C: Although it has been a while (I’m not that old I promise) since my first year at Uni, I know a lot of people will be starting their first year soon and its super scary. I thought I would share with you some of the tips/facts I have learnt along the way and hopefully they might help some of you!
1. everyone else is new too – don’t forget that everybody else is in exactly the same position as you on moving in day. Very few people will have picked a University because their friends are going etc so everyone is just as nervous and in the same boat. It’s an easy one to forget.
2. cake and wine are your best friends – on my first day I made my mother hubbard make me her famous malteser cake to take with me and my dad bought me a couple of bottles of wine (and vodka) when we went food shopping. So as soon as everybody had finished unpacking (/chucked all boxes in their room but their mums had made their beds up) I cracked out the cake. Everyone likes cake and its a nice way to introduce yourself and start getting to know each other (ie if they don’t like cake pick new friends).
3. freshers week is for having fun, not for being a douche – freshers week is amazing, as you haven’t started lectures yet and you have a whole week of fun so you can get to know the people you live with. Don’t be the person who gets so drunk the first night out that everyone else has to look after you. First impressions count for a lot, and you want to be having fun and getting to know everyone, not throwing up in a dirty student union toilet.
4. its okay if you don’t like drinking/going out – everybody is different and some people just don’t like clubbing. If you are one of these people (I was in my second and third year) then don’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do. You can pre-drink with everyone/go to the bars and have a couple and then head home and be the non-hungover one in the morning who saves everyones lives with bacon sandwhiches.
5. stock up on food – I am guessing your parentals will be dropping you and your many possessions off at uni so get them to take you food shopping before they go home (probably crying because their baby is all grown up like my mum did). Don’t just buy a weeks worth of food, think about stocking up on cans/frozen essentials as when you come to do your shopping the next week you will have less heavy stuff to carry home!
6. drunk people will eat all your food – fact. Hide food you don’t want eating/keep it in your locked room. I have no other advice on this, other than the fact you should expect it!
7. be sociable – when you first arrive leave your bedroom door propped open so people can pop in and say hello (don’t leave it open if you are not there… I will get to that next). We also left our apartment door propped open so people in the flats near us could come over and introduce themselves.
8. don’t leave your bedroom unlocked/unattended – you will go back to find all of your possessions have been wrapped in clingfilm, there are strange drawings all over your walls or your floor is covered in little cups of water so you can’t go anywhere. Obviously though, if someone else has left their room open… you should do all of the above to them.
9. Go to uni – you have moved away and gone through all the stress of meeting new people so you can actually leave with a degree in a few years time. Lectures and seminars (although sometimes boring) are important and you should go. Lecturers might seem mean but they are pushing you to learn and improve. If you need help ask for it.
10. your mum WILL ring you all the time – and I mean ALL the time. Be nice and ring her/your dad whilst walking to meet your friends or walking into uni. It doesn’t take up any of your time but they will know you are safe and happy parents = easier life.
11. clean sometimes – a boring but essential part of moving out. Keep on top of it and it will be much easier. Wash your plates etc up and you wont have the problem of other people using them/breaking them. If you share a bathroom with someone make sure you do your fair share of the cleaning. This can be difficult (as I experienced) as someone I lived with liked things to be super clean alllll the time and so always cleaned it before I got a chance and then moaned about it. Don’t be the gross one – this includes you boyz.
12. have dinner parties – I use this term loosely… as student food often doesn’t live up to the term used. However, if you have a weekly dinner party and everyone takes their turn to cook for everyone, that saves you having to cook all the time. It is also a nice way to socialise with your flatmates and a good excuse to drink wine.
13. don’t spend all your money in Freshers week – I know… your student loan comes in and suddenly you think you are absolutely rich! You buy a new outfit for every night out, new make up and spend loads of money on going out and getting taxis. then suddenly… its mid November, one month until you finish for Christmas and you have zero money and eat nothing but cereal for weeks. It happens to us all, and I have to say the Frostie diet is very effective but not ideal. Budget a little bit and you will be fine.
14. Join social clubs – everyone told me this… and obviously I ignored them as I thought it was lame at the time but I was wrong and I regret it. Social groups are amazing for meeting new people with similar interests to you and are great for putting on your CV.
15. sport social clubs – = massive drinking sessions /initiations /lots of nights out. If you like that sort of thing then wahoooooo! If that’s not your cup of tea but you are a super hockey player then still join but be warned. Don’t give in to peer pressure if it’s not something you want to do.
16. going home feels epic – I didn’t go home until the Christmas holidays and I was in absolute awe at how clean everything was, how amazing my old bed felt and how tasty my mothers cooking was. Eat as much as you can and fatten up after the Frostie diet (you will end up doing it again soon anyway).
17. be yourself – I know everyone says you can re-create yourself at uni etc etc but ultimately you need to just be yourself and enjoy it. There will be so many new friends to make and people who like you for who you are. Have fun.
18. fancy dress is essential – many student nights (especially at student unions) will be fancy dress so if you have some stuff take it with you! If you don’t then you can get stuff once you know the theme. If you don’t want to spend much money then I found Primark and a little imagination to be very effective!
19. don’t forget your friends from college/sixth form/back home – you will be super busy getting settled in, partying and starting lectures but you still need to make time to catch up with old friends. I found facebook group threads were great for this, and one of my friends used to write me letters (sometimes I got sweets in them!) which was so personal and due to posting etc didn’t take up much time as we only used to write once a week!
20. have fun – enjoy it!
Hope that has helped you guys or atleast was an interesting read! Let me know what you think/feel free to ask me any questions! #twolittleowls