So, you’ve received your results and have been accepted into uni. Congratulations! But the real tests are about to begin. That’s right, I’m talking about Fresher’s Week – a wonderful extravaganza of eating terribly, sleeping during the day, and identifying yourself solely by the course you’ll be studying rather than your name.
I just graduated last summer, so I figured now is the time to pass over my fresher’s week wisdom, to guide you young folk into the next stage of your life. So here goes…
First things first – packing.
I remember being so excited for my new room. I had Pinterest boards and notebooks full of lists of décor I wanted to bring down to the bedding I needed, and what matching toothbrush holder and bath mat I just had to get.
It’s great to get excited, but keep in mind how tiny your room will probably be. The best thing to do is just get the basics and then you can always buy anything you do need after you move in. That way you’ll have less to haul in the car, and you won’t waste money on things you can’t even fit into your room.
Tupperware is your new best friend.
If you haven’t cooked much before, portion sizes are going to get confusing. This is when your Tupperware comes out to play. Refrigerate those leftovers and voilà, now you have a tasty lunch for tomorrow. Nice job.
You’ll probably accumulate some from takeaways, but it’s best to have a few reliable, good quality tubs around just in case.
Don’t feel you need to overhaul your wardrobe.
You’re going to meet a lot of new people, and if you’ve been used to a school uniform, you might worry you don’t have enough clothes to get you through the week. But I promise, no one is going to think less of you because you don’t wear something different every day.
Buying a whole new wardrobe will take a toll on your bank account, and it’s not environmentally sustainable, so at the very least try to work out what the real gaps are in your wardrobe and only fill those.
The clothes I bought on a whim in the first week of uni are not items I look back on fondly, so don’t do a me, and make sure you only buy stuff you actually like, and will actually wear a lot. Don’t force a new style onto yourself just because you want to appear cool to your new flatmates. Be yourself!
Don’t force yourself to do anything just because ‘it’s fresher’s’.
If you feel uncomfortable about drinking or going on nights out, then don’t go. Fresher’s is not the be all and end all, so missing a few events in the first couple of weeks will not affect your friendships or how the rest of your uni life goes. Staying at home when everyone else is out is perfectly normal and isn’t something you’ll be judged for.
In fresher’s I remember endless drinking games where I would pretend to put alcohol into my ‘vodka’ coke. I still had a great time even though I wasn’t hammered, and it just made me feel a bit safer to know I was in control of myself in a new city.
If you wanna go mad, go for it, but don’t feel bad if you don’t want to get really drunk, even if everyone else seems to be drinking more than you. You never know, they might be faking it.
Try to meet people outside of your flat.
Go to your induction classes! Yes, even the 9am ones.
Everyone is in the same boat, so you should get out there and chat to your course mates. Start conversations and arrange to meet up with them at the societies fair or before your first lecture. Even if you don’t end up being great friends in the long run, it’s nice to have that comradery for your first couple of days.
Fresher’s can be a really daunting experience. Keep in mind that everyone is feeling lonely and scared – it’s not just you, and before you know it, you’ll be having an amazing time. Good luck!