Freshers, you have left the comforts of home and you have been thrust head first into university life. The road ahead is daunting but, never fear… Wessex Scene are here to help with your very own handy survival guide!
Rip it out and keep it in your back pocket in case of emergencies.
If you follow this simple guide, you will glide through freshers relatively hassle free.
- Pack as light as you dare; Do not take your entire bedroom. You will not use nearly half of what you bring. You probably won’t need that TV or games console either. Someone else will probably bring a games console and their room will become squad HQ for the next year.
- Books for pleasure are nice to have, but they are heavy, bulky and likely won’t get read. Take a minimal selection of your favourites (good for making friends), or get a Kindle.
- If you have a musical instrument, take it. Even if you think you suck, take it. However, a piano might not fit in the car.
- Write lists; even if you think you’re organised, it sucks not to have a kettle to make tea when you first move in. Post-its are the way forward.
- Tea, coffee, cup soups, and instant noodles make you friends.
- There are loads of new people to meet. Meet them. Talk to them. Some of them you’ll really like, some of them you won’t. That’s fine. You won’t find your people if you don’t talk to any to begin with. Trial and error is a suitable method.
- Many people will use university as an opportunity to reinvent themselves. That’s something you can definitely do. But, if you do it, make sure you’re being true to yourself.
- Be honest. Everyone’s made mistakes, no-one is perfect. You won’t need to fabricate stories to fit in with the people you’re supposed to be hanging out with. See above about being true to yourself.
- Ask questions. You are no doubt a wonderful person and a truly special snowflake, but bringing everything back to you and your experiences is boring. Be inquisitive.
- Respect other people. Everyone has had different experiences in their lives up to this point. Be as sensitive as you can, assume nothing, and take no-one for granted.
- Respect yourself. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the best possible people and experiences for you.
- Make sure you’re eating well and regularly, drinking lots of water, and know your limits.
- GET SOME SLEEP. Seriously. Freshers flu will hit hard if you don’t. Sleep might also help if you want to get up for those 9am lectures.
- You will very likely get ill quite early on due to meeting lots of new people with new germs. Bring medicine with you, or buy some early before you actually need it.
- Get paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters, condoms. You’ll be glad they’re there, even if it’s just to help friends asking you if you have any.
- Check for second-hand course books rather than buying new; so much cheaper, and you could end up with useful notes in margins. Look out for people selling course books on the various Facebook pages.
- The first year exists to get everyone up to roughly the same standard. Don’t be daunted if you don’t understand everything all the time – you’ll have different strengths and will have been taught differently to other people in the past.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You have paid to be taught, you owe it to yourself to give yourself the best chance of understanding the material.
- In most universities, first year doesn’t actually count towards your final degree mark, so you just need to pass. Obviously do the best work you can, but don’t stress out. When given the choice between tweaking that essay to get a first-class grade and going to the pub/social event/society meeting, choose the latter.
- Do at least one (creative/social) thing regularly that is in no way related to your degree, however much you think you’ll love your course. Even just having a go at something is worth it.
- When given the choice between going out and staying in, always go out, at least at first. This doesn’t have to be drinking or going to clubs, just socialising and meeting people. You won’t regret it.
- University societies and clubs are where you’ll ‘actually’ make friendships (and ones that last); so do your research, and also try lots of things you might not usually consider, and see what you like. I tried Judo once and never went again. Either way, I don’t regret having the experience.
- There is always so much going on besides the ordinary pub/club/drinking scene. Investigate, find out what is going on, and go. Whether it is university organised (such as Laughter Lounge or Karaoke at The Stags)