So you have had your A-level results and have now secured a space at University, how exciting!! Congratulations on your new adventure and if you have chosen a different path than University I wish you all the luck too! I too almost chose not to go to University either.
Starting University was an extremely nerve-wracking experience for myself. I didn’t know anyone else starting at the University and I felt completely overwhelmed. As quite an introverted person the thought of going to a new place with hundreds of new people seemed very threatening and made me feel like curling up into a ball in a corner somewhere hoping that the ground would just swallow me up. I took a gap year in the hope that after a year of debating and confidence growing I would be able to step foot into University as that outgoing, confident person we all dream we could be. Unfortunately, after a year I wasn’t able to achieve either of those things but having worked full time in retail I was sure on one thing… I NEVER want to be stuck in retail again! With this motivation, I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it.
Honestly, my first day felt as though someone had just thrown me into the deep end of an ice-cold swimming pool however if you have any experience of swimming you will know that as you get used to it, it doesn’t seem so bad. So I thought I would share my tips (ones I used as coping strategies) for your first day of University!
This one is particularly important if you are living off campus! If it’s your first day there’s a high chance it will be your first time doing the journey most probably during rush hour. The last thing you want on your first day would be to be late so make sure you leave with plenty of time to spare!
Group Chats are a Life Saver.
I don’t know about your Uni/Course but I know at my Uni almost all courses will have a group chat formed full of Freshers studying the same thing as you! This is a great thing to utilize on your first day. I would suggest talking a bit on the chat prior to your first day so people will begin to recognise your name and profile picture (though this isn’t essential). I remember on my first day posting something along the lines of “My enrolment time is 10am is anyone else then?” soon enough someone replied and I ended up spending the rest of the day with her and others tagged on as the day progressed!
You will not meet your Uni Best Friend on your first day.
Ok maybe you will but for a large majority of people those you spend Freshers week with don’t even end up as part of your main University friendship group! Though I still talk occasionally to those I hung around with during freshers and we’ll exchange a smile if we pass each other on campus I wouldn’t class them as “friends” now.
Wear an outfit you’re comfy in.
During Freshers everyone makes such an effort with their outfits but we all know a week later everyone will be back in their trusty hoodie and leggings. I know some Universities have a dress code but fortunately, at my University anything goes… I mean someone showed up to a lecture in a dressing gown once and no one battered an eyelid. Although I wouldn’t recommend doing this during your first week I would suggest wearing something that gives you confidence and you’re comfortable in. Often Freshers days are quite long I remember being at Uni 9-5 every day of the week so the last thing you want is to be sitting in your first lot of lectures really uncomfortable.
If you get lost just ask.
Everyone who’s there during freshers week is there to help you! Anyone in the years above will be more than happy to help and often will stop to check you’re ok if you look a bit lost. Of course, if you ask a fellow fresher where a certain room is they may not know but it’s still worth an ask.
Make sure you have everything you need.
For our enrolment, we need to make sure we take along our passport and proof of our qualifications don’t be that person (like I was) who forgets to bring along one of these things! Always check with your University before your enrolment date especially if you’ll be moving away from home! Fortunately for me, I was given another enrolment date a couple of days later but I’m not sure how this will work at other Universities I’m sure they will do the same for you but you don’t want to trek miles back to your hometown because you forgot to bring it with you!
Attend Freshers Fair.
Freshers fair is a great way to meet other people, the student union, join unions/clubs/groups, sign up to local amenities as well as buy cheap stuff to decorate your new halls with.
Go to as many Fresher Events as possible.
I wasn’t great at this one as I had to commute to and from the University. If you can though try to attend as many as possible! They’re a great way to meet new people and they also are great fun. Many universities offer a freshers wristband which will allow you into all of the Freshers Events with guaranteed entry and at a discounted price. I would definitely recommend this if you live on or near campus!
Join a Society.
This is the best way to meet new people and to make friends with the same interests as you! You will have a pretty good time too. There are always loads of society to choose from so there’s bound to be something that interests you.
Enjoy this fabulous new experience! You will have a wonderful time and you will meet loads of new people. I would love to hear how your first days or weeks go once you have started! Leave a comment if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer them honestly.