If you’re starting University in the next few months, you are in for an incredible experience. As well as working towards a future career, you will become more independent and meet a lot of interesting people. While university is primarily about learning, your freshers year gives you a chance to discover yourself. It also allows you to become more accustom with your university and what it has to offer. Many students find the prospect of their first term both exciting and terrifying. Buying new clothes and items for your university bedroom can make you eager to get started. But then the idea of living with strangers and being away from home can fill you with dread. The more prepared you are before you arrive, the less nervous you will be. Being prepared may also allow you to embrace and enjoy the experience far more too. So here are some truths about being a university fresher that you should know before term starts.
Feeling homesick is normal
Every student will go through feelings of homesickness throughout their time at university. But these feelings tend to be stronger for freshers during the first term. If this is your first time living away from your parents, it can be a huge shock. You’re suddenly thrust into a situation where you have to cook and clean for yourself. There’s no-one around to moan about the state of your bedroom or to tell you to get up on time. While this might sound like a dream, to begin with, it will make you miss being at home in familiar surroundings. These feelings will come and go as you get used to being with new people and in a different environment.
The best way to combat these feelings is by making friends on your course or in your dorm. This is something many freshers worry about before they arrive. But it’s a lot easier than you might think. Strike up conversations or suggest going to for a coffee. Freshers week, in particular, is an ideal opportunity to join societies and make friends. Remember all freshers will be feeling the same way as you, despite how they might appear on the outside. You should also make sure you stay in touch with your friends and family at home. Make time each week to call or message them to let them know how you are. They can also update you on what is happening back home too.
Planning is crucial
Planning ahead is something that all freshers have to quickly get to grips with. You naturally need to ensure you give yourself sufficient time to complete your university work. For instance, if you’re assigned an essay you need to plan time in your schedule for research, lectures and tutorial sessions. Then you need to find time to write and edit your essay before the set deadline. You’ll have to plan all of this around the social events you want to take part in. There will be plenty of fresher’s themed nights held throughout the year which you will be encouraged to attend. While you don’t have to take part, it’s a fantastic way to socialise and get to know people better. If you join a society, they too will arrange nights out and events. Buy yourself a large wall calendar and diary to help you plan ahead. This will allow you to get involved and stay on track.
As well as planning your work and social life, you also need to plan financially. This may be the first time you’ve had to set a budget. Every student enjoys the day when their bursary is put into their bank account. Unfortunately, some freshers go too wild and spend more than they should in a matter of weeks. This can then leave them without until the next installment. So ask your parents to help you establish a weekly budget that you can stick to and still have fun.
You need to find somewhere to live next year ASAP!
You might think that deciding where you are going to live next year is a bit premature when you’ve only just started uni. But in reality, it can benefit you to get it sorted as quickly as possible. Before the Christmas break, many of the best student houses and flats will have been secured. This doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to find potential housemates and decide where you want to live. But if you leave it too long to get sorted, you may find that you are limited for choice. Many students tend to stick with the people they share their university dorm with as these are the people they know they can live with. But another possibility is to move in with friends on your course. Ideally, you should spend your first term getting to know people and start building friendships. Then in your second term, bring up the conversation of living together with your new friends.
Your university should be able to recommend trustworthy letting agencies that you can get in touch with. They might also be able to tell you where the most popular student housing areas are. Think carefully about the location you want to be in. Do you want to live near to your campus? Or would you be ok using public transport and travelling each day? You also need to decide what size of property you need and how much you can afford to pay each month. These are all things you need to discuss before starting your search.
Remember that competition will be fierce, particularly with the houses and flats that are closest to your campus. So start viewing properties and put a deposit down to secure it as quickly as possible.
Now you know more about what being a fresher is like, starting university won’t come as such as huge surprise or be so scary. Don’t let your fear make you dread going and look forward to it instead. Remember that this is the first step towards the career of your dreams, and you could find friends for life here. So take what you’ve learned from this guide and use it to get prepared and excited.