Having achieved the grades you need to get into university, you’re now preparing for three years of hard work, partying, and meeting as many people as you possibly can in one week. Freshers’ Week can be both a bewildering as well as an exciting experience. For many as the pressure to make the most of the jam packed seven days and nights can be difficult. However, pacing yourself can be vital in helping you to enjoy the week as much as possible. Keeping healthy, such as steering clear of the notorious ‘freshers flu’, will help you feel more on top of things. This means eating healthily and attempting to get at least some sleep!
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Similarly, the pressure to drink because ‘everyone else is’ can often be a hard thing to say no to when you’re desperately trying to make new friends. But knowing your own limits is vital to ensure that you aren’t the one drunk flatmate who ends up needing the help of the rest of the flat to get home. And remembering that Freshers Week is just as much about the more academic side of things as it is about socialising is important. Using the week to explore the university grounds and what the campus has to offer will help you no end when it comes to starting your course. Attending your welcome lectures is a great way to get on board with what is expected of you and gives you the chance to meet the people you may be sharing seminars and lectures with for the next three years.
The expectation of meeting new people can be a daunting task for many people starting university, but knowing you can’t be friends with everyone and sticking with the people you feel instinctively comfortable with is likely to make you feel more at ease too. Introducing yourself, keeping your door open, and just being generally friendly can make all the difference in starting these potentially lifelong friendships.
And for those of you who feel isolated, confused, or lost during what doesn’t always turn out to be the ‘best week of your life’, the university provides a wide range of student services to help guide students in bridging the gap between home and university life. The Dean of Students Office provides financial advice, help for international students, and guidance in coping with life in residences as well as many other opportunities for students to make the most of their time at university. Furthermore, there are counselling services, a careers centre, and a nightline that are all provided for those who at times may feel they need a little extra support at university.
During Freshers’ Week you will meet many people (probably in the LCR smoking area!), many you will never see again, and many will become your closest friends.
It is a time to be adventurous, hang out with new people, become familiar with your new surroundings and tutors, and ultimately, a time to enjoy your independence!