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Having almost come to an end of second year at University, I felt I should have a chat about my top tips for freshers. So I started university in 2018. I was awfully scared about what to expect; so I searched the web and looked at every site there was about starting university.
I’ve put all my best tips in one place for you. I hope they can help you get through your first year and enjoy it!
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Go to the freshers fair, join a society
One of the biggest things I regret is not joining any societies. At every university there is a society for everyone and if there is not then you can make one! They have the basic ones like Dance, Chess and Sports societies all the way up to the Cheese and Hula Hooping society!
DON’T spend all your money in fresher’s week
Honestly, it’s not worth spending all your money on alcohol, having your new flatmates have to carry you home, and then live off pot noodles for the rest of term 1.
Don’t forget to contact your family at home
This wasn’t a problem for me, but I do know people that were so into living alone that they were so caught up in their own world.
Do not leave everything till the night before
Try and keep up with all your work. University give you enough time to be working on your projects little by little, so you are just making it harder for yourself if you leave it all till the night before. If you are revising for an exam, then plan ahead. I have written a guide on how to smash your exams and the best techniques for revision so you can check that out.
Sign up for the doctors
This is a great tip if you are moving quite far away to attend university. If you had to travel 3 hours to see a doctor it wouldn’t be ideal.
Have your meningitis jab
Linking on from my last point, this is one of the most important top tips for freshers. All universities push you to get the meningitis jab if you are a fresher, therefore, being able to attend the uni doctors would be a great help. Honestly, you would be surprised how many people catch meningitis at universities and how serious it actually gets.
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Make use of Student FREEBIES
I probably had about four FREE Greggs sausage rolls in the first term because of this app.
Also sign up to Save the student, they send out emails of all the freebies they find and I have found some good things on there.
Learn how to do chores
You are going to have to do the washing up, use the washing machine, mop the floor, take the bins out and clean the kitchen. So just know that this is what’s expected of you. Don’t annoy your housemates it’s not worth it. It takes 10 minutes to mop the floor so just get it done.
Always take your keys out
I have been there. Imagine forgetting your keys and all your flatmates are out of the flat. If you are in halls and there’s no one on site, then you have to go through all the palaver of phoning security and having them come and unlock your door. It is a big old struggle.
So, DON’T LEAVE YOUR KEYS IN THE FLAT!
First year DOES count
There is a myth that first year does not count. I have to say I do not believe it. First year counts if you want to do a placement year as part of your degree. Therefore when I was writing a CV and filling in application forms, companies ask for your first-year grade. They sometimes have entry requirements which means first year counts even more as you need the right grade.
Even if you are not thinking of a placement year, first year is a practise year. It helps you see how the university works and the way assessments are planned out. Therefore, you need to take this on board as it will help you in the years that do count to your final degree.
Be open minded
This is a good one. University is a whole different world to what you are used to. Therefore, you need to be open-minded and definitely take every opportunity you can get as they come and go.
By being open-minded I ended up signing onto a work placement in America for 3 months over the summer. I had the best time of my life.
This is a slightly tricky one as it depends on your individual finances and you student loan. Student loans are a controversial topic on their own, so we will not go into that. My tip if its possible is to not go into your overdraft. Try and budget your student loan when you know how much you have divide it by the weeks you have at university roughly. You will have an estimate of how much you can afford to spend per week.
Obviously, this is different for each person. But being in your overdraft is so difficult to get out so don’t be buying expensive clothes and accessories unless absolutely necessary or a one-off treat because it will affect your situation later on in the year.
I’ve put together an Amazon gift guide where all items are under £10 so this can help you out when you need to buy cheap good gifts while your budgeting.
Back up your work
A simple tip, but when you have written 2000 words of your 5000-word essay, it is crucial that you save all your hard work.
This is something I learnt the hard way, so I am telling you now for free; if your essay or report requires referencing then make sure you do this as you go. When you take something from a website, copy the link straight away. It makes it so much easier than you losing marks before you missed a reference.
TIP: To help with Harvard referencing, myself and everybody I know at uni use this website called Cite this for me, which automatically creates your reference for you! A great lifesaver.
Go to your lectures
It may seem like a given, but once you miss one, it makes it so easy to miss another. Then you get into a continuous cycle of catching up and missing other lectures. You will have a different amount of contact hours on each course but I had 12 contact hours a week and the rest of the week was free time so it really wasn’t that much effort to turn up.
Make effort with your flatmates
You are living with these people for a whole year. They could end up being your best friends but even if you are different type of people you still need to get on. You should not have to ignore people you live with just because you are not into the same things.
Find second-hand books
University books can be mega expensive so finding second-hand ones is a great way to save some of your student loan. A good thing about my university is that they have a bookstore with past students’ second-hand books so if you can find one in there its happy days. If not, then I’ve bought a few on mine off of eBay before so that’s a good place to start. I’ve also sold a couple of my second year books for less than half the original price to first years on the fresher’s page for my university so if you’re looking for books search the fresher’s pages on Facebook.
Meal prepping is something that can help with your budget. It allows you to not waste any of your food as you can just freeze it. Some meal prep I did the past year included spaghetti meatballs (Id cook the whole packet of meatballs and then freeze them and just cook the pasta in at the time I ate) and chicken curry (Id just cook the rice on the day).
Also, a little tip that people always forget: you can freeze so many things like bread and meat to save them going off.
Make effort with new people
You have to put yourself out there when meeting new people on your course and in societies. I know it’s hard and its something I wish I did differently. Going up and starting a conversation with people isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but if you think you can do it then I defiantly recommend you to give it a go and you never know what friends you’ll make out of it.
Get there early to pick your cupboards
You have to have this cupboard for the whole year so make sure you don’t get left with the tiny one down on the floor!
Finally, my last tip is to just have fun. You have so much free time so you should just make the most of it. You will meet some of the best people from all other the country at university so spend time with them. University is the type of thing where you get out what you put into it. If you don’t turn up and try, then you’re not going to enjoy it.
So, that concludes for top tips for freshers! I hope this was of use to you!
University is not for everyone. I have known people to drop out because they would be more suited to doing something else. If this is the case, then you must do what’s best for you. Eventually, you’ll get into something that is exactly what you should be doing!
About the Author
Thank you for reading! I hope this post was of use to you. If you want to find out more check out my about me page. My name is Amber Page and I run The Unpredicted Page. You can find me over on: