Like most fresh school graduates, I could not wait to leave home and become a university student. For years I’d been told by my parents and teachers that university would make up the best years of my entire life, and I set off thinking that I’d be loving every second of it from day one. I quickly found that this was not the case.
Feeling at home in a brand new place doesn’t happen overnight. Now that I’m in final year, I can confirm that my parents and teachers did eventually turn out to be right; however, there are some things I learnt along the way that I wish I had known earlier to help ease and speed up the process of enjoying freshers’ week and first year.
DO NOT Buy A Freshers’ Wristband
Although freshers’ will be looking a little different this year I had to get this one out of the way immediately. It. Is. A. Scam. No one actually ends up using them, and the venues included are rarely the ones that are popular with students. Plus, how can you guarantee that the friends you make will even have the wristbands themselves? It’s much better to just wait till you get to university – there will be so much going on you’ll quickly find plenty to do with cheap tickets available on the day.
There Is No Right Way To Do Freshers’
Some people will get drunk and go out every single night, while others will take some days off to recharge and settle into their flat, or focus on getting to know their uni town and campus. These are all perfectly valid ways to spend the week – there is a huge pressure placed on freshers’ week to be the best week of your life; don’t be discouraged if that doesn’t happen. Honestly, a lot of the best weeks actually come later, once you’ve made your friends and have your favourite go-to spots selected.
Join A Society!
One of my biggest regrets is not joining a society in my first semester. The Leeds University Union is renowned for the plethora of amazing societies it offers, and joining one immediately connects you with a group of people with a shared interest! Societies are generally very social and are an amazing way to make friends and provide a sense of stability and consistency throughout your uni years. In first year they can also provide a welcome escape if you don’t get on very well with the people in your halls.
Put Yourself Out There
Not everyone is as lucky as to rock up to their halls and immediately make friends for life on day one. Patience is key – but remember that everyone is in the same boat as you, trying to find their people, and you just have to keep at it till you finally find yours. The most important thing is to put yourself out there – try and say yes to as many events and outings as you can handle. You never know where you might meet your new best friend. It may take weeks, even a couple of months to settle in, but I promise you it is worth the hard work.
Header Image Credit: Medium / University of Leeds