After months of revision, and (possibly) hours of nervously checking UCAS track, you have started your adventure at the University of Southampton. Well done!
Each year, thousands of nervous students flock to universities across the country for Freshers’ Week and, unfortunately, it’s not long before the majority of them have been struck down by the notorious ‘Freshers Flu’. This ‘illness’ isn’t merely a state of mind; it can be really quite nasty and manifests its presence with a cacophony of coughs and sneezes in those first few lectures. If it’s the first time you’ve ‘properly’ been away from home and living by yourself, being ill is the last thing you’ll want to worry about! However, it’s not all bad news – you can have a healthy Freshers’ Week (and year!). Here are some tips to make the next few weeks run a little more smoothly.
It is tempting to use Fresher’s Week as an excuse to laze around…a lot! Lectures haven’t started yet and there can be a lot of nights out and heavy drinking involved. However, a cycle of partying all night and lounging all day will leave you feeling sluggish when it is time to focus and begin studying. Now is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby. At the Bunfight, you can find out about the many different societies and sports available at the University. If you’re an aerobics fan, make sure you check out the Zumba and Bokwa classes available for very reasonable prices. And, finally, though it is tempting to make the most of your brand new free bus pass, take a walk around the city and really get to know your new home. Visit the Common in the daytime for a walk around the pond or, if you’re interested in the heritage of the city, walk around and explore its medieval walls.
After plenty of nights out, your body needs to rest and repair itself. Once the parties of Fresher’s Week have died down, make sure you commit to getting your 8 hours each night. When you turn up for 9am lectures feeling fresh and ready for the day ahead, your body will thank you for turning in early! It’s equally important to get the balance right; if you sleep for too long, you will feel sluggish! It’s natural that it may take some time for you to adjust your sleeping patterns to your new lifestyle, but be confident that you will settle down soon.
3. It’s not all about alcohol
Freshers’ Week is famed for being a blur of continuous club nights and constant drinking of alcohol. But this isn’t necessarily true. SUSU provides many activities which don’t involve drinking and going to clubs, such as trips to attractions in the local area, pub quizzes and curry nights. Give yourself a break and a chance to recuperate from a series of hectic nights; suggest a relaxing movie night with your new flatmates.
The next few weeks are some that you are sure to remember forever! Taking care of yourself properly in these early stages (and throughout the year!) is crucial in making the transition from home to university much more smooth and stress-free.