Your first year of uni is whirlwind of adventure- new people, new places and (most importantly) parties. Everyone wants to make sure they make the most of this exciting period in your life, so we asked second and third years what they wish they’d done in Freshers to make sure you don’t miss out on the best bits.
Get important admin out of the way
A big part of first year is going out and having fun but this doesn’t mean that you should let important (although boring) admin get pushed aside. Register with your local doctor as chances are that the combination of several nights out in a row and messy halls’ kitchens will leave you with the dreaded Freshers flu. Being in a position where you can book an appointment on the day that you need it will leave you in very good stead for the rest of the year.
Also, remember to change your address on your Amazon and ASOS accounts to avoid the unnecessary stress of having to get important packages forwarded from home.
Get a student bank account.
Even if you already have a bank account, this is a really good way of making sure you’ve scooped up all the perks of being a student. Most banks offer great student deals, although Santander stand out with their offer of a free four-year railcard and £1,500 interest and fee-free overdraft. Natwest are a close contender with their promise of 1/3 off coach travel for four years with National Express. Some banks, such as Nationwide, require you to set up your student account a month either side of your start date so sorting this early can prevent missing out in the future.
Be careful with your budget from week one
When that hefty loan hits it is very tempting to go out and blow it on expensive tickets and booze. However, don’t feel like you have to buy the Freshers wristband or go to the most expensive events. Some of the best nights out you’ll have will be impromptu and at the cheapest clubs on campus- it’s who you’re with, not where you are! You’re at university for at least three years so pacing yourself and budgeting is key. There will be plenty of opportunities to go that “exclusive” warehouse event, so try and focus more on spending quality time with your new friends.
Make friends with people in other years.
When you first join uni you might still be in the secondary-school mindset that mixing with other years is strictly against the status quo. However, university is nowhere near as cliquey as school and some of the best people you’ll meet will be in separate years to you. Plus, befriending second and third years can get you exclusive entry into some amazing house parties so join a society and start networking.
Join a society and go to their events!
On that note, join a society! This is such a fantastic opportunity to broaden your friendship group beyond the bounds of your course and halls. A lot of societies run socials and trips abroad throughout the year and are very keen to get Freshers involved so try not to feel intimidated by the thought of mixing with older years- they were a first year once too!
Sign up to a new sport
Staying healthy during Freshers is a very important task that is often overlooked. The easiest and most fun way to do this is by joining a sports society or going along to free sessions held by your university. Plus, this is also a great way to meet new people- those who sweat together stay together after all!
Mix with course mates sooner
It is very tempting to stay in the comfortable friendship bubble of halls when everything is new. Nonetheless, the people on your course are probably the ones you’ll have the most in common with. Having course mates is great for innumerable reasons- you have someone to sit with in lectures, someone to panic alongside you when deadlines are looming- the list is endless.
Forget about FOMO
The dreaded ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ is something that every first year will experience. The prospect of every night out being better than the last combined with a crippling fear of being left out is genuinely difficult to deal with. As frustrating as it may seem, going out all night, every night is just not a good idea for both your wallet and immune system, so try to be selective and don’t be afraid of saying no.
Make time for studying
For a lot of courses, first year doesn’t count towards your final grade. Unfortunately, you do still have to pass and turn up to your seminars so keeping on top of reading and essay deadlines is essential. Also, this is the first time you will be studying things that you’ve chosen for yourself so chances are you’ll actually enjoy the content you’re learning. Studying also makes a good excuse to meet up with course mates so knuckling down is a win-win!