Jobhop Jobhop's blog : Your Ultimate Guide to Freshers' Week 2017
Getting to experience Freshers' Week is without a doubt one of the most exciting parts of starting university...
Freshers' Week is an introductory period before university courses begin.
The university holds orienteering events to introduce you to the campus, the library and the accommodation. There will also be registration, which you'll need to attend to register for your course and student loan.
Then, of course, you have the social side of things...The university's student union will normally hold lots of different parties and events, giving new undergraduate students the chance to drink, have fun, make friends, drink some more and to just generally settle into university life.
For most students, Freshers' Week will be one of the most memorable parts of the whole university experience. If you have siblings, friends or relatives who have been to university, you'll no doubt have heard some of their eventful Freshers' Week tales.
Although most new students will be familiar with the myths and reputation of Freshers' Week, it can be difficult to know exactly what to expect until you really get stuck in.
With that being said, there are a few things that you should definitely know in order to prepare yourself for what's to come, so we have rounded up our best advice in this handy guide to Freshers' Week 2017.
Before you arrive
Make sure you check all emails from your chosen university as you may receive some important details about your registration or moving into your university halls. You will also receive information about which documents you'll need to bring along with you.
Also look up the Freshers' Week events for your particular university, so you know what to expect. There will more than likely be a UV party - so bring some clothes that you don't mind getting a bit grubby. There will also probably be a disco-themed night - so remember to pack some appropriate fancy dress.
Most of the Freshers' Week events will be free to attend, however, some will require a fee. Many universities offer Freshers' packages which you're able to pre-purchase online or buy when you arrive. You'll then be given a wristband or lanyard which will gain you entry to all of the events.
Download Google Maps, bus timetables, and local taxi apps in the event that you get lost. We know that this is the type of advice your mum would give you but thank us for it later.
It's not all fun and games
As mentioned, your registration will take place during Freshers' Week and it's important to attend this. As well as registering for your course, you will also receive your student card and in many cases, you may need to attend the registrations to get your student loan.
There will be orienteering meetings and events to show you around campus, the accommodation, the library and various departments. Whilst these meetings aren't compulsory, it may be a good idea to attend as you will learn more about your surroundings while meeting new people too.
Get all the boring stuff out of the way
You may not have imagined your wild Freshers' Week sharing the same sentence as 'paperwork' but ensuring these bits of admin are dealt with will give you the peace of mind that you need to enjoy your experience wholeheartedly. You will probably spend half the day queuing and dealing with paperwork, but once it's done, it's done. You will also be safe in the knowledge of what's to come when your course eventually kicks in, even in the midst of that hangover haze still lingering from the previous week.
Explore the campus
During the first week, the campus will be full of mentors and guides ready to help new students to find their way around. However, it's good to get out and about either alone or with a friend to get to know what is essentially your home for the next couple of years. Look out for parks, cafes, pubs and of course supermarkets, this will help a new city feel more familiar to you and act as reference points for the future.
Be adventurous at Freshers' Fair
Freshers' Fair is the chance to be as crazy and adventurous as you so wish, exploring new interests and hobbies that you may have always wanted to try but haven't yet. Sign up to any society or club that takes your fancy, no matter how strange or silly it sounds. You'll find it's a great way of making new friends and you will eventually whittle it down to a couple that you're really interested in.
Make the most of student deals
Almost every company or brand will have special rates and deals for students, particularly during Freshers' Week. You will likely be given a lot of useful coupons, vouchers and discount codes at Freshers' Fair, so stash them away and make good use of them.
Most Fresher's Week events tend to involve an extensive amount of alcohol - normally cheap alcohol. Again, not to sound like your mother, but be careful. Never leave your drink unattended at any point and make sure you pace yourself.
Most students tend to get too drunk too quickly on their first night. So take it slow, you don't want to be that person who ruins themselves on the first night and then can't enjoy the rest of the week.
Make sure you set a Freshers' Week budget and stick to it. Thankfully (for your bank account) in most cases, your student loan will not be deposited into your account until after Freshers' Week. This can prevent you from blowing the entire amount all in one go.
Therefore, your Freshers' Week budget will be mostly made up of any money you've saved or been gifted by relatives. The amount you take will depend on which events you're planning to attend and how much you intend to drink. However, most of the Freshers' Week events will be fairly cheap, as will the alcohol, so you *shouldn't* have to spend too much.
Lots of students meet their closest friends during Freshers' Week. But at the same time, many students also make friends during Freshers' Week that they then don't see or speak to during the rest of their time at university. Either way, it's important to try your best to socialise, no matter how anxious you're feeling. It's a cliche, I know, but everyone is in the same boat.
Introduce yourself to everyone that you meet, befriend them on Facebook and force yourself to talk to others, no matter how easy it may seem to just stand back in the corner.
Don't skip lectures and seminars
During your first week, your lectures and seminars are of course the most important thing, despite all of the other tempting events that may be taking place. These will allow you to get to know your course tutors and what you're going to be learning throughout the first term, so be sure to attend (no matter how hungover you may feel!)
Co-operate with flatmates
No matter how much of an introvert you are, try to maintain a friendly relationship with your flatmates. You will find it'll make the living situation much easier.
Also remember that whether you are friends or not, living with a group of people is a team game. Always tidy up after yourself and contribute to keeping communal spaces, like the bathroom or kitchen, clean and tidy - a rota would be useful in this situation. Doing all you can for a quiet life will give you more energy to focus on your studies.
Be sure to discuss the flat's food policies early on. What are you sharing? How will you make it fair? Some flats tend to go for the 'all in' approach, which is great for developing relationships but can also prove to be complicated at times. Others go for a few shared items e.g. bread, milk. And others will go for a simple 'buy your own' policy. Whatever you decide, make sure everyone is happy with the decision.
You will need to make sure you're eating well and keeping yourself fuelled during Freshers' Week to avoid burnout or illness. Focus on eating plenty if fruit, veg and carbohydrates like brown bread, pasta, and rice. It can also be a good idea to take a daily multivitamin.
As much as you should be focusing on having fun, do not forget to keep yourself safe and take precautions. Don't walk back late at night alone and don't feel pressured to engage in any activities that you're uncomfortable with.
Also, keep your belongings safe. As you begin to make new friends and get to know your surroundings, you will probably find yourself visiting other people's rooms and they will be in and out of yours too. So if you have expensive or precious items, keep them securely locked away.
Don't hold back
Whilst going to university is often portrayed as the perfect time to reinvent yourself, being true to you is one survival tip that shouldn't be compromised. Fabrications about your life at home or the use of impersonations and accents will come back to bite you, so be yourself and enjoy!
Remember you are all in the same boat so put your shyness aside and let your personality shine through. Smile and be as open as possible, making an effort to ask questions and remember people's names.
It's an intense time, so you're bound to have your ups and downs. They key is to just go with the flow and don't put any pressure on yourself to be the life and soul of the party or to find your lifelong friends. If you simply be yourself and take the relaxed approach to the whole thing, we guarantee you'll have a way better time!
In: Kyria Bush Jobhop.co.uk
Kyria Bush Jobhop.co.uk