Freshers week has the potential to be a dream come true, promising none stop booze, drug and sex filled holiday theme park ride with not a parent in sight. However at the same time it could easily be a nightmare riddled with trips to A and E, isolation, boredom and constant searching for the nearest exit. It’s pretty obvious which one any sane person would choose and it can all be attained by simply following these 10 rules that will undoubtedly steer you towards one of the greatest experiences of your life.
- Keep an eye on your drink
Okay this is a little bit of a downer way to start the list, but trust me if you want to avoid a wagging of from your doctor and your parents, embarrassing photos on Facebook and a night stuck in bed getting your stomach pumped instead of being in bed for the hot red head giving you the eye across the dance floor. Make sure you keep at least one eye firmly trained on your drink, why? Because the world is full of real assholes, it could be just a friend with a sick sense of humour or freak in the club, but either way getting your drink spiked with something dangerous is no laughing matter. Without running up the risk of sound like your mother, just don’t accept drinks from strangers. At the time it may seem rude to refuse especially when you’re trying to make friends, but in the long run it’s better to lose a couple crappy friends then to jeopardise your life.
- Budget, budget and budget
It is so easy to rack up serious loyalty points from Tesco in the space of two weeks just by regular visits to the Alcohol isle, but the last thing you want is getting to the situation of choosing between going out one night or eating for the week. So make sure you set yourself a budget that is viable so you have all the essentials covered, but not to strict that you’re spending entire afternoons stuck counting pennies at the till well before your 70th birthday. Remember you’re a student/ adult not Jay Z or a kid from super sweet 16, your more raining tears on your bank balance after all your student loan goes to paying your rent, rather than making it rain in the strip club.
- Don’t stay in your room!
I’m sure you have heard it again and again; ‘University is the greatest time of your life’, ‘you make your lifelong friends at University’, but the reason both statements are so over played is because they are true! There is no smoke without fire. This especially goes for those of you living in dorms, because why stay in your room and deny yourself the fun of immersing yourself in a place where so many different cultures, religions, ideologies and interesting people come to converge. If you’re living in dorms and use this face to its full potential, it can be a perfect little bubble of awesomeness, where you can for the first time in your life – that is if your parents aren’t Mormons or catholic, say that your are effectively a member of family of 300+ .
Sure it can be daunting prospect putting yourself out there to people you hardly know and may never share a thing in common with, but during freshers week everyone possesses the same insecurities over making friends, so you’re not the only one with those fears. And on a side note, to scare to much but what I have experienced in my freshers week is if your don’t make the effort in the first week or so, it only becomes more difficult to build connections because you have given everyone else a head start on making them with each other and forming clicks. If being social is a problem, I know it sounds very nerdy or primary school, but reading books on the subject does help greatly. Being good with people is an art form that not everyone can master, but when you do it guarantee a full and fulfilling life.
- Don’t get locked down to one friendship group to early
“Omg you love Harry from One direction? Like he is so totally my favourite as well! Let’s like be friends forever!” When you first walk into your halls or uni events, it can almost be like a scene from Titanic where everyone desperately looks around for someone else who vaguely shares the same interests as you or you don’t want to murder in cold blood, just so you can have someone to cling to the dear life and avoid sinking into a bottomless of pit of loneliness and friendlessness. Like when you scream at the top of your lungs during Who Wants to be a Millionaire” why settle for £250,000 when you can carry on and go for the million pound jackpot!” I’m not saying keep people on the bench while you search for the next Cristiano Ronaldo, but at least go shopping a bit before you pick your friends. You want to find and have long lasting, profound and nurturing friendships rather than superficial ones being held together by a mature appreciation of the idea of being served toast in a nightclub.
- MAKE A PLAN!
Zumba, five aside football, Yoga, pub crawls and even town bus tours if you’re lucky. Freshers weeks is a utopia of wonderful new experiences and opportunities to really enjoy yourself, which can only be tapped into if you know where to find them or how to get to them. But one problem, you’re new in town and you barely know your left from your right, what you need my friend is a plan! Where you have highlighted all the various things you want to do and how to get there, because last thing you want is to have a similar situation as I did, when you have a millions things lined up only to realise that you don’t know how to get to any of them, leaving you with the options of either spending the first two weeks indoors or in the local pub.
