Everything Lancs students wish they’d known when they were freshers

What’s the difference between the 1A and the 100 again?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed at all, but it’s Freshers’ Week. The one week of the year where you can go out every night and claim it’s for your social wellbeing. But between the nights out and getting to know the people you’ll be living with for the next year, Freshers’ can still be a pretty intimidating time. Some things just aren’t quite so obvious as they should be and it’s difficult to know the best way to spend your time.

So we asked our Instagram followers what they wished they’d known when they were freshers at Lancaster Uni. So, if you’re a first year, grab a Lemsip and a flatmate, and read on for tips, tricks, and cheats on how to make the most out of your first couple of weeks at university.

Don’t just stick with your flatmates

Granted, a bit awkward after we just told you to read this with your flatties, but it’s so true. Your flatmates could become your closest friends at uni, but you do have a life outside of the four walls of your Furness kitchen. Speak to the people you see at your lectures, message the one person in your course group chat who seems normal, or join a society! There are over 13,000 students at Lancs, there are probably going to be more than a few who want to be your mate.

You don’t have to go out every night

Do you really have to go to all three jungle-themed nights out at Sugar? The answer is a resounding no. Take a night off, especially if you’re feeling run down! It might be time for you to enjoy a Sultans sober anyway; we promise it’s better x

Go to Freshers’ Fest and join societies

Even if you think it might be cringe or you might not fit in. There really is a society for everyone at Lancaster, and the best way to find them all in one place is to attend Freshers’ Fest. This is our freshers’ fair and will take place on Thursday at the Sports Centre. It’s worth going for the free pizza if nothing else can convince you.

Don’t buy textbooks

Don’t panic-spend 300 quid on a bunch of textbooks you barely use. They have them all at the library and if you ever do find yourself in a spot where you absolutely need to own one, buy it second-hand or speak to people in your department to see if there are any spares hanging around.

You don’t have to be a clubber to make friends

There are a ton of non-clubbing events being run by every college and so many societies. Feel free to check our Introvert’s Guide to Freshers’ Week if nothing sounds worse to you than a sweaty room playing songs you don’t recognise. If you’re a non-drinker, most colleges and societies run non-drinking events, and the Sober Society is always running events that don’t centre around alcohol.

If you’re going to join a society, do it at the start of the year

If you do get part-way through the year and decide you want to join a society, more power to you. But nobody wants to be the person who doesn’t know why everyone treats the Halloween party like it’s the Sistine Chapel of shit house parties. If you think you might want to join a society, join it at Freshers’ Fest or Week One so you don’t miss out.

Don’t decide on your second-year house straight away

There’s always a panic around November as first years realise they haven’t got a house to live in next year. Everyone is going to tell you that you need to put down a deposit immediately or else all the good houses will be taken. Whilst you definitely shouldn’t sit around and wait, you should always check out multiple houses and read your contract carefully before agreeing to anything. In terms of checking if a landlord or company is good, Google reviews and Lancfessions are going to be your best friend.

The buses are confusing

The main two routes you want to remember as a campus-based student are the 1/1A (it’s the exact same route) and the 100. The 1/1A is going to get you to town the fastest, and the 100 is going to take you up and around Bowerham and the other areas in between campus and town. Once you get to town, you’re going to stop at the Infirmary (good for Aldi), Common Garden Street outside Primark (good for the town centre), and then the Bus Station (good for Sainsbury’s).

The city centre is on a one-way system, so this is going to be the order that every bus cycles through. If you’re living in town, Common Garden Street can get busy, so hop on the bus at the Station if it’s convenient enough for you.

Relationships aren’t for life (sometimes they’re not even for Freshers’)

Good advice for any time tbh. Not every relationship you get into at uni is going to last forever, and that’s okay. Maybe don’t agree to put a deposit down on a one-bedroom with your girlfriend after three weeks of knowing each other. And we know it’s tempting, but please don’t commit flatcest. It’s only ever going to end in tears (unless it doesn’t, what do we know?)

Underwater hockey is a thing and it is glorious

If there’s one thing Roses 2022 taught us, it’s that there are so many weird and wonderful sports that Lancaster has to offer. From canoe polo to ultimate frisbee to ballroom dancing to, yes, underwater hockey. If you don’t want to get involved in the actual playing of the sport, you can always show up to games and competitions to show your support and prove that roses are still red!

Join Peeny Greeny

Lancs has weird sports, yes, but its societies are undoubtedly even weirder. Peeny Greeny is the Lancs society dedicated to the cheapest of wines, the Pinot Grigio, but tends to throw the weirdest (and most varied) socials in Lancs history. They join a barrage of other “out-there” Lancs societies such as the Lancaster Anti-Society, the Lancaster Charli XCX Society, and the Lancaster University Swift Society.

Write for The Lancaster Tab

Definitely the best piece of advice you could possibly be given this Freshers’ Week. The Lancaster Tab is recruiting news writers, features writers, and TikTok reps for the new academic year! If you’d like to try your hand at writing for a nationally-recognised news site, come along to our open meeting on Tuesday 11th of October, 7 PM at County Bar! No experience necessary! If you can’t make it, DM us on our Instagram!

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