If you’re starting your first year next week then you’re probably looking forward to Freshers Week with a mixture of nerves and excitement. 3 years ago I was in exactly the same position as you, so I thought I’d share a few tips to help you make the most of your first week at university.
Many people think of Freshers Week as an opportunity to go out lots, but there’s so much more going on for if going out isn’t your thing (or even if it is!). If you don’t want to spend the whole time drinking then don’t feel that you have to and avoid other people pressurising you if you’re not comfortable. There’s plenty of other fun things you can get involved with.
Join Some Societies
University isn’t all about working hard, you have plenty of spare time to take part in clubs and societies. At Leicester there are over 220 student groups covering absolutely every hobby, interest or sport you can think of. Joining groups is a great way to make new friends and have some fun, so I’d recommend joining a few clubs. Whether it’s something you’ve been doing for years or you want to try something new, you’re bound to find something for you. At Freshers Fair all the student groups have a stall where you can talk to committee members and find out what the group gets up to and what they have planned for the year. Lots of groups have taster sessions in the first few weeks of term where you can try out what they do before becoming a member.
You can find information on all of the student groups at Leicester on the Students’ Union Website
Get lots of Free Stuff
As well being an opportunity to find out about clubs and societies, Freshers Fair is also an opportunity for lots of companies to come to campus and promote themselves to students. This means that they will be giving out loads of freebies and vouchers so it’s worth heading to the marquee to grab some stuff. In past years I’ve managed to pick up all sorts including pizza, washing up liquid, key rings and enough free pens to last the whole year, as well as lots of vouchers for free or heavily discounted food and drinks in local restaurants and bars. You can end up saving yourself lots of money so it’s well worth a visit.
Get to Know your Flatmates
If you’re living in halls then it’s good to get to know who you’re going to be living with for the year. When you first arrive go and introduce yourself to other people in your flat/block. If you can bake it makes a great icebreaker to take some cake or biscuits along to offer to your new neighbours, or if not then shop-bought cake works just as well. Living with other people is a great way to make friends and you may find that you become friends for life, I’m still living with some of the same people 3 years later. It makes living together much easier if you all get along with each other!
Get to Know the Campus
Almost as important as getting to know your flatmates is getting to know your way around campus. When you have a spare moment it’s a good idea to have a wander round campus to find places like your department, the library and the students’ union. When you have your timetable I’d advise finding all of the rooms on it so that you know where to go when lectures start. It makes it much easier if you aren’t trying to find where a lecture theatre is 2 minutes before the lecture starts! If you get lost then don’t worry, there’s hundreds of friendly staff and students who’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction if you ask them.
Remember that everyone is in the same boat
Living away from home for the first time is a daunting prospect, but remember that everyone else is going through the same experience as you so don’t be afraid to feel a bit nervous or homesick.
Most importantly of all, make sure you have fun and keep yourself busy. Freshers week is something you will remember for the rest of your time at university and beyond.
I hope that these tips help to make the transition to university smoother. Remember that if you have any questions or problems at any time then let someone know, don’t suffer in silence.