An honest guide to surviving freshers, from an old and wise final year student
I rang my dad for help, learn from my mistakes
As a final year student I find myself in a position, where I can share some wisdom and light on the famous annual antics which we find approaching once again. Yes it is, of course, Freshers Week.
The renowned first week of uni, where, you find yourself living away from home for the first time, in a new and undiscovered part of the world. And what is the nationwide response to this? It is to party with strangers, until they are strangers no more, every single night of the week.
For those of you about to experience your first dose of freshers, we have put together some do's and dont's, so you don't end up faceplanting a table after one too many jagers, like myself two years ago (If you want to do that, do, not here too judge).
Or if you are a second/final year student that just wants to brush up on how to survive what can only be described as a 7 day blackout, listen up too:
For those smarty pants that have been working over summer saving for a big freshers blow out, you might want scroll past this one, but you should still hear me out.
Everyone with student bank accounts, we have been graced with an overdraft with some that can go up to £2,000. Don't just see your overdraft money (and for some lucky ones too, your student finance) and think "to hell with it it's freshers" you will regret when you've spent £900 in a week on Ubers, tickets and drinks. Start as you mean to go on and save so you can go to all the other events during the course of the semester.
Take advice from someone that had to ring their dad in November of first year because they spent their loan and overdraft in two months, not really a convo you want to have.
Balance play with work
During the same week as your excessive VK consumption, leave time to go to various Freshers Fairs, so that you can see everything that uni life has to offer. This is a great way of meeting new people, exploring activities you've always wanted to try, and get free pizza (normally, but I can't promise it will be there this year).
Everybody recommends it, but go sign up to societies, go to the Give It A Go's, really make an effort to fill your time wisely.
Let your hair down (metaphorically and literally)
This is the best week to do the craziest stuff before life comes at you real quick. Before long you will find yourself in Eddy B, wondering where it all went wrong. This is a no-judgement week, so just be yourself (particularly because 75% of people won't remember what happens anyway) so take advantage of that and just live your best uni life.
Worry about making friends
Ahhh, the classic mistake of clinging to the first person you see for god damn life, we've all been there, good times.
If your soulmate doesn't live in your flat or your sista from another mista isn't on your course, don't worry. Friendships blossom from every corner of uni life over your uni time and if it's not in freshers week don't panic, because 9/10 times the people you meet mid year onward are those that stick around.
If your friends from home are going to the same uni as you, don't always just stick with them either. It's important for growth that you test friendship waters and meet new people.
Do not hide
Don't just coop yourself up in your room; go into the kitchen or knock on your flat mates doors and make an effort. One top tip is to bring a door stop and keep your door open.
It's friendly and you should put yourself out there. If there are any accommodation or campus events, then go, or better yet invite your flat mates and go together. Be proactive with your friendships and you'll instantly feel more at ease. If you are a more reserved person, pop that door stop in to show you are fine with company coming through.
What to remember:
Amber Cars have a scheme where if you cannot afford a taxi you can give them your student card and to get it back you go to the union and pay your fare. This can be a saviour when you don't have the dollar but always make sure you travel back with a friend, don't travel late on your own.
Remeber to sign up to Leeds Student Medical Practice, because let me tell you now, you WILL catch freshers flu and you'll find yourself at 8am battling for a same day appointment.
And for the love of god get your meningitis jab before coming to uni, it is (quite literally) a life saver.
Freshers week is (some what) memorable and really throws you in the deep end for a great year; make the most of it, seize the day and have fun. But, always remember to look after yourself with plenty of H20 and look out for those around you.
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