Edinburgh students give us their random pieces of advice for freshers

‘Your leaver’s hoodie isn’t as cool as you think it is. Stop wearing it’


Starting uni is a terrifying experience. Moving into your halls with a bunch of random strangers, having to fend for yourself for the first time, and being expected to keep up with all your uni work is all pretty daunting stuff. Not least when there’s a global pandemic raging.

You’ve probably got some idea of what to expect and what you think will be challenging. But, as most current students will attest to, there are many things you can’t or won’t expect. Whether it’s making friends, coping with the changeable Edinburgh weather, or how to not let Circuit laundry get you down, there are many things we wished we would have known as Freshers that would have made our lives much easier.

So, here are the random pieces of advice current Edinburgh students want give to incoming freshers. Hopefully it will make your lives that little bit easier.

Imi, 4th year

“Buccleuch (as in the road that runs behind George Square) is pronounced ‘buh-cloo’ – think one, two ‘buh-cloo’ my shoe. I spent all of first year mispronouncing it and cringe every time I think about it.”

Beau, 3rd year

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket with one group. Oh, and don’t sleep with your housemates in freshers, you’ll regret it.”

Laura, 4th year

“Your leaver’s hoodie isn’t as cool as you think it is. Stop wearing it.”

Izzy, 2nd year

“Don’t whinge about your work, none of it counts and you pass for turning up to tutorials. Also, don’t even bother going to the library in first year, you’re taking up space and you just need to pass.”

Grace, 2nd year

“Circuit laundry will ruin your life. Paying nearly £3 for the privilege, you’ll spend more time waiting for a machine to be free than actually washing your clothes. Top tip: buy some of the lil scent boosters and some anti-bacterial detergent to put in the drum everytime you wash – it ain’t cheap but will save a lot of agg.”

Ema, 3rd year

“Buy a raincoat, you’re in Scotland now. But it’s too windy for umbrellas! You’ll just get yeeted away like Mary Poppins.”

Maya, 4th year

“Don’t take the JMCC at Pollock for granted. You’re gonna have to do dishes for the rest of your life afterwards.”

Ella, 4th year

Don’t ask what school someone went to- literally no one cares.”

Harriet, 4th year

“Your first year friends (especially those made in flats or halls) may not necessarily be your “forever friends” – often all you have in common is living and going out drinking together. So don’t be disheartened if you don’t always hit it off with people in your halls or later fall out with them.”

Charlotte, 4th year

“Only first years buy A4 ring binders.”

Amelia, 1st year postgrad

“If you find it hard it make friends/are lonely don’t be scared it happens to literally everyone, find a society you like and get involved, go to socials alone literally no one will care. Also try loads of different things, the third, fourth or fifth society you try might be the one for you, if you go to one meeting or social or whatever you’re not locked in to anything. Also don’t start smoking bc you won’t stop and you will hate yourself for it”

Claire, 3rd year

“I think the biggest thing for me was just to not be afraid to talk to people or take initiative online. Join as many Facebook groups (like for your course, the uni, a society you like) to at least stay updated on everything. I missed so many good events because I wasn’t in those groups at first. Also don’t be afraid to join committees for societies. I feel like there are some good groups of people in those and it’s good to be a part of something”

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• Masks, queues and 7 pm lectures: here’s what Edi Uni will look like in September

• This quiz will determine which Edinburgh accommodation you should have really lived in

• Here’s five key things I wish I’d known before living in Pollock