So the time has come to spread your wings and leave the nest. You’re excited, but the nerves have also started to kick in. Plus Mum’s already crying and Dad’s cursing because you’re driving in circles, frantically trying to find campus. But don’t panic. These simple tips and reminders will make sure that you quickly settle into University life, and make the most of your Fresher’s experience.
TIP #1: EVERYONE is in the same boat
Although it might seem like Amy from upstairs has already made a million friends and she’s only been here 2 minutes, she will definitely be feeling the same as you. It’s important to remember that everyone gets nervous about starting University and Freshers week, even if they don’t admit it. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat, and is feeling unsettled. That guy in your halls who can’t be bothered to make the effort to talk to you is probably just as nervous as you are, so why not be the one to make an effort to break the ice? All it takes is one little word: “Hi!”
TIP #2: You don’t have to “Down it Fresher!”
Despite the fact that this phrase will be ringing in your ears for the majority of Fresher’s week, it doesn’t mean that you actually HAVE to down every single drink in your sight. If you don’t want to get “completely hammered” then don’t. Don’t let others pressure you into drinking just as much as they want to. Know your limits, and remember that you’re in an unfamiliar place with people that you don’t know. Staying safe is just as important as making friends.
TIP #3: Smile – sunshine is good for your teeth
Try to stay smiley and positive, as people will be more attracted to you if you look like you’re a happy person who’s always having a great time. It’s even a fact; Psychologists’ studies reveal that the amount of time you smile during a conversation has a direct effect on how friendly you’re perceived to be. Everyone smiles in the same language, so catching eyes and smiling at someone is a great way to make the first move. And even if that smile doesn’t develop into a conversation, you’ll have at least exposed your little toothy-pegs to that all important vitamin D and enhanced your dazzling smile – what’ve you got to lose?
TIP #4: Oh.. Em.. Gee… I LOOOVE your shoes!
Make an effort with people and compliment them. Obviously, you don’t have to pretend to love every single thing about them, but showing an interest in other people is a great way to build relationships. You’re much more likely to become friends with someone if you see them often, so whenever you have the chance to see other people, take it. Go to the party. Have lunch with someone in between your lectures. DON’T just stay in your room and hope people will come to you, because they won’t. Make the effort and you’ll soon be reaping the rewards.
TIP #5: The what society?!
Get involved! Universities have hundreds of societies, ranging from main stream Sport to niche groups like The Tea Appreciation Society. So why not take a hobby in something you’ve always wanted to do? It’s a great way of meeting people who are interested in the same things as you, and extracurricular activities look great on your CV. If the University doesn’t have a society that suits your interests, why don’t you start one yourself? There’s bound to be loads of people just as obsessed with One Direction as you are…
TIP #6: If people were meant to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters…
Sure you want to get involved and make the most of the Fresher’s week that you’ve spent so long waiting for… but remember, you have to sleep at some point! Take time to recharge your batteries and take advantage of Sunday morning lie ins, as people are likely to get offended if you’re always yawning when they speak to you. Remember that you need a good night’s sleep to function properly and pay attention in lectures. Also, if you’re feeling homesick, getting a good night’s sleep is a great way of making yourself feel better, as things always look better in the morning. As the Irish proverb says, “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book”.
So now you’re all set to embrace your University experience! Remember to have fun and stay safe!
This was a guest post from graduate Victoria Attwood, whose blog you can follow HERE.