Tips for freshers week when living at home

Dina Mouhandes on 7 August 2019
Student looking towards uni

If you choose to live at home, your experience doesn’t have to be different to the ‘norm’.

Freshers week is a fun and unique experience, filled with a variety of student social fairs and events. You'll have the opportunity to make new friends, join societies, and explore new interests. You can even consider joining your university’s student union.

This is the time to gear yourself up for university life. 

Not everyone experiences a ‘traditional’ freshers week though. Whilst some students are waving goodbye to their parents and hometown friends, others may opt to stay at home while they study. 

We’ve compiled a list of top tips on how to get the most out of freshers week for anyone living at home while studying, to help prevent the dreaded feeling of FOMO! 

Join online student groups

We’re now lucky enough to have all the information we need about campus and society events at our fingertips. With the wonders of apps and social media groups, being in the know is now easier than ever. In theory, you can now get involved with a society without leaving your sofa- all thanks to Facebook groups and Whatsapp chats.

Joining a group like this is an easy way to discover the goings-on at your chosen university. Think social events, student clubs or any kind of group activity during freshers week and beyond. 

You could even try creating your own closed group before freshers week kicks off for other students living at home whilst they study. Don’t restrict yourself to a bubble, of course. But creating a welcoming space for others in a similar position can often be a great way for you all to support each other as you venture out to meet new people.

Consider student societies

Student societies can range from academic, sports, political or media organisations. You’re sure to find one which suits your interests and chosen degree at the Welcome Fair. Meetings for these societies are usually held on campus, so will open you up to all the goings on at your new uni.

Joining a student society immediately provides a gateway to making new friends with the same interests or who are on the same degree course as you. You’ll also meet students who are living in halls who are in the know about the best places to go during freshers week. And if you make good enough friends with them, you might even become an honorary roommate!

Become part of your Student Union

Because what better way to really integrate yourself with both freshers week and student life than joining the student union? Unions exist to represent the students at your university. They’re the go-to for everything on events, clubs and societies. So you’ll definitely be placed to find out the biggest and best events happening on your uni campus, something which you may have missed out on without on-campus accommodation.

Societies are also great places to make important changes happen. You could help further shape the way your university includes students living at home to ensure they’re equally as involved and up to date on everything about freshers' week as those on campus are.  

Utilise the Uni Services

You’re investing some serious cash into your chosen university. So during freshers week, don’t forget to spend some time making the most of the university’s services, like the library, cafes and union bars. 

You’ll find yourself getting into easy conversations with other new students exploring the campus and student workers at these facilities. These student workers tend to be either graduates, second or third year students – and they can advise you on the best places to hit up during freshers week!

Important things to remember:

You’re still independent

It can be easy to slip into unhelpful thoughts and feelings of not being ‘independent enough’ if you are living at home during freshers week. This is especially true when you encounter conversations where excited newcomers are talking about their halls and moving away for the first time.

Remember that your independence isn’t invalidated just because you’ve chosen to stay at home during your studies. Taking the steps to start your university journey in the first place is a testament to the fact you’re committed to your professional independence! 

More often than not, you’ll probably find yourself spending less time at home once you’ve established your group of uni besties anyway. 

You’ll be saving money

Naturally, you’ll be spending less because you won't have accommodation rent to dish out each week. So why not treat yourself to some reasonably expensive stationery, tickets to a few extra student events, or brand-new uni clothes? You probably don’t need them but you definitely deserve them! 

You’re not missing out as much as you think

Living in house shares or halls is definitely an enjoyable experience. But don’t worry. You can easily meet and make friends with students living in halls or flat shares during freshers week and experience the same kind of fun. 

Also, living at home means you don’t need to worry about flatmates stealing the last of your milk or eating the noodles that were supposed to get you through the weekend. It means you’ll avoid 6 am wake-ups, stampedes of people you don’t know piling into your house for a random party and a month's worth of unwashed dishes in your kitchen! 

Also remember, even though you’re at home during your first freshers week and your first year of uni, it doesn’t mean you can’t change things up in your second or third year. And, luckily, you’ll have the added benefit of knowing you don’t need to move far and can move back easily if you want.

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Dina Mouhandes
Dina Mouhandes on 7 August 2019