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Monday, 10 September 2012

Guide to Fresher's

This time last year, I was absolutely petrified. I was a few weeks away from starting my first year at Uni, and I had no idea what to expect. I have no older siblings that could guide me through, so I was going in blind. Of course you hear the odd bits here and there, but more along the lines of ‘you’ll be drunk for a week’ as opposed to ‘what the bloody hell do I need to bring?! So I thought I would post a little guide on how to survive Freshers. I’m no genius of course, but every little helps. If you think I’ve missed anything, pop suggestions in the comments below, or if you want to ask me a question, you can contact me on twitter @sirensandbells or alternatively, email me: sirens-and-bells@hotmail.co.uk

Budget: I can’t stress the importance of this. Find your student finance letter that tells you what your loan will be, and work out how much money you will have each week after rent etc has been taken out. I didn’t stick to a proper budget last year and I ended up completely rinsing my overdraft – which sucks. If you have money left over from each week, put it aside and at the end of the month you can treat yourself. For a lot of people, Uni is the first time they ever have to stick to a budget, so prepare for setbacks along the way, because things will crop up that mean you need a bit of money put aside – and if you budget properly you will have to worry that little bit less.

Be friendly: I know this sounds obvious, but still. If you’re moving into Halls, when you get there, open up your door when you’re unpacking etc, so your neighbours know you’re there to chat to. I was the second person in my house to arrive so I was able to go and chat to everyone as they had moved in; it makes it so much easier!

Make the space your own: When you move in, it’s very likely your parents are going to want to unpack for you, but do not let them. You’re going to live in that room for a year, you need to make the space your own, which means putting everything where you want it, not where your parents think it’ll look best. When I moved into halls, my parents left after an hour, so I had the chance to put everything exactly where I wanted it to go. Buy cute bedding and cushions, and pretty things that will make your room seem homely.

That teddy bear you’ve had all your life, that sits on your bed? Bring it with you. Do not be embarrassed about cuddly toys, you will not be the only one in your flat who brings a bear, and if you miss home, it’s there to comfort you. have been with one of the guyrry about missing your family: I know it sounds quite harsh, but it’s true. I was scared stiff that I was going to miss my mum too much, I thought I’d be distraught and hate living away from home, but it is not that bad. By the point that you actually have time to miss anyone, so much time has passed that you don’t really miss them anymore. Admittedly, when my parents left on that first day, I cried. Quite a few of the housemates did when their parents left, it’s normal.

Don’t shit where you eat: I’m sorry for putting this so crudely, I couldn’t think of another way to address the point. Generally, it is not a good idea to sleep with one of your housemates. It’s awkward afterwards. You see them in the kitchen and you’re like ‘Oh hey, I’ve seen you naked. Just gonna go get my cornflakes now.” However, sometimes, it’s totally fine, you can forget it ever happened and be friends without having to worry about it. It’s been said it’s also not a good idea to get in a relationship with a fellow housemate, because of said awkwardness, but hey, if you want to, know the possible consequence and go for it. Where I lived last year, 3 people next door basically joined our house & virtually lived with us, so by the rules, I should have stayed away. However, I have been with one of the guys who lived next door for almost a year now, so don’t always believe the clichés.

      Try and be clean: Seriously, no-one wants to live in a pig sty do they? So clean up after yourself! You wouldn’t allow it at home, so don’t allow it at Uni. Washing up after yourself takes 20 minutes tops, really not that difficult. You’ll make friends a lot easier if you’re not constantly pissing them off because you can’t clean up after yourself.
 
      Don’t stick to one ‘group’: Don’t stay away because you deem them ‘not your sort of person’ because of their physical appearance. You’ll be surprised at the friendships you’ll make if you open yourself up.  Even if they have Scouse Brows and fake tan the colour of leather, they may have a heart of gold.

      Do the work: First year is an easy year compared to the other two years you’ve got ahead of you. You don’t have to work super hard to get by. That being said, you do need to work hard enough to actually pass the year. If you work now, you won’t get a shock come second year when a crapload of work is piled on top of you. Get into the habit this year, it’ll be better for you in the long run.

      Don’t worry if you don’t drink a ton: When I started Uni, I was worried that everyone would think I was a square because I didn’t drink a lot. I shouldn’t have bothered worrying, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t drink much, and no-one cares as long as you have a good time! Don’t do anything because you feel pressured, you will end up regretting it.

     Make sure you eat! In the first two weeks, I was so busy, I pretty much forgot to eat at all. Bad, bad idea. I lost a load of weight, but got pretty ill at the same time.

     Load up on flu capsules: You will get Fresher’s flu. You will not avoid it, so go in prepared.

     Go the Fresher’s fair, and get everything you can: You can pick up some good vouchers and little bits & bobs, so don’t miss it.

      Get an NUS card, and look at sites like Uni Days & Student Beans. Both are fantastic for getting discounts.

      Read your course books! I do an English degree, and last year I have to admit I didn’t read all of the books. A few times, I didn’t attend a lecture because I hadn’t read the books and basically, couldn’t be arsed. Such a bad idea! Attend as many lectures as possible, don’t miss them because you’re feeling lazy. You’re paying for this education, take full advantage!

      When you move in, if you see an imperfection ie. A mark on a wall or on the carpet etc etc WRITE IT DOWN. You may get charged at the end of the year if the Landlord thinks it’s your doing, so write down each & every imperfection to stop this from happening.

      Last, but not least, HAVE FUN. The first year of Uni was the best year of my life, so enjoy every minute because it passes by bloody quickly. Takes pictures of it, and love every minute. I’m so upset I’m not a Fresher this year!!

     Obviously, I don’t know everything, my view is completely different to another person’s, but I hope this guide can help you a little bit. As I said before, if you want any advice or need any questions answered, I would be more than happy to help you however possible:
     twitter: @sirensandbells
     email: sirens-and-bells@hotmail.co.uk

2 comments:

  1. Doll, your blog is amazing! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE this..I start my first year of Uni in a couple of weeks and I'm super excited but pretty nervous at the same time. Thanks for these great tips :)

    maximillionn

    ReplyDelete

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