9 fresher survival tips
Heading off to university is an exciting, life-changing time; it can also be pretty scary so we've put together 9 great tips to help you adjust to student life.
1. Keep your door open as you move in
Prop your door open to meet your new housemates
So, the day of the big move has arrived. You've probably just spent hours packed in a car with sobbing parents and all of your worldly possessions, now it's time to get all your gear inside and get to know the place you'll be calling home for the next few months. While you're unpacking, prop the door open - it's a great way to see your neighbours and will hopefully inspire them to do the same. You'll be bonding over your matching IKEA bedding in no time.
2. Make your room feel like home
Bring a keepsake from home
Going to university is usually the first time you'll live away from home, being nervous is totally fine, believe us, everyone feels the same. Having a room which feels homely will help you feel more relaxed. Put up some pictures of your friends and family, put your favourite blanket on the bed - you can take your childhood cuddly toy if you want, but maybe hide it under the pillow during the day.
3. Bring biscuits
Break the ice with something sweet
It doesn't have to be biscuits, but it's always good to bring something everyone can share. Maybe a tub of sweets or a box of chocolates, it's a great way to get chatting to someone as they walk past.
Keep track with a budgeting app
There's no greater feeling than looking at your bank account on the day your student loan hits. You've never seen so much money, you're rich, this must be how Beyoncé feels. Stop. The minute the Beyoncé thought hits, just stop and think about how long that money has to last you. Yeah, it's a long time until January which means, in the grand scheme of things, you're poor - sorry about that. Don't feel too down about it though, you just need to learn to budget, do food shops to last in low-priced supermarkets and stay away from Topshop's student nights (well you can go, but maybe opt for a nice nail varnish rather than a £100 leather jacket).
To help you keep track, try downloading a budgeting app like OnTrees which links to your bank account and helps you keep on top of your incomings and outgoings. Visit iTunes for more info.
5. Get to know the city
Get to know the area
You may be going to university in an unfamiliar part of the country or a different country altogether. Get to know where you are, which bus you need to catch, if there's a student bus service and the safest routes to use to head home. Visit your university's student union website for more information.
6. Stay healthy
Cook for your new uni mates
All the partying and getting to know new people is great, but falling victim to the dreaded freshers' flu is rubbish. Make sure you stay healthy by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, take vitamins and remember, you don't have to go out every night. A night in with your new flatmates may be the perfect way to get to know each other.
7. Do daytime activities too!
Check out the freshers' fair
Drinking 'til dawn in the student union is obviously great fun, but don't forget to get involved in daytime activities too. A tour of the library might sound boring but, you know, the whole learning thing is pretty important too, so make sure you know where all the resources are. Make sure you check out the freshers' fair, you'll have the opportunity to join clubs and societies, giving you the chance to make even more friends.
8. Stay vigilant against crime
Remember to lock your doors
If you went abroad on a girls' holiday would you leave your apartment door unlocked, wander off after a drink alone or let a stranger walk you home? Hopefully, the answer to all of those is no, so don't do them at university. Students can be targeted as they are likely to either be carrying expensive equipment like smart phones and laptops, or have them at home. Make sure you lock your doors and get taxis or the bus home, in a group, after a night out.
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9. Enjoy it
Finally, remember to enjoy it. It's easy to get swept up in all that's going on and end up signing-up to so many extra activities you won't have time to have fun. Take a step back to reflect on how great being a student is, 'cos pretty soon you'll have to get a job and pay bills and stuff, and that's really not much fun!