A guide for Freshers: How to make the most of your time at University

With freshers week now only being a couple of weeks away, I can understand that you are probably feeling an array of emotions, especially if this is your first time going to university. It is completely okay to feel both anxious and worried, but it is important to remember that a lot of people will be feeling the exact same way that you currently are. However, to ease any worries and doubts that you may have I have constructed a guide, to help you through the first couple of months of university.

Making Friends:

  • During freshers week you get the opportunity to interact and meet with loads of different people. Do not feel pressure to make friends straight away, instead you should just keep a open mind and immerse yourself in all the experiences the university has to offer. You shouldn’t be afraid to make the first move, as this can go a long way, don’t be afraid to ask someone for coffee, or to go to a freshers event. The worst thing that will happen is that someone will say no. It is also important to remember that freshers week is only one week in the entire year, you will meet so many people throughout the year, especially in places and events that you will least expect. You must not put pressure on yourself to make friends as it will come naturally.

Societies:

  • When people say there is always a society for everyone at university, that person is not wrong. Most universities hold freshers fairs, and I would highly recommend going. University is the perfect time to try something new, so joining a society is something that can help fulfil this. Even if you just go to a trial session of a society it is still worthwhile doing. Joining a society is a great way to be around people that share the same interest as you, as well as picking up new skills and hobbies.

Drinking:

  • When you first arrive at university you will notice that the drinking and going out culture is a lot bigger to what you are probably used to. However, you should not let this intimidate you, you should never put yourself in a uncomfortable position, that could have been avoided. Remember you should never feel pressured to drink at university, if you don’t want to drink that is completely okay, you will be surprised that if you simply say no, most people will understand and won’t bother you again. There are so many sober activities that you can partake in, you can find these in your local community as well as events organised by the university. You don’t have to drink to have fun.

Housing:

  • When you first come to university a lot off people are already thinking about living and accommodation for second year university. A lot of first years will then rush into making decisions about housing for second year, which they later learn should not have been made. You do not need to immediately worry about housing as things will always work out. Do not rush into making decisions about you second year house. You need to make sure you are going to be completely comfortable with the people you are living with. You also need to ensure that enough research is done. There is often a lot more availability than you think, so you don’t necessarily need to rush if you think there is not going to be. A lot more responsibilities come when you perhaps are no longer in student accommodation so you need to be extra careful when making an decision.

Managing your work load:

  • Managing your work load will be a lot different to A-Levels, so it is important to stay on top of things and utilise all the time you have. A lot more needs to be considered when writing essays, lab reports and portfolios. Researching, planning, referencing and proof-reading takes time, so you need to consider this when you are approaching deadlines. It is also important to keep onto of your lecture and seminar notes, so it saves you time when coming to revise. To ensure that you don’t fall behind, you need to make sure you establish a structured routine. Organise a routine that works best for you so you can allow yourself time for university work, socialising, resting and anything else. It is also equally important that you allow your time to rest, you don’t need to overload your schedule, you just need to use you time effectively.

Even though first year doesn’t go towards your actual degree, it is important as it helps you establish your own routine, and it gets you used to university life. You should take time to learn what works best for you so you can go into second year feeling confident and prepared.

For those that are going to university this year, we at The Talent Tap wish you all the best, we cannot wait to see the progress that you make, and we look forward to hearing about all of your experiences!

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