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A University Survivals Guide For Freshers - My Top Tips For Surviving Your First Year


First of all if you are reading this the BIGGEST congratulations for acing those exams/BTEC national diploma etc and getting into university. No matter how you got there you obviously worked super hard and now the results have paid off so a massive well done. Today I thought I would whip up a guide all about how to survive freshers. For me personally, freshers was nine years ago (WOW) but I still remember it as clear as day. Sorting out accommodation, joining those university facebook groups, sorting out all your courses and start dates and getting those boxes ready to pack up your whole life for three years away from home and being oh so nervous yet excited at the same time. I've been there, bought the t-shirt and have lived to tell the tale so why not pass on my words of wisdom to you. I hope you enjoy this post.

First things first - make the most of the freshers fair - This is one of the biggest events of your entire first year and it happens only in your first week or two. Join and get as much information as you can about different clubs, societies, the local area if you've moved far away from home etc. Very often you can grab a lot of freebies, discounts, and much, much more. Don't worry if you are going by yourself as there will be plenty of people there in the exact same boat as you. It really is the perfect place and occasion to start socializing and making new friends. You may even bump into people doing the same course as you so definitely make the most of it.

Keep Your Door Open As You Move In - This is something that I didn't do but now realise just how important it is. As you move in to halls so are other people and keeping your door open is perfect for people coming in and out to say hi and introduce themselves. You could also have a selection of biscuit and cakes on the side to offer people during the move in process. Again it's all part of the socializing (you'll see this word a lot throughout this post) experience and you'll get to know who you'll be living with for the next year.

Stock Up On Supplies - No I'm not talking stationary. I'm talking water, noodles, cereal bars, chocolate etc because believe me you'll need them as university students are ALWAYS hungry. Noodles are definitely something you'll live on throughout first year. When I was at university I was in catered accommodation but it really didn't make any difference as I was still absolutely starving so make sure you are all stocked up on food. I bought my own mini fridge and kept it in my room and it was always full of food and drink. I also highly recommend a mini fridge if you're vegan/vegetarian/ have other dietary requirements as you can always be sure you won't struggle with food during first year.

Be Organised - University is not like school. You don't have people there asking you to take out your planners, or pens or notebook. You bring your own supplies and have to remember them for each and every lecture otherwise you'll miss out. When you're in lecturers be sure to take as many notes as possible either by writing them down or taking a laptop and typing them up as you go along. Being organised from the get go will help you further down your university life - trust me.

Manage Your Time Wisely - Being away from home means you don't have people constantly telling you to be there at a certain time or do this now etc. You have the freedom to basically do as you please (within reason obviously) so just make sure that you have time to do all the things you want to from seeing friends, to spending time with family, to joining in with events at your university to even setting time aside to doing assignments and studying for your exams.

Socialise - First year of university is pretty relaxed compared to the next two/three years. Obviously you need to work hard but also be sure to have as much fun as possible as well so make sure you join in with all the nights out and social events that happen in your student union.

Note Down Your Address - If you are moving far away from home to a new city or even studying abroad I couldn't say this loud enough. Save it in your phone, write it on a card and keep it in your purse etc just make sure you are aware of what your address is. If you're going on a night out you really don't want to get lost at 3AM.

Keep Local Taxi Numbers Saved - Even though there are a lot of taxi apps now like uber/bolt etc not everywhere has them so if you need to get a taxi home after a night out then this will be your lifesaver. You can also pre-book them in advance and arrange a price so you know you're sorted.

Don't Stress About Settling In - If you still don't feel settled in after a few days or weeks or even months don't stress about it. It took me a good year and a half to settle into university life. It's a massive change and of course you are going to take time to settle in. Don't rush the process as it'll only make you feel more stressed. There are always people in the exact same boat as you and also people at university that you can speak to if need be.

Understanding The Uni Language - When I was starting out the word 'lectures' and 'seminars' really scared me but you'll soon realise it's nothing to worry about. The whole grading system at university is also quite daunting - people going on about getting a first or a 2:2 or 2:1 will soon make sense the more you settle into university.

Budgeting Is Very Important - If you're moving away from home then budgeting is super important. Trust me. When I went to university it was the first time I had moved away from home ever and it was super scary because I was in charge of my own money for the first time and you do want to spend it all at first however it's super important to budget and know what to spend your money on because you don't want to be struggling before your second week. I highly recommend opening a student back account WITHOUT an overdraft. You don't want to be getting into debt - trust me. Also look for a part time job. Some universities will offer this during freshers week but also look into local shops and businesses who will perhaps take on students during their time at university as a way to earn a little bit of money whilst you study.

Look For Discounts Online - There are so many websites online nowadays that are set up especially for uni students with loads of discount codes to help you save money so it's definitely worth signing up and making the most out of them. One of my favorites was definitely unidays. It's a great little website with discounts for everything.

Sign Up For A Rail Card - There's no doubt you'll be travelling back home on a few occasions or even to other friends universities to catch up with them so definitely invest in a rail card as you will be saving so much money.

Attend As Many Lecturers and Seminars As Possible - However please do not feel guilty for missing out on one or two if you do. Attending all your classes are obviously super important for exams and assignments you have to do but if you do end up missing them chances are you'll be able to find the slides online. My university always uploaded the slides onto the online portal service. Obviously these will be quite brief but it'll give you a rough idea on what went on. If you do end up missing a lecture/seminar just speak to a friend or someone in your course to guide you as to what happened. Oh and please don't get sucked into the whole 'first year of university doesn't count'. It doesn't but at the same time it'll make the transition in the next year a lot easier and give you a rough idea as to where you're heading.

Always Ask For Help - Whether its your course tutors, or your flatmates or even friends from back home who have gone to a different university to you if you are struggling or need a little bit of advice just ask for help. There will always be people around to help you settle in and make you feel at ease so don't be afraid or scared to ask for help if you need it. University can be incredibly tough on physical health as well as mental health so always make sure you put yourself first. Don't suffer in silence.

Don't Feel Pressurized To Do Something You Don't Want To Do - One of the main things you hear about university is that it is a great place to drink and get drunk but if you're like me and are not a big drinker and don't want to drink then please don't. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and say no. Drinking is definitely not all it's cracked up to be and looking back some of my best nights out were when I didn't drink anything or only had maybe one drink.

HAVE FUN - One of the main things you always here about university is that it is meant to be the best experience of your life so make sure you treat it as such. Work hard but also play hard whilst keeping safe and making memories that will last an absolute lifetime.

University is one of the most rewarding, exciting and challenging experiences of your life and although it made not be for everybody trust me you really do learn and grow up fast. When I joined I had virtually no clue what I was doing or where I was going so I hope these tips help you as this would have been so super handy when I was starting out. If you have any other tips or tricks for surviving freshers week/year then be sure to comment down below. If you're starting uni soon then congratulations and the best of luck! Make sure to enjoy every single moment! 

Hugs and Kisses
Fleur xo

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