10 Steps to Surviving Freshers*

10 Steps to Surviving Freshers*

I’ve been talking about uni since I started my blog.  I’ve gone through accommodation, money, even some recipes.  However, I’ve never really talked about Freshers week and the initial University process…  Therefore, when Boohoo* asked if I would put together a guide for Freshers week in light of their new student hub, I felt that it was an opportune time.

For those who don’t know/aren’t from the UK, ‘Freshers week’ is what we call the first week of University.  It is known to involve a lot of partying and not much else.  However, there can be far more to it than that.

What Was My Freshers Like?

In all honesty, I feel like I had a good balance.  It started very club and alcohol heavy, due to the fact that I didn’t know my flatmates well and I wanted to “fit in”.  The days consisted of adjusting to the new surroundings and city exploration with new people.  However, we were all in the same position, so it wasn’t all that awkward.  5 days into the 7 day week of straight partying (Yes, you read that right), I decided that it was all a bit too much for me, and opted in for a Netflix night in alone.  A couple of my flatmates were a bit iffy about it… But by the end of the year I’d found out we weren’t compatible people, so it was fine in the grand scheme of things.

Would I Do Anything Differently?

I’ll get more into this in the advice, but I’d probably care less about what people think.  I like clubbing and drinking and partying, and I wanted to have the whole “freshers experience” that you see in the movies.  However, I also like chill days in and daytime activities.  I didn’t want to club almost everyday for a week, but I did because I felt that it was expected of me.  Nothing is expected of you.  I’m not saying avoid going out completely.  In fact, I strongly recommend giving your all for at least the first couple of days to form foundations.  However, you don’t need to maintain a reputation of the perfect social student if that’s not you.

Aside from that, I’m pretty content with the way my freshers played out.  In fact, my problems didn’t start until a little while after freshers… But that’s a story for another day.  It’s been a couple of years now, and I’ve had time to think it all through.  Therefore, here are 10 tips to help you survive that first week of uni…

 

10 Survival Tips

1) Make that effort to socialise those first few days!

This doesn’t mean you have to constantly drink, just make an effort to form connections, no matter how hard it may seem for you.  Everyone’s shy those first few days!  Everyone misses home!  Put on a brave face and get out there and socialise.  I’m a massive introvert and I thought I would suffer, but the push for those first few days was worth it.  It’s the perfect chance to bond over your shared loneliness and new experiences.  The sooner you put the work in, the sooner you can feel comfortable and stop yourself feeling like you missed out.

2) Be yourself.

It sounds really obvious and cliché, but honestly remind yourself of who you are.  I found it easier than I thought it would be to try and match the personalities of those around me.  Before I knew it I was emulating the behaviour of the girls and boys in my flat, convinced that that was the best way to fit in.  I started dressing plainer, watching the way I spoke, denying certain interests, and participating in activities that weren’t my kind of thing.  All that happened was that I ended up in a group that really weren’t my kind of people.  Stay true to you.  You’ll find your way.

3) Do the Boring Stuff Now.  It’s Worth It.

It’s your first week and, though it may seem hectic, you haven’t seen anything yet.  Do the boring stuff like registering at the GP, checking your class schedules, going through the reading lists and registering any mental/physical health issues now.  Before you know it, life gets super busy and you’re already halfway through the year.  Set aside a moment in the first week to get all the boring but essential things done, so you set yourself up for success.

4) Avoid Buying Your Wristbands Before You Get There

If they’re going to sell out and you’re panicking, then fair enough, but they don’t usually sell out before you get there.  In the summer before Uni, various uni Facebook groups will convince you that you need every wristband under the sun, and you probably won’t be able to tell which ones are official and which ones aren’t.  The best way to do it is to wait until you get there and talk to your flatmates.  You can decide with a group what you plan to do, and all buy your wristbands etc. together.  It will settle your worries, save your money and ensure that you have people to attend freshers events with.

5) Don’t Be Afraid to Break the Ice Soberly

Everyone is best friends when they’re drunk, but maintaining that first day friendship sober is a talent.  Talk to flatmates you see in the kitchen, smile at people you walk past in your building.  It’s the first few days and everyone’s alone, so don’t be afraid to knock on people’s doors (Once or twice… not excessively) and ask if they want to hang out during the day.  If you’re stuck for hangout ideas, I suggest exploring your new city, food shopping or having a snoop round your accommodation.

6) Personalise your Room in Super Simple Ways

If you’ve seen an empty uni room, you’ll know that they’re as plain as plain can be.  Unfortunately, it’s not worth the time or hefty fine to completely do up your room for the year.  Make it personal with bright colourful bed sheets and as many photos and posters as you can fit on the walls.  They’re easy steps to keep things cute, and also the photos are a nice reminder of home.

7) Adding Every Fresher You Meet In A Club on Social Media May SEEM Like a Good Idea…

But trust me, it’s not.  If I had a pound for every time I clicked on a Snapchat story in first year and had no idea who the person was, I could pay off my student loan right this moment.  Don’t get me wrong, obviously make connections with people you keep meeting/think you hit it off with!  However, alcohol makes you think that everybody is your best friend… You probably won’t meet half of those people again.

8) Go to Freshers/Welcome Fair.

It may seem pointless.  You may have convinced yourself that you don’t want to join any societies.  It may be on a Friday morning at the end of a week of constant hangovers.  However, you do not want to miss it.  Not only is it a chance to scope out all the societies (And put your email down for a bunch that you’ll never go to), but it’s where all the cheap stuff is!  From enough 50% off Dominos vouchers to last you til Christmas to free pens and subway vouchers… Freshers fair is the place to get those deals.  You do not want to miss it.

