Think of this article as your one stop shop for making it to the end of the year with minimal money in your bank, a bunch of friends and a grade you might have to work on next year. I mean at the end of the day first year doesn’t count and the tips and advice below are from some older and hopefully wiser veterans aimed at the new kids on the block.
1. Firstly, and I think most importantly the saying ‘freshers week is the best week of your life’ is a load of crap! Don’t stress if freshers week wasn’t the best week of your life. There are still …. Weeks left of the year for madness and mayhem. Now, don’t get me wrong freshers week is loads of fun and you meet a bunch of new people but don’t be surprised if you aren’t still close with them by the end of the year. Think of your first year as a time to spread your wings where you can dip in and out of as many friendships as you like. Top Tip: You have all year to make best friends and if not 2 or 3 more years after that.
2. University is just a couple of thousand people bigger than school so it really isn’t necessary to tie yourself down to one group of people, after all there are plenty of fish in the sea. Make the most of societies and clubs even if it be the most random and peculiar one. Mingle with people outside your halls and course so that you have backup and a chance to get some rest and respite from that overly tidy housemate who nags you to do the dishes. Top Tip: Good things come to those who go searching.
3. Signing for a house can be really stressful but it doesn’t need to be! Don’t feel like it is a race, there are so many houses in Leeds and there is one with your name on it. Top Tip: Look at a few houses before signing, have a shop around for the best house.
4. Keep your door open! The minute you open your door other people will follow suit. An open door is inviting and it means you can talk to people when they walk past. It is also an opportunity for you to see what’s going on in other people’s room or at least copy decoration ideas. For people who are shy this is an easy way to put in minimal effort when meeting people. You can stay in the comfort of your room while other people come to you. Top Tip: Doorstops are a must have room accessory.
5. Stay stocked up on food! There is nothing worse than attempting to carry out a food shop hungover and if you are doing freshers right then hopefully that is most days. Let’s be honest, walking down the corridor for food is much more manageable than leaving the building in your fragile state. Top Tip: Steal all the food from the cupboards and fridge at home.
6. Take the bare minimum on nights out. It is inevitable when you have downed 20 VK’s at Fruity or attempted and failed at an Otley run that you will lose something whether it be your dignity, smashed phone or Addidas jumper. If you can’t plan your essays ahead of time at least try and plan ahead on what belongings you take out. Remove all the unnecessary cards in you purse or wallet and don’t take your favourite lipstick. Top Tip: Attaching your keys to your belt loop will ensure you can’t lose your keys unless you plan on losing your trousers.
7. Uber or Amber all the way. Amber allows you to hand your student card in as payment. When you collect your student card then you pay your fare. Unfortunately, you can’t get away with not paying like I first thought. Uber is great when you want to split the taxi fare with friends. Top Tip: Download the apps from the App store.
8. Sign up to a society or club. Don’t be that person that regrets never signing up to anything. You don’t have to join loads but you can if you’re as indecisive as I was. One is enough to get you up off your feet. It is so refreshing to do something that isn’t your course and can be a welcome break. If you can’t find a society that floats your boat then why not start your own. Top Tip: Attend Give it a Go’s to try and test different societies before fully committing.
9. Freshers is the first time some people have been away from home for an extended period of time and for some homesickness is a reality. Fear not, there are so many people in the same boat and freshers can be daunting. The best things to do are keep busy and remember that your family is always just a phone call away. Top Tip: Homesickness doesn’t last forever.
10. Enjoy your first year and bottoms up!
Image credit: The University of Leeds