Friday, 15 August 2014

Advice for Freshers

The results are in, your place has been confirmed and you're nursing a celebratory hangover. But what happens now? Soon you'll be moving into halls, meeting the people you'll share space with for at least a year. Before you know it Freshers Week will be over and all you know is that there is some incriminating evidence against you on a couple of people's phones. Ah freshers, how I wish I could be you again . . . 

Now, the details of it all are different for every uni (move in dates, start dates, events, etc., they all vary) but here are some tips from my experience as a fresher:

  • Make friends with your flat mates
    If you're anything like me and making friends isn't your strong suit (I have an intimidating perma bitch face apparently and crippling anxiety, sigh) then your flat mates are key! I was very lucky and got along great with all of mine (there was 8 of us) and they are literally stay-at-home friends. You don't have to worry about the whole making a fantastic first impression thing because you have a week of living together before classes start - get drunk, get to know them - you will not regret it!
  • Hang out with other flats/people
    Again, I was very lucky and my flat happened to be pretty close with a flat above ours and we all hung out together. It's great to have another dynamic join yours and yay more friends. Make sure to hangout with people outside of those you live with, it can get . . . incestuous(?).
  • Talk to the people on your course
    This is something I wish I did more, but like I said, not great at it. You'll see these people a lot, why not befriend them, you know you already have some things in common (you are studying the same thing).
  • Get the Freshers pack
    Just do it, everyone will go, it'll be fun. Just don't give in to 'Lad Culture' and scream 'DOWN IT FRESHER' at every poor soul that happens to be holding a drink.
  • Kitchen stuffYou don't need an arsenal of cooking equipment. Everyone will bring at least two tea towels. Take a shelf in the fridge each. Wash up your shit, don't leave it in the sink. You may need to bring a toaster.
  • Vodka
    Glen's is always at hand and even when you can't push the boat out that far, supermarket brands get you just as drunk.
  • Make sure to see the city you live in
    So many people get caught up in the day to day uni life and always put off seeing where they've moved to 'eh, we'll go next week, let's just go to the place down the road' (R.I.P Redrum, gone but not forgotten).
  • You're only a Fresher once
    It's highly likely that your first year doesn't count towards your degree and you usually only need 40% to pass(you'll soon be reminding yourself of that when it's 4AM and you still haven't finished your essay in for 10AM). Don't fret when you don't make it to every lecture and seminar (because you wont), they'll probably put it online - I was a mark off a first in a subject I literally never went to, not even once.
So, yeah, just some stuff I lived and learned. Remember that your experience will be so different to mine, so don't take any of this as gospel. Have fun and don't be an idiot (at least try not to be an idiot)

p.s. if you want to ask me anything about my experience at uni or about the process of moving in etc. (especially if you're coming to the University of Manchester, hey) feel free to leave it in the comments or you message me on tumblr or you can send me an email (just check the contact page).

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