Top 10 Tips for Freshers Week in 2021

Here's what you need to know ahead of Freshers' Week! 

It’s been circled on the calendar ever since you accepted your place; now, the moment has finally arrived!

Up and down the country, first-time uni students are getting stuck into their new surroundings and seizing the opportunity to celebrate the start of a brand-new chapter. 

With your belongings still half unpacked, there’s a good chance you’re wondering how to make the most of Freshers' Week.  Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the very best do’s and don’ts of Freshers' Week and beyond! 

Do: Join a club or society 🎭

If you're looking to find like-minded friends or to simply supplement your university calendar with one of your passions, finding a complementary club or society that suits your interests would be a great place to start. Whether that means debating soc, drama soc, radio soc or something totally left field like a bad film soc - there will no doubt be something that you can sink your teeth into. 

Don’t: Embarrass yourself too much in the first week 🙈

What happens in Freshers' Week… very rarely stays in Freshers' Week. First impressions are important, and nobody wants to be known throughout their university for an embarrassing (usually drunken) mishap that happened in your first 72 hours away from home.

Pace yourself and find people you are actually comfortable with before truly letting your hair down. Remember, university is a marathon and not a sprint, don’t fall into the trap of becoming ‘freshers famous’ for all the wrong reasons.

Do: Think about joining a sports team 🤽♀️

Whether you are a budding fencer, climber, or ultimate frisbee-er (?) universities are typically stacked with sports teams that engage freshers of all skill levels. So, seize the opportunity to swing, kick or dive into a sport that takes your fancy, and you might just find something more compelling that a Freshers' drinking buddy - you might just become part of a team.

Don’t: Get on the bad side of academic staff 👩‍🏫

This might be one of the most important lessons you can learn before entering the fray that is Freshers' Week. Whether it’s administration staff, a lecturer or someone leading your tutorials - your university career could seriously benefit from not making any enemies in your first week.

Do: Learn about your university city/town 🌃

In Freshers' Week, you might be tempted to not spread your wings too far and stick to the comfort of university/campus events. We recommend being bold and searching for “freshers events near me”. Your first week in a new city or town is an exciting time, and you should take advantage of your free time to explore your new surroundings. 

Eateries, night clubs and bars will all have Freshers' Week circled in the calendar, and many will host Freshers events that will blow your mind. If the night life isn’t your bag, find your new favourite walk, a quaint coffee shop or maybe just a beauty spot with an incredible view. 

Most people only go to university once - make the most of it! 

Don’t: Panic! 🧘🏽

Academic stress, social pressures, and brand-new surroundings can be overwhelming at times. At some stage of your university career, you’ll no doubt want to jump on a train, plane or automobile and retreat back to the safety of your hometown. 

Sometimes that is the best option, and a few days a home can cure any homesickness - but before you do anything rash at university - try not to panic! Whether you lean on your support network back home, find comfort with new friends or seek emotional support from academic staff - reaching out is the first step to feeling better.

Do: Get social with fellow freshers 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

Making friends in your first few weeks at university will likely happen organically. You don’t necessarily have to go to the so-called ‘best freshers events’ to find like-minded people. If you want to get your Freshers' Week off to a great start, just be open to meeting new people, discovering new cultures and embracing every opportunity. Maybe you bond with some aspiring musicians at an open mic night, maybe you have an awkward interaction with some would-be fitness fanatics scouting out the campus gym. Remember, everyone is in the same boat!

Don’t: Stick with the first people you meet 🙃

It's really important to know that if you don’t find people you initially click with in your first week, month, or year - it's not the end of the world. It's true - some people will form groups in Freshers' Week and go on to be lifelong friends, winding up in a retirement home one day. 

However, for most people this isn’t the case. You’ll likely have a broad group of people that you’ll chill/party with in your first few weeks at university, but over time that group will likely splinter as you begin to find out who you really are and what you want your social life to be like at university.

Do: Attend your first lectures/seminars/tutorials 📚

It's so important to get off to a good start academically despite all the mad ongoings of Freshers' Week. It can be incredibly tempting to sleep in and miss a lecture. Cramming your course a few weeks before an exam is rarely a good tactic and forming an educational routine to supplement your new surroundings will get you a leg up over those hitting the snooze button. The early bird really does catch the worm (or a first-class degree in this scenario).

Don’t: Take on a ton of unnecessary debt 💸

Who knew partying/keeping up appearances could be so darn expensive? At many stages of your Freshers' Week/year, it can be incredibly tempting to take out credit to supplement your new lifestyle, but can you really afford to?

Buy now, pay later services and credit cards have derailed many university careers far too early, and it's such an easy trap to fall into. If you are facing any cash flow problems at university, seek help from the hardship department - they are experienced in helping students out of difficult times and have likely been doing so for many years. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help when you need it.

Last but not least, remember to take some time to yourself (when you can get it) to reflect on the beginning of a new phase in your life. Oh, and don’t worry too much – you’re only a fresher once, so live in the moment and make the most of your first week!

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