All the freshers reading out there, keep your ears wide open for some advice on how to handle the first petrifying year at uni. As everyone moves into their flats with their new housemates, others stay at home and travel to uni, we are all pretty much in a similar position when it comes to having a fresh start with new people. So, I attempt to give some tips on how to survive this year based on my experience which may be wildly different to others!
1. Don't leave deadlines to last minute
This is possibly the worst mistake you can make when you have a mountain of deadlines all due in on the same week. Trust me, I am the queen of disorganisation and procrastination so please listen to me when I say: get a diary and write this stuff down. Leaving a 7000 word assignment 4 days before its due date is not a healthy experience!
2. Speak to people
Whether you live on campus or not, speaking to people has got to be the most scary thing that happens for most people. Nobody can deny that this is one of the things that everyone struggles with. If everyone speaks to everyone then no one is left alone = solution. The first couple of days are important, so just speak to anyone that looks friendly or that you see is your type of person. Remember that everyone is in the same position as you so be nice and others will be too. Arguably, the first person you speak to may not be your friend for life but its nice to have someone!
3. Save some money
I know, spending your student loan on alcohol, clothes and anything else that you have written that list for is very tempting but try your best to save at least a bit of money. Think about the summer that will be coming and how much you will regret not saving at least some money when everyone else is enjoying holidays or even the scary prospect of putting a deposit down for your next flat. Even if that means not buying that bottle of vodka or the new Topshop jumper that you really wanted. It will be worth it when you have something in the bank.
4. Try and get a job
By all means, enjoy Freshers week. However, once life starts getting into the nitty gritty and you have to think about paying for your own food, clothes and living in general; extra money is extremely useful. Just put yourself out there, any job is better than no job. I know being a waitress is not my expertise, who am I kidding, I hate it. It still gives me some sort of income that makes me feel independent and this way I don't have to rely on my parents for any extra money.
5. Moving in/moving out
Don't worry, as long as you pack absolutely everything you have in your room and house you can't possibly forget anything, right? Wrong! Even if you make a list as long as your leg, there will still be something that you are missing, so don't worry too much because you can buy it when you get there! Yes shops do exist near campus too. Also, those of you who are going to uni next year, make sure this is your decision and you don't feel that you have to move to uni to get the 'experience'. Everyone wants something different, I chose not to and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything that I haven't wanted to do. Make your own experience.
6. Don't rely on public transport
As I travelled to uni, trains became the bane of my life. Although I can drive I thought that getting the train would be more relaxing as I wouldn't be stuck in traffic at peak times and I would be able to sleep if I was really that tired (and not miss my stop). However, I would always suggest making sure to get the train earlier than you plan just to make sure you don't miss it. Who wants to walk into a lecture 30 minutes late because the train has been delayed for the 5th time that week? Not me. Make sure you leave yourself extra time to get to and from uni, it will save stress and grey hairs from accumulating.