9) Travel in Packs/Pairs for Nights Out

I know that you may not know anybody, but I cannot stress the importance of not being alone.  If you lose your friends then find any familiar face, or join a new group: people are friendly when they’re drunk.  While Freshers is a great time for clubbing and making new friends, it is unfortunately a time where people prey on the new and vulnerable.  Stick with your newly found people and watch out for each other.  On a positive note, it may actually bring you closer, you can bond over avoiding creeps.

10) Budget for Freshers.  You’ll Thank Yourself.

You suddenly have the government dropping a grand or two in your bank account… It’s easy to get carried away.  However, remember that that loan is for maintenance.  Groceries and other necessities add up over the term and you need to take care of that money more than you know.  I’m not saying that you can’t spend money during freshers – of course you should!  However, try to lightly keep track of what you spend, and avoid your drunk mind telling you that you’re rich.  Freshers is about having fun and letting loose, but if you let too loose during freshers week, you’ll spend the rest of the year paying for it (Literally).  I’m a sucker for organisation and spreadsheets, so I divide my money up at the beginning of the year and set myself an amount for each week (More details on that here), but find what works for you.

 

And there you have it, a list of tips that helped me get through that first week!  They certainly helped me.  Thank you so much to Boohoo for collaborating with me on this post, and make sure to check out their brand new Student Hub for more helpful student advice when it’s live!

 

Do you have any tips for your first week of Uni?  I’d love people to share their own tips in the comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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*This post was written in collaboration with Boohoo and the launch of their new student hub, which you can find here.)

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24 Comments

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Thank you for reading

      Jas xx

  1. August 24, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Really great tips. Definitely don’t buy your wristbands all beforehand – you;ll want to go out with your flat mates so make sure you have the same and you don’t wanna blow all your budget! Seriously stick with friends on nights out especially if you’re new to the city as you’re so vulnerable when you’re drunk, in a new place and it’s dark. Enjoy yourself!

    Rachael | https://rachaelstray.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:33 pm

      Thanks for agreeing!

      Jas xx

  2. August 24, 2018 / 2:46 pm

    Sober friendships is so important! I remember on the first day one of my flatmates had problems with her keys, so I offered to walk over to maintenance with her. Sorting out her keys turned out to take ages, so we had a great opportunity to introduce ourselves and chat! Long story short, she’s now my best friend, and I chalk a lot of it down to that first interaction.

    Megan // pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 24, 2018 / 11:39 pm

      Awwww that sounds like such a cute way to grow close to eachother!

      Jas xx

  3. August 24, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    Such a lovely post! I’ll start uni next year but definitely gonna use these tips as a guide. I’m from Istanbul and I can’t wait to be a student in the UK.
    Kisses,
    Sima x | http://www.styleglint.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 24, 2018 / 11:42 pm

      Awwww I hope that they help you when you become a student next year!

      Jas xx

  4. August 25, 2018 / 3:01 am

    Pretty cool that you’re sharing your experience with Freshers week. I haven’t heard about it before until now! Oh man, this sounds exciting with all of the alcohol, haha. These tips are super helpful. I totally agree with being yourself. If you fake your own personality, it’ll either bite back or make you miserable in the long run because you don’t feel like yourself (or both). It’s good to get the things done up front. I can’t imagine how much money is spent during this week! Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      Yeah, if you’re not careful, Freshers week can be so expensive! Thank you so much for the lovely comment

      Jas xx

  5. August 25, 2018 / 8:51 am

    These are SUCH good tips for anyone about to experience Freshers! I really regret not getting involved more, especially as a student who didn’t stay in dorms I feel like it would have allowed me to make a lot more social connections!

    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Thank you Sophie!

      Jas xx

  6. August 25, 2018 / 9:25 am

    Great post, Jas! I never went to Uni and it’s actually one of my biggest regrets because at the time, I would have loved Fresher’s Week and all the socialising and partying! Unfortunately not an option for me now but I can live vicariously through other people, like you! xxx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Yeah, it was a lot of fun! Feel free to live it through me 😉

      Jas xx

  7. August 26, 2018 / 8:01 am

    Great advice- I remember feeling sooo nervous when I first started and actually I wish I had joined a society because then I could branch out of my friendship group- I discovered I didn’t really like the group that I had initially made and it took a while to break away and form new friends x

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Don’t worry, it took me a while too! I didn’t join any societies until my second year, but once I did it was soooo worth it!

      Jas xx

  8. August 26, 2018 / 11:57 am

    My daughter will be entering college soon so she will appreciate advice coming from someone who has recently gone through what she is about to experience. I’m happy to hear that your advice isn’t too different from the advice I had already given her. Thanks for sharing. 👍🏽

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      Awww I hope the advice helps her! Sounds like you were right on track!

      Jas xx

  9. August 26, 2018 / 3:37 pm

    My freshers week was a little different from the norm as I didn’t move out but I still made the effort to go to lots of events and meet people! I only actually went on two nights out in the whole week as I’m not really a party girl at all. I totally agree with the whole ‘be yourself’ thing’, I barely talk to anyone I met in university now because I don’t really feel like I properly formed any important connections there which is a shame but I suppose that’s life! I do wonder if my uni experience would’ve been different if I’d moved away but I’m happy with my life where it is now so who knows!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 7:32 pm

      I don’t know how I would have handled doing Freshers from home, as I made almost all of my friends through my building, so it’s interesting to hear how that went for you! I’m not much of a party girl either, so I did struggle a bit, but once I got into being myself it was fine!

      Jas xx

  10. August 26, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    Great tips! It can be so daunting starting uni and moving away from home for the first time so you’re advice is great for getting off to a flying start 😉

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you!

      Jas xx

  11. August 28, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    Great advice, thanks for the help!

    N x

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:07 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Jas xx

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