By now many of you will have had your A-level results, got your place at university and know where you are going to be heading come September. If you’re coming to Leicester, the first two weeks are known as the Fresh Festival. There are different themed events on every night, complete with fancy dress and looking like a complete fool with people you have probably never met before. Being a third year (or junior as they call us here) and new to UF, combined with the drinking laws in the states, has made my introduction to UF a lot more mellow. I’m one week into the start of term and I’ve completed orientation. Classes have started, work has been set, and I’ve done some sightseeing around Gainesville – even spotted my first “gator” on campus!
Starting at both of these universities has given me the same feeling. From moving 70 miles from home to over 4000, the reality hasn’t quite sunk in yet. But from these experiences, here is my advice for freshers:
- Say hello! Freshers is such a unique environment in the fact that nobody knows anybody else, so pretty much everyone will be friendly and want to talk.
- Take a door stop. Those fire doors are useful for many things, but can come off as a little antisocial if your door is shut while you’re unpacking.
- Bring some ice breakers to halls with you. Getting to know your new flatmates over tea and cake that your mum made is much more comfortable than awkwardly chatting in the hallway. And that pack of cards will be invaluable at pre-drinks.
- Take some things to personalise your room with. Having a room that feels your own can make the move a little less daunting.
- Go to freshers events, especially the freshers fair. There is so much to check out, and so many freebies to get!
- Try all the societies that interest you, or just pique your curiosity! Even if you’re not 100% sure whether you want to stick with a society for the whole year, you have nothing to lose by going to their welcome event. You may even find a new passion!
- I’ll be the first to admit that I’m more than a little biased, but check out ULBC (University of Leicester Boat Club). Rowing was something I’d never tried until freshers, and now I credit most of my enjoyment of my first two years to that club.
- I hate to end on a boring note, but if you’re going out to the bar crawls etc (which I’ll assume that you are), don’t miss your introduction lectures. The first few contact hours of your course might be a little bit more relaxed to ease you into the work, but don’t get complacent. The work is definitely harder, and you don’t want to fall behind before you’ve even really started.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Until next time, readers!