Tuesday, 19 August 2014

University Freshers Tips | Getting Settled


Hello! As it has recently been results day and with lots of people heading off to university in September, I thought this post would be quite helpful to those that feel a little lost about the whole thing. I've just graduated from university and I thought I could offer some tips to those that are just starting university.

1. Get Out There - Walking into a flat full of strangers is a very daunting thing but speaking to everyone and saying hi is a good way to start. They're in the same position as you, and you have to try to get to know people or how will you make friends? If you don't seem to get on then there's nothing lost, you've tried and that can't be held against you. 

2. Join a Society - It's a great way to make more friends and they have their own events and socials which gets you out doing things and just makes university life more fun. There is always a huge range of societies, and there's probably something that you enjoy or maybe something new that you've always wanted to try. 

3. Join Groups on Facebook - I was terrified of walking into a huge lecture room (if I ever found it) by myself and just sitting there not knowing anyone. Before I went to university, I joined a Facebook group where you could see members of your course. I got talking to a few of them and luckily enough I bumped into one of them on the night before our first lecture and we agreed to meet before it started. This meant I wasn't wandering around hopelessly lost and it was nice to know one person out of the whole course (my course was pretty big!). You can also join groups for your given accommodations and find your flatmates, that can sometimes make it easier and less awkward when meeting them. 

4. Go to the Freshers Fair - The Freshers Fair usually consists of you coming home with a bag full of free stuff. Yes, most of it is rubbish, but some stuff can be good. I got loads of vouchers for food and free entry cards for clubs and even got Dominos and a free t-shirt. Another tip - If you order Dominos and go to the door wearing your Dominos t-shirt, be prepared for weird looks. Yes, it happened to me. Did I care? Nope, I had pizza. Also, this fair is not just limited to first years, even when you're in your second or third year you can keep going back for the freebies! (And you'll know what rubbish to avoid!)

5. Course Problems - I studied Geography at uni and there were too options - physical or human. For our first year, regardless of which option you were on, you had to study the same modules which covered both. I chose the physical option and having to study modules in human geography was not what I expected, but I stayed on and in second year you chose your options to be what you wanted to learn. If you don't like your course, or it's not what you thought it would be like, talk to someone. They can help by giving you advice on potentially changing to a different course. You don't want to be stuck on a course you don't like or end up with debt from a course you quit after first year! People are there for you to talk to and they will be more than happy to help you!

6. Budget - I'm terrible at saving money and knowing my student loan is coming into my bank got me excited and I'd virtually spent it before I'd got it. Be careful with it - it may seem like a lot of money but it does go very quickly. If you're going out in freshers week every night that quickly adds up, you'll have course books to buy, your rent, food, insurance, laundry money and also just bits and pieces that you need. It does go quickly. I'd advise setting yourself a budget of how much you can spend each week and if you do go a bit over then it's not a problem, I'm just not recommending you going out and blowing it all on clothes or a new laptop. I also had a part-time job during my second and third year and I think it's a great way of bringing in a little extra money, and I still stuck to my budget each week but used that income on treats for myself or I'd use it for train fares or things like that.

7. Work Hard - You do only need 40% to get into your second year, but would you be happy with that grade? It may seem like an easy year but if you're working at this level, second year is going to be really hard! I'm not telling you to go into the library constantly because I know I didn't but I'd suggest not leaving your assignments until the night before (I'm talking from experience here guys - staying up all night trying to do something you've been putting off is hell). Also, a lot of courses offer a placement year and yes it is usually paid, but this requires you to be on target for at least a 2:1 (60%) so just give it a try.

8. Take up a sport/gym - I think this is very helpful to just keep you motivated and healthy. The student diet usually consists of cereal, pasta, soup and the occasional McDonalds on the walk home after a night out. This is not really good for the body and just signing yourself up for the gym and going a few times a week or signing up for a class just helps to balance that out. It's also a good way of meeting new friends. 

9. Home Comforts - If you get homesick, as hard as it may be, I'd really recommend sticking it out at university unless you're completely sure you can't be there anymore. Going home every weekend is going to stop you from settling in and may make it difficult for you to make friends with your flatmates if you're not around or miss out on things. If you're feeling down I'd suggest trying to do something fun with your friends, go out for food or a wander through town and just try take your mind of it. University is a big step but you learn to be independent and it is such a good way to do it, and it does get easier, I promise. 

10. Freshers Week Band - My university offered a freshers week wristband that cost £60 and as I didn't want to be the only one without one I bought it before arriving. My boyfriend at the time was going to the same university with me and he also bought one, so I thought I could always go with him if not. But yeah anyway - I arrived to my new flat and I was the only one that had bought one. I'd definitely recommend leaving this type of thing until you've talked to your flatmates and seen if that's something you'd all like to do or if you know people from home then you can go with them. It just allowed you access to the students union for different themed nights and events, for example we had a silent disco and Chase & Status were meant to play but they cancelled (boo!). But yes, I'd recommend saving your money unless it's something you really want to do, because I just went out to clubs and bars instead of the union and didn't really get my moneys worth at all. 

And my last tip is - have fun! You're a student and you don't have to worry about jobs and tax and all that scary stuff just yet! Just have fun learning and meeting new people and just make the most of it - especially that student discount! Good luck to anyone starting and I'm sure you'll love it! University was the best three years of my life so far and I'd go back in a second. 

Hopefully my tips were helpful for you! If you'd like anything else such as a list of things you need/don't need then let me know :) 



  1. these tips are so useful! I'm starting uni on the 20th of september and i'm so excited.. and also nervous haha! x

    1. I'm glad you found them helpful! I wish I was going back :( but hope you have a good time! xx


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