What does freshers week mean to you? Making new friends, getting to know your halls of residence and campus, attending the freshers fair, going on pub crawls.
It can mean all, some or none of those things!
Going to University freshers ushers in a new era to your life, but along with it comes upheaval and some serious lifestyle changes. Your support network, friends, accommodation, finances and priorities all change overnight; and it’s natural for all of this to cause a degree of stress as you transition into your new life, routines and habits.
There’s no need to overload yourself… and here’s our top tips for making sure you don’t during freshers week!
MAKING FRIENDS IN FRESHERS WEEK AND BEYOND
Freshers Week is absolutely full of opportunities to meet other newbies and existing students, as well as others on your course.
Take advantage of these occasions to meet as many people as possible, and don’t segment too heavily; university freshers is your chance to make friends with others from all backgrounds, countries and cultures.
PUSHING YOUR BOUNDARIES CAN BE REWARDING
Push your boundaries with those you meet and make an effort to approach others during freshers week. Walking up to someone in the freshers fair with no invitation is daunting but doesn’t need to be. If you at least pretend to be confident, others will believe so – and it’s only the first “Hi, I’m…” that’s ever required to break the ice.
You can make life-long friends in Freshers Week – so there’s so much going, it’s great fun!
Societies and groups can be a godsend in making new friends, especially in London freshers and there’s no need to tie yourself down too early. Joining a soc in the freshers fair doesn’t mean you’ll have to stick with it forever! It will, however, give you a group of like-minded people to hang out with and activities to do during your quieter periods.
SORTING OUR YOUR STUDENT ROOM – HOW TO DO IT CHEAPLY AND MAKE IT LOOK AMAZING
72% of current students in the UK believe that their accommodation affects their study success. Your first year will likely be spent in halls of residence and thereafter in student housing.
Halls can be difficult to get used to in freshers week, but give it time. If it seems like everyone else in your house is up all night partying and disrupting you, don’t panic! It’ll likely ease off as they settle into their new routines and feel less pressure to make friends.
YOU DON’T NEED TO SPEND MUCH TO MAKE A HOMELY ROOM
Make your room feel as homely as you can without spending too much money or time on it. This will help you settle in quickly but it won’t entirely eliminate any homesickness – and that’s OK.
Check out Argos’ homeware range, which are stylish, convenient as they deliver and good value for money. Plus there are some voucher offers too, including a great Argos student discount.
Debenhams also have some lovely ranges and usually have some sort of sale on in their home ranges. There is currently 20% off selected bed linen, but unfortunately no student discount.
Everyone feels down and misses home once in a while and that’s completely normal – even in a busy freshers week you can still miss home comforts. It’s important to not spend every weekend or spare time at home though; this will only delay you settling into your new lifestyle.
The things worth investing money for your room include a nice duvet and comfy pillows, and decent curtains if there aren’t any already fitted. Both will help you get a decent nights’ sleep. If you think you can keep it alive, buy a plant for your room: they’re scientifically proven to be mood enhancers and improve air quality. Check out our student bedroom ideas.
If you can’t keep it alive… try a cactus for a low maintenance room feature!
FINDING YOUR BEARINGS IN FRESHERS WEEK – GEOGRAPHICALLY, EMOTIONALLY AND MENTALLY
The internet and social media has left us all pretty reliant on online mapping but if you’re moving somewhere new, put down the phone for a few hours.
Spending an afternoon during London freshers week wandering around your new locale will help you identify places to hang out, eat, drink, shop and see the sights… and will come in handy when later you’re at a loose end or in need of plans. This doesn’t need to be done solo, either, and makes for a great excuse to invite out someone else.
Finding your way around campus or can be difficult too, but less fun to manage. Don’t be afraid to ask directions and nip into the Student Union if you’re really stuck. Feeling too silly to ask for help should never be an excuse for missing a lecture or event! And don’t forget to attend the freshers fair!
STARTING YOUR STUDIES – START GOOD HABITS AND YOU’LL BE ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS
It’s all too easy to have too good of a time at Freshers Week events and sleep through classes the next day – but this is not the first impression you want to give to your professors or your classmates. Even if you’re feeling peaky, make sure you’re in the class and with all of the right equipment to start on your studies.
If at any point you feel that you’re struggling or are out of your depth: don’t panic. Instead, have a chat with your professor (via email if you’re not comfortable doing it face to face) and seek advice. Universities have lots of programs in place to help you and keep you on track.
The subject you’ve chosen to study at university is one you’re passionate enough about to follow for the next few years so don’t throw this opportunity away. Starting behind will only make it more difficult to catch up later on.
KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR FINANCES
Of course, financial matters are a big part of student life and famously… you’ll be broke. This shouldn’t mean that you have to stop anything you’re doing however and shouldn’t limit your opportunities. Make sure you spend smarter, not harder and this can start in freshers week.
USE FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO KEEP WITHIN BUDGET
Using resources such as Student Discount Squirrel will allow you to maintain all of the fun and function of student life while not draining your bank account and living in an overdraft every month. With a little coordination, you can save money on everything from groceries and everyday expenses to nights out and study essentials such as laptops and computer equipment.
You’ll need to remember to check online or in your emails for discount codes and keep an eye on your inbox for new offers. Set Student Discount Squirrel as your homepage so it’s at the forefront of your mind every time you shop online.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FRESHERS WEEK
WHAT IS A FRESHER’S FAIR?
The Fresher’s Fair is when all the University societies get together in one large room and get new students to sign up. We recommend that you walk around, have a chat with anything that takes your fancy and then sign up to a maximum of 3. Make a note of the other ones too. Then make sure that you attend them and even maybe choose something that you’ve never done before to push your boundaries like Rock Climbing or Musical Theatre. The Freshers fair is great for new students in their first year to meet new people.
NIGHTLIFE DURING FRESHERS WEEK
There are usually lots of offers and special nights put on for new students. While they are a great way of making friends, you should never be put under pressure to drink more than you’re comfortable with. There are also some nights now for teetotallers so there is something for everyone. Enjoy the nightclub, bar crawls and offers and be careful of that hangover in the morning. And make sure you look after each other.
WHAT IS REGISTRATION?
Make sure you have done your formal registration with the university and/or department online or in person. You should receive all the documentation in the post before you arrive. If not, contact your department. Also register with your local GP, there might be a special university one.
Summary of Freshers Week
Freshers Week is one to remember for most. A great time to meet new students and new friends – attend the stalls, bag a few goodies and sign up for the latest groups and clubs. It’s where you will make life-long friends. Find out more in our Student Life – Settling in blog.
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