Going to University is such an exciting time, I loved my first year. Although there are definitely some things I wish I’d known before that might be a bit helpful to other people now.
- If you think you’ve avoided freshers flu, you haven’t – I thought I was invincible as I’d survived the first month of uni without getting ill but if only I knew what was to come. When February came round I got so ill I had to go home for 2 weeks with quite bad tonsillitis as I couldn’t eat. I don’t think burning the candle at both ends helped this so stock up on the paracetamol and some vitamins too.
- Meeting people isn’t as awkward as you worry it will be – I was the first to arrive in my flat, I sat there all nervous and working myself up about when other people arrived what I was going to do. I wish I hadn’t spent my time doing this as everyone is in the same boat and because of that there is so much to talk about.
- Utilise the Facebook Groups – for accommodation, freshers and your course, this is a great way to meet people. I met 3 out of 5 of my flatmates from the groups and it really helped knowing when others were moving in and being able to see if people were buying freshers wrist bands or not (don’t do it – it’s a waste of money). Knowing each other a little bit really helped calm my nerves before moving in.
- GP Registration – I cannot stress this point enough – look at the GP reviews!! We didn’t do this and selected the closest, most convenient one and that was a mistake. Long waits and bad service resulted in having to go to the walk in centre all the time to see a Doctor instead. I have now re-registered back home and will go home or to the walk in depending on the urgency.
- Be kind to yourself – Moving out of home, living with strangers, living in a new city, having new responsibilities, the list goes on. It’s ok for you to struggle at times and miss home, it’s completely normal to feel this way. It’s important to remind yourself that despite the pressure to have an amazing first year there will be times you feel a bit down, like any time in life.
- Counselling Services – Following on from my last point, if you want to reach out for help. The sooner you do this the better, both for your own health and because the University counselling teams tend to have long waits so the sooner you get on the waiting list the sooner you can get access to the help you need.
- You don’t have to join societies – Before starting Uni I watched all the study-tubers who said how important it was to join a society so that you can make friends but after going to the freshers fair there were none that really appealed to me. I’m glad I didn’t just join one for the sake of it and instead found friends in my flat and on my course who were really like minded.
- Recipes – If you have certain recipes that are made for you at home, ask for a copy of them to take to uni with you. This helps you feel more at home and is a nice change from eating pasta for the 72nd day in a row.
- Pres – a great way to make friends in freshers, I have so many memories from them. It is important to keep in mind that if you’re hosting strangers might be in your room to use the toilet. So maybe hide certain things that you don’t want to go missing as this happened a few times in our flat. It’s better to be safe.
- Turn up early – A great way to make friends is to turn up early to your lectures and talk to people, it’s a great way to meet like minded people and gives you people to sit with too.
The most important thing is to enjoy every moment, take lots of pictures and stay safe!