Getting the most out of Freshers.

Congratulations for getting into university! The results have recently come out and everyone did so well! We hope you’ve gotten into the university that you wanted, but now you must be getting excited. And maybe a little nervous? Theres nothing to be nervous about. University is the best experience, and yes, the first few weeks are nerve wracking and a little awkward, but they are also some of the best weeks. This is our little list of tips for freshers week, hopefully so you can get the most out of the first week.

No. 1 Keep saying Yes. 

This is not to say that you ought to say ‘yes’ to everything, you should use your own judgment on that. What I mean is, say yes to those things you wouldn’t usually. If on the first night you are wondering around on your own and someone asks if you want to join them, say yes, go meet some new people. Try some new things. Freshers is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Before I went, I looked up what events were going on, things that i knew I would enjoy where I could meet new people, and I signed up for a ton. Some were free and some weren’t, but most were.
I found that on my first night in uni I was the first and only of my flat to arrive, so when I went down to eat I was alone. A really kind girl and her boy friend came up to me and asked me to go join them and some of their friends. Usually I’m the kind of person who would say no, but I wondered over with them and ended up talking with the group for hours. We even ended up going to one of the boy’s flats to play cards against humanity and to talk. It was one of my bests nights at Uni and it was my first day!

No. 2 Get out and Get involved.

It can be really easy to go to university on you’re first day and hole up. Especially if the idea of meeting new people scares you, and thats how I can be. But if you do that on the first few nights, you will distance yourself. The first few nights are when you will make new friends which may impact your year. I’m not saying that the friends you make on the first night will be your only friends, but that is one of the best ways to make friends outside your course.
As I said earlier, getting involved in freshers activities are important too. You can find out about most from Facebook pages, and the university portal and website, where you will probably have to book some. A lot will be during the evening swell, giving you much of the day to explore and relax on your own terms. Of course, you don’t have to get involved in any of these extra’s but I would definitely advise it. My closest friends from this year were met at a Chinese buffet meal out on the third night of Freshers.
You might not be much of a party animal, but sometimes going to one or two will help you relax. University is a place for you to try new things, to meet new people and explore new places. So go to the events, especially the Fresher Fairs and Society fairs. Also don’t forget to try new things. Societies will have free testers and meetings to try. I went along to archery and actually turned out to be pretty good at it too. But there were plenty of other things I tried that I wasn’t so good at, but I also met some great people from them.

No. 3 Use your doorstop.

Using your doorstop is one of the most circulated tips out there and we only include it because it genuinely is so helpful. Those first few weeks in University halls, you will be living with complete strangers who you’ve never met before. If you don’t get to know these people soon, life will be interesting to say the least. The best way to meet them and get to know them, is by leaving the door open. If your the first there, you will hear everyone arrive and they will walk past your door one way or another, whether they are going to the kitchen or their room. 
If you don’t want to prop your door open, then you can of course close it, but leaving it open tells your flatmate she that your willing to try. Last year I had a flatmate we barely knew the name of. He holed himself up in his room and I’m not kidding, in the entire 9 months I was in that room, I saw him 3 times. He became known as the flat ghost. He was unsocialable and it can’t of been nice for him. 
Even if you don’t get on with your flatmates, being civil will make a life a lot easier. 

No. 4 Explore!

The events of freshers usually take place after the first few days, especially the fears, sp use the first few days to explore the area. The likelihood is that you’ve moved to a completely new city, probably far away from home, so go explore. Go out. If you’ve met some people then go with them, if you haven’t then just wonder. Moving to a new place can be scary, especially when your alone, without your school friends or parents. Learning the area can make a huge difference, and you’ll find things you would never have found if you were just to go from A to B. Learn where the best supermarkets are and the pharmacy, since they’re the important places. But also figure out the quietest place to sit and read a book or that perfect little bookshop which stocks all your favourites for a cheaper price.
Don’t forget to wonder around the uni campus too though. Knowing where the library, your tutors office and your departments reception is will save you a lot of hassle in the first few weeks. Plus you’ll likely stubble on some quiet study areas which will remain empty for most the year. Spending your time stepping out of your comfort zone in the first few days will keep you busy, but will also help to make you more comfortable with the area. Plus, when your friend desperately needs freshers flu medication or has fallen off her bike twice in five minutes on the same road (definitely hasn’t happened!), you’ll know the nearest pharmacy so you can swoop in and save the day.

No. 5 Have Fun, but also be sensible.

Freshers is all about having fun after officially leaving home, so go have some fun! Get involved in the party and go out with your friends and flat mates. Freshers is the best time to go to clubs every night, as when lectures start you will probably want to have a few nights in, especially when the 9am’s start becoming the mundane. 
During Freshers week, most University put on some big events. Birmingham has a huge party on the Wednesday night with bands and alcohol, plus club nights at the guild pretty much every night. There will also be nightclubbing events and hall only parties. As someone who is not really a clubbing person, I ended up selling my ticket to the ‘Big Bash’ on the last night, but I found that so many people had been out every night that week and were way too tired by Sunday. Instead I met up with my friends and wondered down to the student bar for an hour, before wondering back to theres and having a good old poker night. The great thing about freshers is that you will always find someone like you. If you don’t drink, head to the mocktail night and you’ll meet loads of people who don’t. There really is something for everyone.
That second bit, be sensible, is serious though. I don’t want to scare you, but people do get hurt when they aren’t careful. So just stay safe. Some people will realise that they are free from their parents control and go crazy, but sometimes they go too far and it can get dangerous. I won’t say any more and I don’t want to scare anyone, but if you are careful then you’ll be fine.

No. 6 Freshers Flu, be prepared!

Freshers flu will happen. Its easier to admit it now and be prepared, than ignore it and be taken off guard. I denied it, and I was bitten in the backside. It sneaks up on you on the second week generally and sometimes its no more than a cold, sometimes its more flu-like.  My biggest suggestion is stock up when you arrive and just keep going through it. 
I hope these tips will help you when it comes to Freshers Week, but just remember to have fun and get involved with as much as you can. You can sleep the next week, just enjoy it. Comment below your experiences during freshers or if you aren’t there yet, what are you most excited for? Enjoy University! 

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