Five things Leicester freshers need to know about the uni

Some valuable top tips that are worth a read

Many of you may have moved in with the help of your parents to what may appear to be a completely new environment for those coming from London, various parts of the UK and across the world. You are now essentially taking on a completely new stage of your life, turning the page to a new and exciting chapter – to put it metaphorically. When I first arrived at the university I soon began to realise that there was a lot that I didn’t know. I wanted someone to tell me where to go for a late-night snack, that’s what I want to hear. Whilst food is important, I was also very interested in finding out more about the culture, whether fresher’s flu actually is a thing, what really is a good night out and society membership. So, I figured I’d give you the lowdown on five useful things every Leicester fresher should know about the university.

“You actually need to go out to make friends”

Now although this may seem like an obvious one – it isn’t. Whilst some like to get straight in, knocking on doors asking whose who and what’s what, the rest of us shy ‘peeps’ tend to fall victim to the ‘hiding in your room syndrome’. Meeting people and making friends will be your first biggest hurdle which you can quickly overcome by just stepping out of your comfort zone and saying the not so daunting word ‘hello’ or ‘hey’ whatever tickles your fancy. Get to know your course mates, it makes it a whole lot easier when you get down to writing those lengthy assignments. Trust me, it helps to know where everyone else is at. You know what also makes meeting people that little bit easier though – societies. This leads me onto my next point.

Society membership

The university offers ‘nearly 200 different societies, covering everything from Dodgeball to Knitting, Burlesque to Real Ale, Curry to Quidditch’. “No, I did not take that directly from the university website”, I say sarcastically. Anyway, you get the gist. For intellectual debates, sporting activities, balls, events and beloved bar crawls, society membership are the in thing.

The student union website is the place to go for all your social needs.

The student union website is the place to go for all your social needs.

To put it simply it’s a great and convenient way to meet like-minded individuals like yourself. Seeing the array of societies at the fresher fair is enough to get anyone excited. Well, here’s what they don’t tell you. One, go to at least one of the society’s events before you pay for membership and do not, I repeat do not pay before doing so. Also, don’t go crazy and sign up to everything, as enticing as it may be. I mean the cost of membership isn’t a lot, but why pay for five society memberships when you only end up going to one taster session. Also, think carefully, I mean you know yourself. Are you one of those super organised people who will manage to stay committed and keep going or nah? Juggling a society alongside uni can be a big task, even for a fresher! So, don’t be that eager beaver who ends up wasting their money. I can actually hold my hand up and say that unfortunately I was one of those eager beavers. After having paid for membership to the Street Dance society, The Ripple and having attended both introductory sessions in the first week, I’m afraid to say that I was never to be seen again. I reckon they just gave up after the third week because they just stopped asking.

The very different types of a good night out

Whilst everyone loves to talk about whether a night at Shabang or Letsdisko can be classified as a decent night out, I thought I’d do something a little different. Let’s talk a bit about what I refer to as the ‘two sides of a good night out in Leicester’. To put it quite simply, what lovers of Drum’n’Bass, Reggae, Bassline, House and UK garage would like vs the lovers of Hip-hop, RnB, Afrobeats and Bashment.

What a great night at Beastwang looks like

What a great night at Beastwang looks like

I also shared my first-hand experiences of going to various bashment-themed events during my time as a fresher. I did a little research and found out a DJ who goes by the name of Nico The Beardo started the student night that continues to see countless sold out events. Whilst he is also known as the The Beastwang Organiser and The Hindu Heartbreaker amongst other glamorous titles he’s also shared the stage with the likes of ‘Stormzy, Hannah Wants, Shy FX, My Nu Leng and Redlight’. Let’s just say Beastwang is where you should go if you’re looking for a night you can’t remember and I mean that in the most literal sense. The lovers of hip-hop, rnb, afrobeats, bashment and trap, yes, I haven’t forgotten about you. During my first year it was events like Stamina and those advertised by the university’s ACS that I most had fun at. However, please don’t get it twisted in my heyday the Shabang hip-hop and RnB room also popped. So, despite what anyone may tell you I still think a Friday night spent at Shabang is a decent way to go.

I would just like to give AJ’S a shout out real quick. Thank you for supplying the whole of Nixon Court and Freemans Common with food after those drunken nights out. Lord knows, my face lit up every time I returned to find that you guys were still open.

University will test your limits

I repeat, ‘university will test your limits’. Well, it certainly has tested mine. Despite how organised you are, you will get stuck with lengthy assignments and limited time to complete them. It’s unavoidable I’m afraid. It’s situations like these that make the ‘unrealistic’ or ‘impossible’ very plausible. Between trying to maintain a social life and juggling academics, you may find yourself having to write a 2,500-word essay in less than 48 hours. Although this shouldn’t be done, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that this is the life of a fresher.

The look of despair

The look of despair

When you take on and complete that monstrosity of an essay and manage to beat the clock, handing it in at 23 hours, 59 mins, 00 secs you will feel superhuman. You’ve clicked submit…it’s gone…off into the sunset. You’ve now done the unthinkable. You begin to relish in the free time you think you now have just to be given another assignment the next day. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is stay on top of it all!

The city

Now I’ve given this final point a very ambiguous title, but what I think you should know is actually quite simple. That is, to explore the city. If you are one of the lucky ones like I was and are currently residing in Nixon Court or Freemans Common it is easy to be confined to that space. Life is bliss. Morrisons is next door and you don’t have to walk that far to get to uni. Despite Leicester being a small city, it still has a lot to offer. It’s safe to say that you won’t be living in Nixon or Freemans for all your stay at university so why not get acquainted to the town. Don’t be too scared to explore what the city has to offer.

Highcross is a must visit for uni students

Highcross is a must visit for uni students

Take your friends to Highcross, take a stroll down New walk you’ll find an interesting Museum and Art Galley which opens from 10am-5pm from Monday to Saturday and 11am on Sundays. To be honest, I recommend it as that’s one thing I myself didn’t do and honestly it saves you some much time and money knowing where everything is and where to get any essentials.

To end, as you may have now found out, yes, freshers flu actually is a thing.