From societies to budgeting: This is your ultimate Lincoln Freshers 2022 survival guide
10 tips from those who have made the mistakes themselves
The course chats are being spammed, wristbands are being sold which means Freshers’ Week is right around the corner. Over the next few weeks people from all over the country will be squashed together in a tight, overpriced space and forced to get along.
As overwhelming as it may be, these next few weeks will include some of the most memorable and fun experiences. To ease you into starting the new year, here’s some advice on how to survive Freshers’ Week and truly make the most of those first few weeks of uni.
Join Facebook groups
First things first, join some Facebook and Messenger groups before you even set foot on campus. There are all kinds of pages you can connect with. You’ll very quickly be able to find coursemates, flatmates, people who will be living in the same building as you, and others who share interests with you.
All freshers are in the same boat, and after witnessing a few frantic questions on the course group chat you will feel at ease knowing you’re all asking the same thing.
Email any and all staff members
Leading on from my first point – you all have questions. Get them answered!
Never be afraid to email lecturers, course leaders, accommodation managers or society presidents. The worst that can happen is they give a useless response; you will never get told off or eaten alive for sending emails and at least you’ve then tried your best. Personally I have found that most curious emails lead to a reassuring answer and issues are easily solved.
Create the ‘home from home’ for yourself
During the packing process, take a look around the bedroom you have been growing up in, and recreate parts of it at university. Whether that is old posters you still love staring at, souvenirs from holidays you went on years ago, or your scruffiest teddy bear, they will all make you feel more at home while away.
Remember: your bedroom is YOUR bedroom; display the things you love and if any other students judge you for that it’s a sign they shouldn’t be hanging out with you anyway.
Leave your bedroom door open
That being said, it’s important to still invite people into your room. It’s very easy to move into university, get busy unpacking, and then realising you’ve spent the whole day alone and haven’t yet met anyone. As much as you all want to set things up in your own bedrooms, it’s important to meet and get to know each other.
I would suggest you prop open your door and say hi as people walk through the corridor.
Top tip: help each other unpack!
Find the nearest small supermarket for emergencies
It could be halfway through pres and you’re out of drinks. You could be halfway through cooking and you find a missing ingredient. There are all kinds of little things you may need to buy in your first week that you forgot to pack, so find the nearest local food shop and get acquainted with it – you will be spending a lot of time making quick trips there in the next year.
Explore the world of cooking
Please don’t live on Pot Noodles and pasta!
There is a wealth of food options yet to discover and you finally have the freedom of being able to cook what you want, when you want. The supermarket is your oyster. However, do not become the flat cook! It is nice to cook for others now and then, but if you start making a habit out of it you will find your flatmates become reliant and you end up wasting your own time and money for no real reason.
(Side note: eating pasta for every meal IS acceptable as long as you make the most of the hundreds of pasta sauce recipes out there and keep switching it up. This advice comes from a professional pasta eater aka me.)
Leave the flat early when heading onto campus
In your first week of university you will have multiple welcome talks, induction classes, meetings and introductory lectures to attend. The best advice I can give you is to set off extra early.
Once you arrive on campus and see multiple big, unfamiliar buildings filled with a rabbit warren of rooms you will understand why. It can be quite difficult to find your way around at first and you need to leave time for asking directions, looking at various arrows on signs, and remaining calm and non-rushed throughout.
But don’t worry, you will know campus like the back of your hand very quickly!
Make the most of Freshers Week activities
Your Students’ Union plans for this week all year, every year. They set up different fayres in the daytime and host club nights, quizzes, parties and events in the evenings. Don’t ignore all these! Even if it doesn’t seem like your cup of tea, it is just one week of your life and then you can go back to hiding in your bedroom.
Try everything out because you never know who you will meet, what you will discover, or how many core memories you’ll make.
For me, joining societies was the most crucial and beneficial decision of my whole time at university.
I do not exaggerate when I say there is a society for everyone; whether that is a specific sport you love, an academic interest you have, a hobby you want to get better at, or just a group of like-minded people you seek… It can all be found in a society!
There will be many taster sessions in the first few weeks of term, and there’s no harm in attending them.
This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s something worth trying out as a fresher. Make a note of things such as income, necessary spendings (e.g. food and uni supplies), and work out how much you have left to spend and save.
This will be useful if you’re wanting to go on nights out but not sure how many you can afford. With all the other stresses of university, the last thing you want is to run into serious money problems!