Leaving home for the first time is an exciting, albeit daunting experience. But we’ve created a short list on how to best prepare you for the first few weeks of term.
1. Fresher’s events
The most important thing – am I right? Check out how your uni sells tickets before you arrive. Many start selling them weeks before you arrive and may even sell out before you get there, so it’s definitely worth looking into how you can get hold of yours to make sure you don’t miss out.
2. Join Facebook pages
It’s always a good idea to get a rough idea of what’s going on, and whom you will be meeting and living with. They often post important information regarding halls, courses, societies and events on there too.
3. Be prepared for Freshers flu!
It’s so much worse than ordinary flu, I can assure you. So when your mum is suggesting packing paracetamol, ibuprofen, throat sweets and tissues – be sure to take them with you!
4. Keep an eye out on the uni freshers page
The university’s fresher’s page will be your port of call for the weeks and months leading up to the start of term. There will be invaluable information on there – such as when to expect your halls offer, when to arrive, how to get there, where to register etc. Make sure you’re checking your emails regularly too.
5. Bring extra bevs
There’s no better way to start a lifelong friendship than offering your new flatmate(s) a beer or two! It’s a proven way to make new friends.
For those of you who hate shopping, I’m afraid there’s no escaping this one. You’re going to need to purchase some basic kitchen equipment – but there’s no need to splash the cash. A basic cutlery set, a few pots and pans, some plates and bowls and utensils will have you set! It might be worth asking family and friends if they’ve got any old bits you could have – hello freebies! You may also want to buy some new bedding sets or some funky decorations to kit out your (plain af) uni room.
7. Doctors surgery
This probably isn’t on the top of your to-do list but it’s an important one nonetheless. It’s worth checking out where your local surgery is; many uni’s even have an onsite health centre. You’ll thank me later when you’re three weeks into fresher’s flu. Also, be sure to look into getting the meningitis jab which is offered to all freshers, more on that here.
8. Practice cooking
I’m not saying you have to know the ins and outs of a roast dinner, chicken casserole or Lobster Thermidor – but a few basics would be ideal. A simple pasta bake, stir-fry, or risotto won’t go a miss! Ask your Mum/ Dad for some help or grab a basic cookery book – even if you do still end up eating takeaways and ready meals for the rest of the year.
Think about your finances. Most of you will have applied for a student loan but it’s a good idea to have every thing figured out before you get there. How much is your accommodation? Will you need extra income to help cover your expenditure? Roughly how much will you have to cover each week, month or term? It’s best to have a rough budget figured out, even if you don’t end up sticking to it.
Finally, remember to have fun, get stuck in with events and stay safe. Freshers week is likely to be one of the best and most memorable times of your first year, you’ll meet loads of people, get horrendously drunk and spend the rest of your time hungover. But don’t feel pressured to go out every night if you’re not feeling it, take time out for yourself and get to bearings with your new home. My final bit of advice would be to make the most of it; you won’t be deadline-free, stress-free and debt-free forever!
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