"Freshers is looming, or may have even begun at your new university. In that vein, it's time to run through some essential don'ts for that all important first week..."
The first week of Uni is a hectic whirlwind of new things. With so much on offer it is hard to know the dos and don'ts. Here are the 6 things to make sure you avoid, so that your new start is as stress-free as possible.
If you're lucky enough, your parents will have just driven you half way across the country to your new home. Don't get rid of them too quickly. You will soon realise just how valuable and wise their advice is. Let them help you unpack; you never know, they may even take you out for a nice lunch before they head home - this will be your last nice lunch for a while, so make the most of it. Make sure you say a proper goodbye too. Both of you will be feeling emotional, even if you don't want to show it. Similarly, make sure you call them during term time. You don't want to make them feel like they are just a taxi service, and chatting to parents is a great way to get over homesickness. No matter how bad you're feeling, your parents will definitely start to annoy you again after 20 minutes of nagging.
University is new and exciting in every way. It is a treasure trove of novel experiences and challenges, so get stuck in! The person who is "too cool" for the freshers' fair is not fooling anyone - nor getting any free pens! However, don't get too over excited and sign up to everything straight away. Find what you think sounds good, whether it is something new or an old hobby, and give it a go. It's much easier to sign up to something you missed out on later than it is to get taken off a mailing list. Once you've signed up the society owns your soul... well, with the amount of emails they will send you, it will definitely feel like they do.
Freshers' week is notorious for binge drinking. Whilst nights out can help break the ice, they aren't that good for making actual friends, no matter what Steve may have told you at 2am whilst you were buying the next round of tequila. The dancefloor is the birthplace of mistakes, and mistakes alone. Pace yourself on the nights out so you can actually enjoy the daytimes and get to know some people whilst sober. These are more likely to be people you really connect with, rather than the people who just happened to go out on a bar crawl.
This is a classic piece of advice you'll be hearing from everyone who has ever even thought about going to university: don't sleep with your housemates. The combination of nerves and cheap booze is the perfect recipe for making bad choices. Make them. Freshers' is the time to make mistakes: you're young; you don't really know anyone yet and you have no responsibility. Just make sure you don't have to share your breakfast with those bad choices for the rest of the year - that's always awkward.
Even if you spent the first 18 years of your life firmly cooped up in your room, it's time to venture out into the real world. No matter who you are, the possibility of meeting thousands of new people is daunting. The only way to deal with it is to take a deep breath and allow yourself to be swept along in the tidal wave of drinking, eating, sleeping, and just general 'doing' what freshers' week involves. You might not make life-long friends straight away, and if you don't, don't worry. Most people take a good few terms to find their real mates. No matter what happens, the one thing you don't want is the reputation of being anti-social.
Starting university is the scariest thing you will do. That being said: don't worry. You will make friends at some point, you will do a bit of work (maybe not enough) and you will have great fun. By second year you'll look back at freshers' week and laugh at literally everything that happened. You'll also be thankful that you don't have to go through it again.
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