Freshers’ Week is coming up, and you might be feeling a mix of anxiety, excitement and a million other emotions in-between. Moreover, with COVID, the idea of online lectures, and new regulations, first-year uni students might be extra stressed out about starting term. If you want some advice from the experts, here are our top tips for freshers to make their uni experience something unforgettable.
1. Focus on Making Friends
Freshers’ Week is a time when everyone is experiencing a series of “firsts.” It might be your first day at uni, while it’s another student’s first week away from home. It’s common to feel like you don’t want to make the first move talking to a new person. Just remember, everyone’s in the same boat!
Take a chance and strike up a conversation. Keep an open mind. Making new friends might seem daunting, but it’s an essential part of the uni experience!
2. Eat Smart, Healthy, and Wallet-Friendly
Rule number one? Don’t eat your flatmate’s food. Rule number two? Stop ordering takeaway! While one of these has consequences on your friendships and the other on health, it’s important to focus on maintaining a balanced and budget-conscious diet. Try visiting your local market and picking out a mix of fresh and frozen food to keep your pantry stocked.
3. Join Student Clubs and Societies
Getting involved in activities beyond your exams is a great way to make your new uni campus feel like home. Whether it’s a sports team, photography club or political society, use Freshers’ Week to scout out the group that fits you best. Be careful not to join too many organisations. More than one or two might have you overwhelmed, and your email inbox will never recover.
4. Balance Inventory and Aesthetics
Before moving into your student accommodation, compare the amenities provided with what you own and what your flatmates already have. If you don’t plan ahead, you might end up with six spoons and no dinner plates! When you pack your belongings, find a good mix of necessities and aesthetic decor. To make your flat feel more like home, add a few touches like posters, lamps, tapestries or house plants.
5. Be the Best Flatmate
There’s nothing worse than a horrible flatmate! Make it your goal to set an example and be on your best behaviour. Yes, that does mean you need to tidy up—but as long as you’re consistently cleaning a little every day, your flat will stay sparkling. If you’re in for a bit of bonding time, make a cuppa in the morning instead of heading to a cafe. Not only is this COVID-safe, but everyone loves a warm beverage and biscuit. Plus, it gives you time to get to know your roommates.
If you do have any issues with your roomie, you’re not alone! Check out our blog for more tips on dealing with tricky flatmate situations.
6. Take a Break
You can’t do it all! We know it might feel like you can but trust us: you’ll need a break. This is one of our top tips for freshers to avoid burnout and unneeded stress! Set up a space in your apartment or room that’s specifically for R&R and use it when you’re feeling overwhelmed!
Create a meditation nook, think a meditation cushion, scented diffuser, and fairy lights. Or designate a comfy spot where you can binge-watch Netflix or read (a non-course book). This could be as simple as a corner of your bed with an upright pillow and a reading lamp.
Also, consider having a day off each week with no coursework or obligations—self-care Sunday is perfect for that! You’ll likely start to feel the stress of your new environment, and having a plan to relax and recharge is key.
7. Create a Budget (and Stick to It!)
While it might be tempting, don’t spend your entire loan in the first couple of days. (That is a classic first-year mistake). The extra pounds in your account might look nice, but they should be budgeted to address your needs. If you’re always on your mobile, download an app to help you stay on top of your financial planning. Between student discounts, smart shopping, and free events, you can plan to enjoy uni and keep your wallet healthy.
8. Be Yourself
Don’t worry about trying to reinvent your personality when you get to uni. If you put your authentic self out there, the right people will naturally gravitate toward you! Be yourself, speak your mind, and you’ll find your tribe.
While these top tips for Freshers are helpful, the very best advice to follow is to be true to yourself and who you want to become. Remember that this is a once in a lifetime experience, so enjoy it and have fun.
Good luck with your first term! ?