditch it. You don't want to be spending precious socialising time up in your room unpacking alone. Keep it sweet and simple.
Save for the road ahead
It's a common known fact that most students are broke. And sure, that is true, but you don't want to be starting the year with no money (trust me, it's not good). Remember that it's probable that your first student loan payment, as glorious as it is when it does, doesn't come in until after Freshers' week has finished. Student finance are sneaky like that.
Chances are you have a summer job, so save as much as you can in order to be able to have a good time in Freshers' week without having to worry too much about money. You'll thank yourself later.
Me to me: I'm going to start saving my money instead of wasting it
*student loan drops* pic.twitter.com/1y0wNdJ885
— Student Problems (@StudentProblems) August 21, 2017
Don't be shy
This is definitely easier said than done. Two years ago I thought I was going to make loads of friends on my first day, being the loud and outgoing person that I am, but when it actually came to it, I clamped up and spent most of my first month at uni cooped up in my room. Just remember, everyone is in the same boat as you! Some people may know each other from back home, but the majority of people will be feeling just as scared and shy.
So put yourself out there and get chatting. You'll soon find people who are similar to you or just easy to be around, which can make the move away from friends and family a whole lot smoother.
Go to Freshers' events
Most universities or student unions put on events throughout Freshers' week which can be quite fun (genuinely or ironically, depending on how cheesy you like your nights out). It's worth going along to at least one – even if it turns out to be awful, at least you and your friends/flatmates can look back on it later and laugh. Plus, the clubs tend to put on drink deals, which can save your bank account from feeling the same way as you the next morning.
Scope out the area
If you live relatively nearby to where you're moving to, it's worth taking a trip with family or friends before you move for good to check out the town or city. That way when you actually move, you already have a feel for it. You might even spot some nice cafes or things to do in the daytime with your new friends. If you're moving really far away and visiting before isn't possible, a little google research never goes amiss. Checking out how far away from clubs, parks and restaurants your accomodation is in advance will really help for when you're re-rooted.
Do the boring stuff before
Get your rent, registration forms and contracts all sorted and signed before you move away, if possible. You don't want to miss out on that Fresher's fun day because you have to go and queue up for hours behind all the other numpties who left it all til the last minute. Sorting it all at home not only means you have less worries for when you move in, but it also means you can ask a parent or adult to help you if you need it.
Get the discounts, all the discounts!
Plenty of shops, online and on the high street, will offer student discount throughout the year. Take adavantage of this, because before you know it your 3 years will be up and you'll be in the real world and paying full price (boo). One great discount to take advantage of is the 16-25 railcard. Chances are that you'll be travelling via train to either see friends, or to go home for the holidays. The railcard gets you a third off on travel, so is really worth it for saving your pennies.
Keep an open mind
Moving to uni means meeting a lot of people from all different walks of life. This is great and means you'll experience things you'll have never seen or heard at home, from weird and funny drinking games, to different cultural traditions. Embrace these changes, and try to find the positives even if certain things do grate on you a little. Everyone is different, and that's all part of the fun.
Go to class!
Some universities hold their induction days during Freshers' week (I know…), and if you can, really try and make it to these! Obviously you're an adult and no one is making you, but it goes without saying that they're really beneficial in the long run. Starting off on the right foot can put your mind at ease about the rest of the year, so it's worth waking up early to get yourself in for the hour or two, even if you do crawl back into your hangover pit straight after.
Keep contact with home
Yes yes, you've moved away, but don't forget who fed you for all those years. Your parents or guardians will miss you as much as you miss them (and yes this is okay to admit, everyone gets homesick). Let them know how you're getting on; if you're struggling, they can help. If you're doing just fine, still let them know! They're probably worried sick and a simple text or phone call can go a long way.
Be a good flatmate
Don't burn toast at 2am. Don't throw up all over the bathroom and not clean it up. Don't drunkenly eat all your flatmate's chicken dippers and then not 'fess up in the morning. There are universal unwritten rules on how not to irritate the people you live with, and you should try and stick by them as much as possible. Everyone makes mistakes, I know. But if you do, apologise where necessary, fix the problem, and move on; you'll have an easier life because of it.
At the end of the day, Freshers' week is all about having fun. If you want to go out and get drunk, then do it! If that's not your thing, then cool, no worries because there's plenty more to do which doesn't involve alcohol. Just make sure you do the things you want to do, and don't be coaxed into things you don't just because you want to impress people.