Current students share their biggest Freshers’ regrets, so you don’t have to make them too

Listen up first years, here’s how to not be a silly fresh x

Going to uni is hands down one of the most intense and scariest times of your life, between navigating communal bathrooms during a hangover, sleep depravation and resisting the urge to panic call your mum in tears when you inevitably catch Freshers’ Flu, it’s definitely a learning curve.

A-Level results day is coming up verrrry soon, and you can bet that all soon-to-be freshers up and down the country are already panicking. But don’t worry, here’s all the best advice for first year from current students and graduates, do you don’t have to suffer the same trauma that we did. These are current students biggest Freshers’ regrets:

Not bringing a bathroom bin and bath mat

Nothing comes close to the trauma of battling through a slippery bathroom floor, wet toilet paper congealing against the sides, shampoo and conditioner creating a fast flowing river, sweeping with it any remaining residue previous students have left behind. Although university rooms usually come with a bin as standard, bathrooms usually don’t, and trust me, you don’t want to be without one…

Not joining societies

Yes the Freshers’ Fair is cringe and it’s super scary to go to society events on your own, but do it! You’ll end up meeting so many people, and you’ll already have one thing in common. Although they can be expensive to join sometimes, pick a couple that you like and make an effort to go to stuff they put on.


Yup, people are pretty unanimous on this one: remember your flatmates probably aren’t the loves of your life, you’re probably just horny. To be fair, how disastrous the outcome is can depend on whether you’re in a flat of four or a flat of 10 – if it’s the latter, you may get away with it, but definitely safest to avoid. At least try and wait until term two to commit flatcest…

Not having a rail card

You may think you won’t be going home until Christmas, that you’ll use reading week as an opportunity to explore the city and catch up on work but trust me, you’ll be at least one breakdown in by your fourth week, needing a little TLC from your family – or at least some clean clothes and a meal cooked for you. Business student or not, you might have been savvy and opened a student account with certain banks, just so you got a free rail card like the entrepreneur you are.

Sticking to one friendship group

Make as many friends as possible, don’t just stick to one group. Course mates, society mates, smoking area mates, they’re all canny. You should definitely invest time bonding with your flatmates and getting along, but branching out is important. Having friends separate from people you live with is really important and will mean your uni experience isn’t narrow.

Not having cold and flu tablets with you

Firstly, because although you make think yourself superior to Freshers’ Flu, you will succumb to it. Generally, you’ll be run down every couple of weeks – not just owing to the (lack of) cleanliness but the combination of going out, attempting to get to your lectures and cooking for yourself. Besides, severe FOMO means you don’t stop going out just because you’re ill.

And also, because they are expensive af and you won’t realise this until you are swaddled in a jumper, coat, hat and scarf in Tesco’s drugs aisle trying to stop snot dropping on the Strepsils bumper packs, tears down your cheeks as you realise the cost of getting Beechams max strength, Lemsip, tissues, Strepsils, and some vitamin C is roughly equal to your weekly food budget.

Having too many toastie makers

Honestly, it feels like everyone’s aunt gives them one as a “going to uni” present – you’ll have six in one house and not use them anyway (except when drunk).

Buying laundry liquid and fabric conditioner instead of washing tabs

Unless you have siblings at uni, you probably won’t know that uni washing machines don’t usually have a draw to put liquid or powder in, you need little laundry pods that you can just throw into the main drum.

Not taking first year seriously and missing lectures

Although many universities don’t take first year grades into account for your final grade, still go to your lectures and seminars – do your essays and exams so you get used to the marking, style and referencing so when you come to second year you’ll feel like you know what’s expected. Do it, but don’t worry about it.

Getting annoyed about the state of the kitchen

It’s not worth it. If the lack of cleanliness is bothering you – just clean it, it’s better than getting angry about it and gossiping about or even messaging your flatmates. You get used to it, and it’s much better living in a messy flat than one where everyone’s feuding.

Putting more effort into your wardrobe than your degree

Repeat after me: you will be on campus in pyjamas by third year.

Not realising that it can take a while to find your people

Don’t assume everyone’s a weirdo if you’re stuck in an accommodation where you don’t feel like you fit in. You will meet people who you get on with, even if you’re living with or even surrounded by people who you don’t.

Not knowing what Circuit laundry is

Just preparing you for it now, being clean is an expensive hobby.

Not going to any office hours

Don’t be afraid to use lecturer office hours! They will give you useful info, essay ideas, even pub suggestions. Especially if it’s your personal tutor, it’s nice to establish a relationship with them, so when you need them (when things getting more difficult personally or academically) it’s much easier to talk to them about it, even if it’s in second or third year.

Finally, getting a Freshers’ wristband

No explanation needed.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

These are the 11 boys you’re guaranteed to sleep with in Freshers

Thou shalt not: The 38 biggest lies we tell ourselves at uni during Freshers’ Week

Everything that will happen in Freshers’ Week