Wednesday, 10 September 2014

University | Fresher's Week Survival Tips

I'm starting my second year of University next week and it's currently mid-Freshers Week at the moment, so I thought I'd share with you a few of my tips I learnt from my first experience of Freshers' Week back in 2013!

1. Freshers Week is the only week of the year you can talk to everyone and anyone on campus without people thinking you are weird!
- If you're staying at home or living in student accommodation, try to get to know as many people as possible in your Freshers Week. Don't forget, you are all in same boat! Don't worry if you're a bit nervous about not knowing anyone, plenty of other people will be in the same situation too. Universities hold hundreds of events during the week - whether it's night-time events or excursions during the day - make the most of these opportunities, that's what they are there for!
- Talk to others about where they are from/what they are studying/what their interests are. Everyone will be doing it around you and 9 times out of 10 you will talk to so many people during the week, you'll forget all their names anyway!

2. Attend the Socieities' Fair
- The societies' fair is an excellent opportunity for you to join new clubs and societies- a great way of finding new friends with the same interests as you. Depending on your University, societies can range from sporting clubs and music groups to academic interest groups. This is the perfect opportunity to sign up to the societies' emailing list to find out when, where and how much it costs to join the society (most will charge a small fee, or be free of charge). 

3. Start saving money in your first week
- University campuses and events are always flooding with freebies and discount vouchers- make the most of them!
- Remember to collect your University card during Freshers' Week as most high street stores (and lots of other places like restaurants) offer discounts to students, this will save you a lot of money throughout the year.

4. Familiarise yourself with the area
- If you're moving to a new city or living nearby, it's always useful to find out where all the main buildings are on campus. You will probably be in a lot of the main University buildings during the week, but make sure to look out for where your lectures will be held and how long it takes to get there from your accommodation- this will save time in preparation for classes starting the following week. 
- Most Universities will hold tours of the city during Freshers' Week, this would be useful if you are new to the area!
- It's also useful to know where the office is for your course, this will be necessary later on in the semester when you have to hand in coursework/essays. They will also be able to help with any queries you have during the year.

5. Be prepared to start classes the following week
- Freshers Week is all about meeting new people, exploring and settling into University life. However, don't forget what you are at University for. Find out if any of your course handouts are available during Freshers' Week for you to have a read through, it helps a whole lot to be knowledgeable of what you will be learning that semester. 
- Don't worry about buying every textbook on your reading list, most textbooks are available at the University library or on line free of charge. Your University may also hold a second-hand textbook sale event where you can pick up cheap books.
- Shop for all your essential stationary such as pens/pencils/notepads and if you're planning on note-taking using a laptop, make sure you are connected to the University Wi-Fi and have a word processing document installed (Microsoft have a great 4 year Office package offer for University students). 
- Depending on your University, you may also meet your personal tutor/mentor during Freshers' Week. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions about your course that you may have. 

6. Be aware of the notorious Freshers' Flu
- My lectures were full of people coughing and sneezing after Fresher's Week. It's quite common to catch colds and bugs being in a new environment surrounded by lots of people, so make sure to look after yourself during Freshers Week to avoid missing lectures the following week nursing a cold!

ENJOY! Remember you only technically have your own Fresher's Week once, so make the most of it! :)

When is your Freshers' Week? What events have your University got planned? If you've already experienced Freshers' Week, what tips would you give to new Freshers'?
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