Once you’ve made it to Uni, you are classed as a fresher or a first year. Think about it like being at year 7 in school. Starting from the bottom, now we are here! (Well you can say that in final year when you graduate it but it is still an achievement) Everything is fresh, the campus, flatmates (if you are living away from home), the lectures, the syllabus, the people, the library, the shops etc. You get the impression, that you’re responsible for you know.
You can get through this. I was a fresher myself and let me tell you, I was balling my eyes out saying I wanted to go home day 3 into fresher’s week. My dad was like, ‘you worked too hard to come and cry’. You better fix up and enjoy. #forcefulenjoyment Okay Dad! Thanks for that encouragement.
With that, my top tips for being a fresher;
Say hi and smile! You don’t know who you could end up meeting or who could be useful to your time at Uni, also what do your brush your teeth for (minus hygiene and good teeth health) – to smile.
Try and join a society and go to the meetings, don’t join to get a free pen and goodie bag and not go (like I did oops) – join a society that actually interests you and think it can benefit you whether sports, religion, business, culture – you get my drift.
Find your library to find your books in first year as you don’t need to buy the whole syllabus for each module. You’ll end up in your overdraft and your arms and back will hurt from carrying all those books – we don’t want that!
Be sensible with money. Probably when your student loan drops, it is the most money you ever have had in your account (for the first time or in a while). There is the temptation to spend it all at once but don’t do it like Bryson Tiller. That money needs to last you a term which is 3 months, so spend wisely.
Make sure you find how far the coach/train station is and how to get to it, so you can go home (if you live away from home) or if you want to travel and go see your friends in other universities!
Look up the nearest supermarkets, markets so you can buy food (if you ran out of your parents stock up), so you know where and how you can buy. You shouldn’t be eating just oven chips and noodles throughout Uni. #shade
Locate your student union and student support, just in case things start to go a little south – Don’t struggle in silence in Uni, know who you can contact and get support from.
Try not and get overwhelmed – uni is a huge experience and is a big learning curve for anyone starting out whether you are a 18 or 30 years old, take each experience as it comes and try to enjoy.
Be social! Get out there and go for a drink (doesn’t have to be alcoholic) or go out for a meal, go to an event, play sports and speak to people. You can’t complain that no one knows you and you are up sitting up in your room like Brandy!
Sex is a big part of being a fresher – you can be promiscuous, bad and boujee or tee-total, whatever lifestyle (Young Thug) you decide, make sure you stay stage, be safe and put some respek on your sexual health.
Never think the deadline is too far away – when you get your first assignments, the lecturers tell you the deadline is December 2017 and you’ve just started in October. The next minute you realise it’s 2019, no assignments have been done and you’re scrambling at the library trying to get a space in the quiet area or a computer. Complete them well before the deadline, it is less stressful that way!
Build a support group, doesn’t have to be the whole of your seminar lol but a group of friends or even 1 person that you can rely on to help with Uni work, life and the uni experience together.
Take coursework and assignments seriously – they could count up to 50% of the assessment towards the module and it will put less pressure on you for the next assessment and you are more likely to pass the module.
Alcohol will not be your best friend in Uni, no matter how hard you try and convince it to stay in your uni life. Please drink it in moderation and sensibly, don’t drink until you are ‘mortal or wasted’, not a good look and your liver won’t be thanking you for it. Don’t do it! Also, if you don’t drink, make it clear and get learning on how to make mocktails!
Be proud of your background. Whether you are the first from your family to go to university, a mature student, had a hard time with A levels, from a more desirable background – you still made it to uni.
Last but not least – have fun! Easier said than done but I know you came to better your education, but you also came to better yourself as a person as well. Find out what you do for fun, and do it!
Well there is my top 16 tips for being a fresher, I really hope the first few months and first year of Uni is a positive experience for you, the course is what you wanted and you make friends! Wishing you all the best!
Written by Ashlee McIntosh