Your Sussex Freshers’ questions answered

We’ve got you covered


The A level results are in, your place at Sussex is secured and Freshers' Week is fast approaching. For us, this time last year was an exciting one. Thoughts of the adventure ahead loomed. How the hell I would make friends? what events I should go to, and would I really need all the kitchen crap my mum had brought me? Our minds were full of unanswered questions. Lucky for you, we're here to answer them.

We spoke to some Sussex freshers to find out what burning questions they have coming to Sussex.

When is moving in day and when do lectures actually start?

Arrival weekend for all new students is on the 16th of September. This is when you will move into your selected accommodation and meet all your new flatmates. Officially, Freshers' Week begins on the 18th of September.

In terms of lectures, the Autumn term begins on the 25th of September. If you're lucky, Freshers' flu won't smack you in the face for your Monday 9 am. You can find all the term dates for the rest of the year here.

Pop the prosecco ASAP

Pop the prosecco ASAP

How the hell do I make friends?

No shame, this is exactly what everyone is thinking. Considering most of us haven't been in this situation since secondary school, this is an intimidating thought. The thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat. As cliche as it is, a door wedge will be your best friend. It shows the people in your flat that you aren't going to lock yourself in your room for the rest of the year and be boring as fuck.

Be brave. On the first night of Freshers' I teased the rest of my flat out of their rooms with a bottle of vodka and a tragic drinking game.

Societies are also really good ways of making friends. Pick up a sport, or even join us lot at The Tab Sussex if you want to write some stories for us. You can message our Facebook page here.

What do I do if I don't like my flat mates?

Make friends with the flat next door on the first night, this immediately expands your social group by at least six people, giving your more choice, just in case they are ridiculously boring. You will meet so many people in Freshers' Week that your Facebook friend list will grow by at least a thousand. Over half of which you will never speak to again.

Remember, you don't actually have to like your flatmates.

There are so many opportunities to make friends, if you don't get on with your flat you will make friends from your course. If you don't meet people on your course, you can make friends from societies. Sports teams and societies are great ways to meet your kind of people. Sussex is full of amazing people, I guarantee you'll find the right people somewhere.

If it gets too much, you can always swap halls if space is available.

How many Freshers' events are there and when should I buy tickets?

As you will discover Brighton is an incredible city with so much nightlife to offer. From alternative indie nights at The Haunt on Mondays, live music at Casablanca Jazz Club every Wednesday and the super club that is Pryzm, there really is something for everyone.

The same goes for Freshers'. Each year there are a variety of exciting events. Some are run by our own Student Union and take place on and off campus. Returning this year is Boundary Festival, a day festival held on Sussex Campus with the likes of Chase & Status, My nu Leng, and Hannah Wants performing. Other events are held in the clubs and bars in central Brighton. Keep an eye on the Sussex Student Union's page and Facebook for upcoming Freshers' events.

In terms of buying tickets I would definitely hold fire and find out what your other flat mates will be attending. Buying tickets early on is always a good idea as early release tickets are always so much cheaper than closer to the event.

As a general trend, loyalty cards and club wristbands are very hit and miss and you need to ask yourself 'Will I be going to these clubs all the time?' in order to get your money's worth. Realistically, many stick with the Students' Union events in the first few weeks and venture out into Brighton after.

How can you sign up for societies and would you recommend them?

Every year the student union hold a Freshers' Fair. This is where all the societies at Sussex come to showcase their group. Here you can sign up to as many societies as you like. Every year people go a bit mental, lured in by the freebies.

The list of Societies at Sussex is endless, but if you still can't find exactly what you are looking for you can even start your own. Societies are a great way to meet people with similar interests, make friends, learn new things and challenge yourself in new ways. Not to mention socials, which are always a bit mental and usually messy.

(Big up the Tab)

(Big up the Tab)

How do I get around Brighton?

There are buses to and from Uni and the center of Brighton every five to 10 minutes. The 25 bus is your chariot to every night out that will also carry you safely back home. The buses run until 4.30 am, meaning one night bus ticket will avoid any pricey taxi rides. The Brighton and Hove bus app is the best way to purchase your tickets, meaning your ticket is always with you on your phone. The app also gives you a reduced fare compared to paying with cash on the bus.

We wouldn't recommend getting the yearly or monthly passes for buses in first year. You spend a lot of time on campus and wouldn't be getting the bus a whole lot. Get the season tickets when you're living off campus.

Falmer station is also right by the university but do not fall into the trap of getting the train and expecting to return this way. The trains either completely stop running from Falmer and Brighton or are few and far between. Buses are the best way to get around Brighton.

If you do want the train though, trains into central Brighton during the cost around £3.50 for a return.

Are there jobs available for first years?

Having a job in first year is a great way to gain work experience and earn some extra drinking cash. The students' union employ over 100 full-time and part-time staff which the majority are student. There are cafes, bars, a Co-op and a student shop which are all run by students on campus. The student union will update their vacancies page when jobs become available. This year, applications will open around September time.

There are also plenty of jobs in central Brighton including in cafes, shops bars, hotels and clubs. The university holds a career fare once a year where potential employers advertise vaccines for students. This is a great place to find a suitable job to fit around your studies.

A part-time job with a 12-16 hours a week is a realistic amount to work in order to ensure your studies are your top priority. Churchill Square is Brighton's largest shopping mall, here plenty of shops offer part time jobs. Churchill Square frequently update their jobs page with the vacancies available.

Do Sussex and Brighton University come together for any Freshers' events or events throughout the year?

Brighton and Sussex will come together for the most of the events run in central Brighton. Previously, both universities have come together for events such as the Winter Ball. The notorious event where Sussex and Brighton meet is Varsity, a day full of sports matches against the two universities. Unfortunately, due to violence at last years event this years varsity has been cancelled. Hopefully the day of competitive sport will return in coming years.

Brighton and Sussex Winter Ball at The Grand Hotel

Brighton and Sussex Winter Ball at The Grand Hotel

Where is Sussex and Brighton?

Someone was a bit confused and thought Sussex was it's own small town outside Brighton. To clear things up, Sussex is the name of the two counties that make up this part of the south coast – West and East Sussex.

Sussex University is a 10-15 min drive outside of Brighton. The University is not far away at all.

Shall I bring my PC, Xbox, Playstation etc etc?

Completely down to you, however space in halls is really limited and you have to think if you can have a monitor in your room and still leave room to study on your desk.

It is, however, a great thing to wack out if you're bored on a rainy day. Many of the halls will have common rooms with big TVs that you can chill in to your hearts content. If it's quiet, go ahead and set up a massive Fifa tournament.

Do I need to start studying now?

The reason that first year exists is to bring everyone onto the same level before getting stuck into some really interesting and deep subjects. You might switch off a little in first year as it is super basic and repetitive. We recommend looking over your old A-level notes.

Books are also a big thing we were asked about. In short, you do not have to buy every book they tell you to. It might be easier to cave and buy them, but the essential readings are uploaded on Study Direct (the online website where your timetable and subjects are located) and you can always check out the library.

Where is a good place to drink?

Check out our guide for the best student drink deals in Brighton.

The adventure starts now. First year really will fly by, so make the most of every moment. Get out and explore Brighton for the beautiful city it is, meet fantastic people and challenge yourself to achieve great things. Welcome to Sussex.