Here are 10 things you need to know before moving to London as a fresher

We promise these are better than the 2017 Student Room posts you’ve read

September is approaching. You can almost smell the pre-uni chunder of desperately-chugged VKs and god-knows-what.

The truth is, nothing can quite prepare you for the number of mullets you’ll see at uni. Oh. And the brutal feedback you’ll get during your degree studying an undeniably unemployable field you chose just to get into UCL.

But fear not, freshers. The London Tab has come up with a list of 10 things you should know before making the big move.

Don’t reek of a BNOC beg

Don’t pretend you’ve always called it a CigGIE. Don’t quote Eminem after saying, “I love rap.” Don’t stop and say hi to absolutely everyone when you met them 10 seconds ago during freshers. You’re not a local MP.

Top tip: just don’t be a beg.

We don’t need the size of a genius brain like Megamind’s to realise the truth: the main character energy courses through your veins, and the real MVPs don’t care about such labels.

Allow the grim flat

Maggots, random whiffs of ganja, and questionable midnight thumping sounds? Just some examples of the London dorm staples you’ll come across.

It’s not that deep. Learn to laugh about it all and accept that the outrageous rent will make you do a doubletake when seeing the room in real life.

But you can still make the most of it, so don’t skip those Freshers’ Week plant-and-poster sales.

Stay calm on those GCs

We get it. You’re cool and know how turn-taking works xoxo.

But calm yourself, and don’t you dare send that inside joke. The other 500 people in the chat don’t know who your home friend Sarah is and don’t care about their horrific tinder date. An amusing but unnecessary story.

It’s tempting to panic-send things that make you cringe in retrospect when you think not being attached to the hip with someone by the end of Freshers’ Week is going to be the end of your social life. But trust us: you’ve got plenty of time, and the number of people you’ll meet within one minute of pres is more than enough to keep you socially satisfied.

So don’t worry about meeting your best friend forever and ever on a Whatsapp GC to save yourself from wanting to throw your phone away when looking back at your chat history.

Don’t let long-distance swallow you up

Would you rather wallow in that awkward conversation with hallmates you just met or facetime your sixth form boyfriend to reminisce about your year 10 meet cute?

It’s a no-brainer. Don’t take the L and pick the second option, even if the first seems pure brutal.

It’s survival of the fittest climate out here. You must not let long-distance mates keep you from acquiring new shoulders to cry on for when uni deadlines come at you.

Don’t complain about being broke

If we got a penny for every time we hear “Agh, London is so expensive,” we’d be living in Mayfair right now.

It’s a shared experience that a little bit of our soul leaves our body after spending three pounds on water. London plus the cost-of-living crisis is what it is. 

Although you’d likely be spending three quarters of your maxed-out student loan on rent, there’re still some ways to delay seeing the bottom of your wallet. For example, have your feet take you wherever possible so you’d not be breaking into your savings to get drinks at Ministry on the second night. Not a vibe.

Don’t take food from your flatmates

There’s no way a single person yammed a fresh box of cinnamon crunch within the night of moving in. And there’s nothing worse than looking forward to a god-tier choccie milkshake after a long lecture you absolutely understood just to find it’s gone. A crime.

Of course, you can share milk, butter and extra food with your flatmates after the first day. But don’t be a cheeky thief – ask or buy your own.

You can’t just be a depop queenie

Don’t waste 126 hours looking at on depop, girl. You know the maintenance loan forbids that.

Pack a closet ready for those early morning seminars, not fashion shows. As long as you’re not in Shoreditch, the UAL fashion police won’t care.

An already-worn Adidas zip-up around your shoulder isn’t an iconic “Home Alone face” moment. But when you wake up at 8:50 for your 9 am seminar, those extreme emotional reactions aren’t even possible either.

Trainers are also a must. We do love some crocs and sliders, but that 35 min walk to campus (probably as close as you can live to your central London campus) may hurt your pastel crocs just a little x

Forget A-levels

Shut your mouth about A-levels or school. Period.

Rumour has it: utter the phrase “A-Levels” three times at uni, and Gavin Williamson will come and slap you up big time. (Topping it off is that he does it with a sheet of your predicted grades too.) A bit of a sticky one.

Go crazy at the Fresher’s fair

Freebies. Enough said.

It’s all chill

It’s easy to stress about the most mundane things because starting your dorm life is scary as hell. But you’ll learn within no time that the best memories are yet to come and will keep you cheesin’ through the patchy times.

Welcome to London, and just vibe with it all.

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We asked London’s international students about their biggest culture shocks

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How I’m navigating, or trying to survive, Freshers’ as an autistic UCL student