Hello again! We’re getting back into the season of people going off to university for the first time, flying the nest from their hometown and making a tiny step into the big, wide world! As well as this, there’s also the hundreds of thousands of students who are wishing they could be a fresher again (me included) and want to relive the infamous ‘messiest week of their lives’. Fresher’s Week as defined by Collin’s Dictionary is “a week at the beginning of a university year, usually with a programme of events intended to welcome new first-year students”. With universities all starting at different times, some people will currently be in their fresher’s week, but for the majority of students, the Fresher season is heavily upon us. After experiencing it, here are 8 top tips for Fresher’s Week!
- Find people before Fresher’s Week!
As soon as you find out what accommodation block you’re in and you’ve got that all important room number, find your flatmates! I appreciate that this is easier said than done, but it is definitely doable. The week before I started university, I found my block neighbour Kelly on Facebook and Twitter and we realised that we had so many things in common and we couldn’t wait to meet each other. This made moving in so much easier as I knew I already had a friend at university that I would go on nights out (and I didn’t know then, but I know now, that we’d spend pretty much all the time together apart from lectures).
- Keep talking!
You may feel that you’re holding the whole conversation, and they may feel exactly the same. You’ll probably say your name, your age, where you’re from, what accommodation block you’re in and what you’re studying around a million times during Fresher’s Week (or Fresher’s Fortnight in my case!). Just talk to as many people as possible! Everybody will naturally feel shy, but if you present yourself as someone who is willing to talk and present yourself as someone who is easy-going, chances are they’ll find you as a good presence to be around, and you’ll always be welcome into their conversation. You’ll be known as the kind, lovely person on your course that everyone should get to know.
- Keep moving!
Just like in a networking event, don’t hesitate to walk about. Don’t stick to one area of campus just because you feel comfortable there. Branch out and take in as many experiences as possible. If you’re someone who doesn’t really go out clubbing at home, go with your flatmates and soak up all the madness. If you’re someone who doesn’t play sports at home, go to some introductory events. They’re FREE and chances are, many people who will be either on the team or at the event are likely to be trying the sport out for the first time. At Warwick, there are over 250 sport clubs and societies to get involved in, so why not take a chance… you’ll meet incredible people!
- Don’t pressure yourself!
You can go to lots of events, but don’t pressure yourself to go to absolutely every event because the flyer said so. Don’t go to an event where you know you’re going to feel uncomfortable just because you’ve heard it’s the best night on campus or in the surrounding cities. This is particularly hard when it comes to initiation ceremonies. Some clubs are more harsh on their Fresher’s than others, whether it be drinking out of a dog bowl or getting so legless you’ll have a week long hangover, don’t feel that you have to do it. If they’re a decent society, they’ll ensure your welfare is on top. Don’t do something just to look cool.
- Don’t be a dick!
Similarly, as Adam Hills says, don’t be a dick. Don’t drink copious amounts of alcohol just because it’s your first night of freshers and you’ve heard it’s going to be the best time of your life. Just stay true to yourself, and people will love you for it. Don’t go so hard in the club that you pull a muscle or cause damage to yourself or someone else! You’ll just be remembered as the dick that can’t be trusted on a night out. Remember you’re in an adult situation, and your parents can’t save you now. Don’t spend £100 on a night out, your parents can’t bail you out now.
- Go to your introductory lectures/seminars…
Remember you’re not at university just on the lash for a few years! You have to study too! In the first week of term, you’re going to be bombarded with so much information that your brain will hurt as though you’ve redone your A Levels. Make sure you attend all the introductory lectures and your first week seminars. You’ll be given plenty of vital information, deadline dates and you’ll get to know people on your course that you’ll be studying with for the next few years of their lives. They’re on your course, so you’re going to have similar academic interests. Plus, going to these will put you in good stead for always completing your lecture and seminar readings, and get you into good habits you’ll need for the rest of your degree. Also, get to know your personal tutor and your module convenors. Remember they’re a normal person who enjoy teaching your subject, so utilise them. One of my tutors follows me on Twitter now! (pals).
- Fresher’s Flu!
The inevitable. You’ll be halfway through your first week at university, and you will wake up ill. The concoction of cooking for yourself, cheap alcohol and mixing with people from across the globe will do nothing for your immune system. I remember the first few lectures of first year being a competition between the lecturer and the amount of coughing. Take plenty of medicine with you to uni and bulk yourself up. A Berocca always works a treat, plus they will give you plenty of energy to power through your seminar readings.
- Phone home!
Your parents and family are going to be worrying 24/7 about you. Make sure that every so often, you Skype them, Facetime them, call them or just drop them a little text to tell them what you’re doing and that you aren’t dead, you’ve got your student loan and you’re eating well. This will calm your family down so much, and make them a lot more comfortable. Going to university is one of the biggest steps towards being independent, so make sure that your family and friends from home know that you’re coping fine and well. My mum always drops me a ‘Good morning’ and ‘Good evening’ text and I always reply, and I know it makes her day to be in contact with me. Don’t leave your parents out of the loop, they’d rather hear about your adventures from you than via a Facebook status or a tweet.
Honestly, university is the time of your life, and I have so many memories from first year that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I cannot wait to start second year, living in a house with my flatmates from first year – some of the most wonderful people that I’ve ever met. I’ve already been in my house and it’s cute and homely, and I can’t wait to make many wonderful memories. Most of these will probably involve singing as we’re quite a theatrical house but I couldn’t imagine it any other way. The stereos will always be going (but not too loudly, we’ll be considerate to our neighbours) and some songs will always be on repeat. For my Fresher’s week, this song is synonymous and everytime I hear this, I can’t help but think of the Paint Party, which was the first night of many in the Copper Rooms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG_dA32oH44