My advice to university freshers
With A-Level results now released, many of you will be excited about starting a clean state at your chosen university. It’s an experience which is scary and exciting, so here’s some guidance on what to expect and how to make the most of being a fresher:
Embrace the culture change
As fun as first year is, there can be a roller coaster of emotions too; just know that you’re not the only one feeling this way. Many people will look like they’re having the best time on social media to fit the ‘best three years of my life’ stigma, but you don’t know what’s happening behind closed doors.
At the start, everyone will be super nice, and you’ll have loads of fun during Freshers’ Week, but soon you might start to miss home a little bit. Don’t worry if your friends don’t feel the same way, everybody’s different, and you might be living in a new city and meeting different types of people from all over the world, so missing home is natural and part of the culture change.
Leave a doorstop in your bedroom door, so it’s slightly ajar. That way, people will pop in and introduce themselves. Likewise, pop in and say hello to anyone doing the same. Talk to anyone and everyone; you’ll find that you might befriend people who are completely different to your home friends, but that’s the beauty of uni – living in a diverse environment and finding the person you’re to become.
Go to welcome events like ones in your halls. You’ll meet loads of people, which may seem overwhelming at first, but you might find your uni best mate. Just remember to be mindful to accumulate friends with quality rather than quantity in mind.
Go to the fresher’s fairs, nab all the free stuff you can and actually join the societies you took a load of leaflets for. Societies are great for meeting like-minded people and going to socials. I’ve met most of my closest friends through societies!
Expect a change in workload
By September, you’ll be receiving your timetables and humanities students will be feeling ecstatic with the little contact hours they have (apologies science students); however, don’t be fooled. Although the work may be easier than A-Levels, there’s a lot more independent work which can be overwhelming, and marking is harsher.
Don’t worry, just know that there’s a jump and seek help from your tutors. You’ll adapt to the workload soon enough and don’t worry if you don’t get the grade you want – first year is about making mistakes and working on them.
As I mentioned above, first year isn’t always the best for everyone; in fact, it can be hard. Behind the “down it fresharr!” moments and “silly fresh” comments, there’s a lot to take in; living by yourself for the first time, a new lifestyle, making friends, getting your work done, finding a house for 2nd year. Just try not to panic and always seek help from pastoral care and your GP if you’re feeling low.
Finding a house for second year
With regards to houses, it’s a tough one as everyone rushes to find the best houses by December, but you’ve only known each other for three months! Don’t worry if you haven’t found a group to live with by then; there will always be people looking for housemates on Facebook pages and Campus Society groups up until the end of the year. You will find somewhere!
Finally, enjoy yourself
It goes by so quickly!