- Pack right
How does sleeping on a folded up t-shirt and covered by a jacket at night, or having a mouth that acts like a revolving door for chewing gum to compensate for the lack of toothbrush and paste sound? Okay you’re going to uni not war, so you shouldn’t need an entire convoy to carry your belongings, but its greatly advised that you at least cover the bare essential just encase your dorms managers are real tight arses and can’t even free up a couple pesos from the day late robbery disguised as rent they charge you, to spring for a complementary pillow or even one messily toilet roll. On the other hand it’s also important not to over pack, one reason not to over pack especially if you’re living in dorms is basically to do with the fact that you can’t fit a 48 inch flat screen TV into a shoebox or a full sized fridge under your bed. Dorms are small, small enough to make the burrowers feel claustrophobic. But the main reason not to over pack is because of the enjoyment of the main pass time of all ‘Valley girls’ – SHOPPING! During freshers week you have awesome opportunity to attend student locking that provide access to each of your favourite stores at discount prices and of course the watering hole for all hipsters alike, the vintage fair. What puts a smile on more faces than a new wardrobe?
- Don’t forget to call mummy
They gave birth to us, they feed us, they clothed us, but mostly they embarrassed us. Mums, you got to love them! I know, I get it; sometimes you can be so caught up in tactical chudnering, STI dogging and butchering dance moves in the clubs, that you forget to give old lady a call, shame on you. University isn’t just a big step for you, it’s a big step for her to, imagine spending 18 years of your life taking care and nurturing something for so long, only for it to be taken away from. Can you imagine Kel without orange soada? That is the type of loss a mother can feel; so just spare around 10 minutes a day so she knows that your are fine and doing well and just remember if you play your cards right when she comes to visit she might even bring a checky little mini fridge and George Forman grill with her. Thanks mum xx
- Get a head start on any reading list
There is nothing better than dancing to Katey Perry songs until you’re Hot and Cold and left with no choice but to put on your Birthday Suit as you wait for the Fire Works to Roar all night, eventually hoping at the end of it all that you can say “I kissed a girl and I liked it”. But what’s even better than? Not failing all your exams, scoring the lowest mark in the history of essays and flushing £9,000 down the toilet. University isn’t just one long party bus ride in Magluf, it a places you mature, learn from and enjoy as long as you make the most it. We’re not asking you to memorise every text book within the first 3 days or turning in Nobel Prize winning dissertations after your first week, but having a vague grasp on subjects topics you will be learning, will allow you to be able to contribute more in class and give you less work load later on.
- Go for a walk
It may sound rather simple or mind numbingly boring, but going for a walk provides the perfect opportunity to really get to know your area better; such as knowing where the best bars and clubs, leisure centres and cinemas are. Also when its 4 am in the morning and you’re blind drunk and with as little as a pound to your name, knowing how do get home from a variety of different ways comes as a great advantage, so you don’t have to spend a night on a cold hard bus bench or racking up overdrafts just to pay for the taxi home. Getting out and about also allows you to meet locals, neighbours and possibly members of the opposite sex and it is never a bad thing to expand your social circle.
- Be yourself
Dramatically changing from the words biggest Dr Who loving, Big Bang Theory obsessed super nerd one week, into a laid back, smooth talking Tupac aficionado the next week, does run the risk of a few raised eyebrows, shaking of the heads and comments about your falseness. However in a new town, if you ask anybody who Fogell is, they draw nothing is but blanks, but you ask them who McLovin is, all you get is screeches of admiration. A new place equals a new identity, but for how long and at what risk? Reinvention my sound fun and exciting, but trying to change who you are completely as a person is not only difficult, but leads to extreme unhappiness due to the exhaustion of maintaining a facade 24/7 and ditching what your truly love and our passionate about for something that doesn’t really appeal to you or inspire you just to fit in. Life is too short to try and be something you are not, sure you can make slight changes to improve yourself as a person such as becoming tidier, studying more or more open to you experiences or challenges. But if deep down you fancy yourself as the next Billy Elliot, don’t torture yourself by joining the uni football team, instead slap your name down for performing arts and dance, sing and act your heart out to your deepest content.