Student Wise’s Tips for Freshers

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In the first guest post from our new buddies at Student Wise we bring you wisdom, tips and tricks for settling into your new life at university – deep breath, you’re going in!

BEFORE YOU SET OFF…

Don’t take too much stuff
Everyone loves to have stuff, even if it is pointless. It might be knick-knacks to decorate your new home or it might be piles of books or games to keep you busy. Whatever it is, remember that at the end of each term you’ll have to pack up everything and leave your room how you found it, so don’t over pack! That being said, there’s a few important things you SHOULD remember to take:
– Important documents like ID, entry letter, TV licence, National Insurance number, CV
– University work such as stationary, laptop and a desk chair
– Household necessities: bathroom kit, kitchen kit, etc.
There’s a full University checklist on StudentWise if you get stuck!

Don't take too much stuff!

Don’t take too much stuff!

Set a budget
This is one of the most important things. So many students splash all of their loan on Fresher’s week and find themselves living on 10p packet noodles for the two weeks before the end of term. Don’t be this person. The Money Advice Service has a great system online for you to create and print/save your own personal budget planner – and it’s free!

WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE…

Get proof of any damage
Take a video or lots of pictures of your new place, if there’s any damage, you want to have proof that it’s there before you move in to avoid getting a hefty fine when the room is checked out after each term. Make sure the video or pictures have a time stamp, too.

Register at the local doctors
Make sure you register at a doctors in the first few days, fresher’s flu is unfortunately real and is NOT nice, especially if you’ve started feeling a bit homesick too because there’s no one to bring you a hot lemon and nurse you back to health!

Get to know your new home
There might be tours around the local area done by the university (often hosted by second years), this will help you to get to know your surroundings and where to go in emergencies etc. On top of that, you can make a mental list of places you’d like to properly visit. There might be a museum you want to go to, or it might even be a bar that looks good that you can suggest going to with some friends in Fresher’s week.

Don’t ditch your parents!
At the time you may feel like it is uncool for your parents to be hanging around and all you want to do is see them off, but remember they’re probably sad to see you go and they might be struggling with it. At the end of the day, most new students are going through the same thing with their parents, so they understand. Remember, too, that even though they’re older, everyone is an adult now so your friends might even enjoy talking to them – no matter how weird and awkward the situation is for you!

FRESHER’S WEEK BEGINS…

Go to Fresher’s fairs
They’re great. They’re normally full of freebies – you’re likely to get enough pens to last you five years and they’re full of societies to join. Every university has different societies on offer, some involve drinking and some don’t. They’re a great way to meet people that are interested in the same things you are. Don’t get carried away though, if you sign up to every single one you’ll end up with so many society newsletters you’ll have a tree’s worth of paper at your door.

Fresher’s events
Please don’t feel like you have an obligation to go to every single shindig. There’s loads for a reason – so you can pick and choose which ones suit you – you’re not going to be the social pariah by staying in once or twice. There’s probably even someone else in your block that needs a rest, it might be a good idea to go and see if they want to watch a film or something – you get to meet people and chill at the same time.
On a similar note, do take a look at the non-drinking events. There are plenty of interesting things to do while giving your liver a much-needed rest and you might meet some cool people in the process.

Keep your health
During Fresher’s week it’s so easy to over-indulge yourself in alcohol and not eat properly. Take the days to get loads of water in to you and make sure you’re eating properly. The hectic time of Fresher’s week can set you in to a pattern that is going to destroy your health, so keep on top of it.
If you’re struggling with keeping healthy, there’s loads of help on the StudentWise Health pages. Take a look!

Set some house rules, TOGETHER
Together is in big capital letters for a reason. No one wants to be roommates with that person that comes in and gives everyone a set of rules. Everyone has just got their independence so being given a list of rules isn’t going to go down well. Sit down with your roommates and decide together the house rules. It might include whether the food is “buy your own” or whether certain things like milk, bread and toilet roll will be communal, and you take it in turns week on week to buy it. The same goes for cleaning, perhaps a rota for emptying the bins or something similar. Don’t have this chat with your housemates and you risk living with people who write their names in Biro on their bananas and pen angry notes about washing up by the sink!

 

Student Wise is the ultimate cheat-sheet for students – providing free, impartial and useful advice. Helping with everything from applying for Student Finance to making the best cocktails on a budget.