If you’re new to university life, there’s a fair chance that something will surprise you in your first week or two, no matter how prepared you think you are or how closely you’ve pored over the campus website.

You’re finding your way around campus (SU to halls is a journey you’ll probably perfect fairly soon), you’re responsible for yourself and all that entails (at least until your first trip home) and you’ve not yet worked out how flexible your lecturers are on attendance.

Here are some ideas on how to get the inside scoop on campus life at your uni.

Join societies to widen your network: sports are a great way to find common ground. Go to everything during Fresher’s week. You’ll meet a wider and more diverse group of people that way – you’re going to be spending the next year with your house mates anyway, so don’t limit yourself to their company during your first few days at university. Besides, you’ll probably get some freebies.

Alcohol + friends = party. Party + alcohol = friends. Friends + party = alcohol. However you add it up, alcohol is a great ice-breaker: who doesn’t love a barman (or woman). Take stuff you can share and you’ll have no trouble meeting new people.adult-alcoholic-beverages-bar-1267696

Don’t cut yourself off either. Just because you’re not a big drinker, doesn’t mean you won’t fit in. Uni isn’t a judgemental environment – everyone is in the same boat after all – so relax and be yourself, and don’t judge others: get to know them instead. There will be communal areas in student accommodation, and they’re a great place to relax in the company of other students if the party scene isn’t your thing. It’s as important to remember your friends at home as well as your new friends so try to strike a balance with your weekend plans too: that way you can join in with the social side of uni life and still head home regularly for a bit of TLC.

Learn from other people’s experience, and mistakes: freshers aren’t expected to know everything, so find a seasoned second year, or even a jaded third year student who can share their wisdom and advice, and may even be flattered to be asked.adult-blur-books-261909

Remember why you’re there. You’ve the duration of your degree course in which to party, so don’t try and cram it all in during your first week. And if you’re wondering if you can skip those lectures… don’t miss them. Put in the work from the start of your degree, and it’ll pay off later.

You’ll be left to enjoy your degree course and everything it has to offer.