Freshers. It’s a word you’ll grow tired of by the second week of term, yet you’ll use it right up until your last day as a first year student. Why? Because you’re only a true fresher once and it is the most surreal, unusual, brilliant thing!
The first year of university is an adventure to put it lightly – you’ll meet so many people, you’ll try so many new things and you’ll realise that coming to university is the best choice you’ve ever made. Freshers is all about getting to know your course, your university and everyone around you.
In the coming weeks you’ll find yourself on a rollercoaster of emotions. You’re excited for uni, you’re terrified of leaving Mum and Dad at home, you’re keen to move in and have your own space, you’re nervous about having to cook for yourself. However you’re feeling, I’ve put together a few Freshers tips for you…
1. F is for FACEBOOK.My advice? Get Facebooking. Search for EVERYTHING related to your uni. Your halls if you’re staying in halls, your academic society, your course subject, your everything. I was in halls for my first year and before we’d even moved in, I’d already decided who my new best friend in my halls was going to be! Research is really important, especially if you haven’t been to an Open Day already. Be prepared!
2. O is for OPEN DOOR POLICY. When you arrive at your room it’s incredibly tempting to shut yourself away and panic. Don’t. Bring a doorstop and keep your door open – you never know who might walk past your door. A simple ‘hey’ can go a long way and it’s the best way to introduce yourself!
3. H is for HONESTY. Freshers is exciting, busy and, at times, it can be overwhelming. There’s always something going on and you’ll be meeting so many new people from different halls, different courses and maybe even different universities. I’d encourage you to throw yourself into it, keep yourself occupied and get involved…but if you’re not feeling a night out, or you just fancy some time to yourself, that’s absolutely fine too.
4. D is for DECORATION. If you’re moving into halls, make your room your own. You can turn even the dingiest, cramped room into a cosy and homely place for you to spend your down time. Whether it means posters, hundreds of photos of your latest holiday, 15 pug portraits or fluffy cushions, decorate your room. It will make it so much easier to settle in comfortably and I found that photos in particular can end up being a starting point for conversations with your new flatmates.
5. B is for BE YOURSELF. Freshers is exactly what it says it is. Fresh. This is your chance to start fresh and be exactly who you feel comfortable being. Grab onto it and start looking forward. You’re not at high school or college anymore, you’re at university and the world is your oyster. If you’ve always wanted to start cheerleading, don’t hesitate – go for it. There is room for everyone at university and you’ll fit in no matter what. Don’t feel pressured to make friends for life, just go at your own pace and do what makes you feel happy.
And last, but not least, DO NOT PANIC. University is the best thing that ever happened to me and I’ve loved being a student at UoL since Day 1. My friends feel exactly the same, and I’m sure you will too!
If you’re one of the lucky people joining us at the University of Leicester for Freshers’ Fest 2014, congratulations and GET EXCITED! I can’t wait for my fourth round of Freshers – maybe see you there!