Advice I wish someone had told me before Freshers’ Week
You learn a lot over the course of your first year at uni. Here are some things I wished I’d known back in Freshers’ Week.
Talk to as many people as possible in Freshers’ Week
Being forced to make friends is terrifying. But let me tell you, the girl with the long blonde hair and the boy with the glasses won’t eat you alive if you just go over and say hi. They will most likely be even more glad to have found a companion for all uni related events to come. And even better, no one in first year has a clue about how university works. But they might know things you don’t. This will make you invincible as a duo or little gang.
Don’t start your essay the night before
Most people I know have modest abilities to organise their uni life. You don’t have superpowers. It might work sometimes but not every essay (or psychology report) can be approached in the early hours and is even less likely to be completed before your deadline at 12pm the next day. Plus, it will probably be crap.
Pubs are fantastic and better than clubs
Why pay entry for a crammed club with terrible music and overpriced drinks when you can simply enjoy a few beers with your mates? Test your own endurance levels and see if you can stay from noon until closing time. Also, most do great food (or still better, food challenges , quiz and jazz nights).
Have a full-on cry every once in a while
Being at university you already have enough on your plate. Especially with exams coming up when you haven’t even started revision. And as we’re all still somewhere in between being hormone-navigated teenagers and responsible adults, feelings can be overwhelming sometimes and they’re intended to be felt. So instead of bottling up, do a long full on cry, and then meet your friends for a pint. Trust me, you’ll feel better.
Find more creative strategies for avoiding Friday’s weird date or last night’s mistake
If you’ve got ways and means of making yourself invisible, good for you. If not, what’s your plan of action? Here’s a few suggestions to avoid embarrassment.
- Hide. This can be quite effective. Not ideal if they see you first because you end up looking like an idiot.
- Take a deep breath and play it cool. This conversation can either be really funny or make your face turn scarlet red.
- Stage a heart attack. Yes, it will get their attention but at least you don’t have to talk to them.
- Get yourself a new identity and leave the country. Depending on the individual, this might be an option for you.
Forget extravagant dinner recipes
A heavy percentage of students seems to be cooking atheists. But even if you enjoy making yourself a nice meal every now and then, don’t go overboard when food shopping. Chances are it will either go off or get dusty in the corners of your cupboard because you (again) went for takeaway or a ready-meal. And beans on toast count as gourmet food, right?
Man up for sports socials
As fun as a safari skite sounds, you will never have been that drunk in your entire life. Outcome of the night can be everything from a smashed phone or lost purse to a proper memory blank. Sports teams are not for the faint-hearted.
Don’t do shots of vodka
The vast majority of students believes in the power of vodka. And the oh so popular liquid truly is powerful. Look at the girl curled up and feeling absolutely miserable after emptying her stomach contents all over the floor. She did it. If you get what I’m talking about, you’d do well to remember to never ever do vodka (shots) again.
Invest in cosy pyjamas and a Netflix account instead of highlighters and printing-credits
It’s Sunday. The nature of a real Sunday demands to be embraced. With exams coming our way you might have already printed off tons of lecture slides and neatly highlighted your notes. But on a Sunday you ought to give your brain a break and sleep all day. Wherever you prefer.
Buy a shovel and bury your credit card
It’s not a new concept that students tend to be skint. And after a year I think it’s a bit late to start thinking about handling your money responsibly. Because you can’t. Depending on your burning desire to get another drink which you really can’t afford, the most effective and only method of saving money is probably to get rid of your card.
Don’t bother to put on a mask for society
Waking up half an hour before your lecture is not the time to paint your face with blush and mascara and make well-considered outfit choices (if it’s research methods in psychology you will fall asleep anyways). And as much fun as occasional dressing up can be, a night out is more happily danced away in jeans and a t-shirt. Or a full body panda costume.
Just do it
This one is mostly intended to make you think. If you’re keen to build up a fair amount of stories to tell your grandchildren or for a few rounds of ‘never have I ever’ you better start now. I bet there is at least one thing you’ve always wanted to do. You’re 19 (or around that age), you’re at university. Call it youthful stupidity. Do it.