Just started College or University? Here’s How to Survive Freshers and Beyond…

Freshers – Leavers guides you through fun, friendships, clubs and feeling homesick

Reasons to attend fresher’s if you are starting university:

For some students Freshers Week is almost like a rite of passage. It indicates the end of Summer and the start of university. For new students, attending freshers week can benefit you in many different ways and can end up being the highlight of your time at university. Here’s why you should attend freshers if you are a 1st year student:

Get a feel for your campus

The transition from high school to university can be daunting, especially if you come from a small school and find it difficult to navigate from building to building. Luckily freshers week is the perfect opportunity for you to explore your campus and really get a feel for it. It’s always helpful to find out how the room numbers work before the term officially starts, so that you won’t be aimlessly roaming the corridors trying to find your class. A lot of universities will even arrange tours for new students and there will also be plenty of older students around who will be more than happy to show you the campus.

Sign up to different clubs

Perhaps one of the best aspects about fresher’s week is that you can meet many like-minded people through signing up to different clubs. Whether it’s cheerleading, cycling, science or your weird fascination with the Harry Potter series there is bound to be a club that is right for you. University halls are usually filled to the brim during freshers with different stands where you can talk to existing club members. This can also be the place where you find a new passion or an exciting hobby that you’ve never done before. Clubs are a great way for new students to make friends early on and can make you feel a little less nervous about starting university.

Food

The saying that food brings people together is no lie, in fact basically all of the food during freshers is completely free, which is great considering how broke we all are after the holidays. Most universities will hand out free slices of pizza along with baked goods, like rice krispy squares or cookies. There are also food trucks that you can buy cheap food from if the lines are too long. A quick tip is to stay behind a little longer so that you can take away any leftovers.

Meet new people

The most obvious benefit of fresher’s week is that you can meet new people who are likely in the exact same position as yourself and are nervous to take that deep dive into university life. Course leaders will usually arrange their induction days during fresher’s week, so that students find it easier to interact once classes are over and can take a break from all the dreaded talks about referencing and course work. Freshers week is the time for you to make strong friendships that will last even after you have left university and also chat to your new classmates about what you hope to accomplish after the course. Having even a handful of friends before the term officially starts can relive some of your anxieties and boost your confidence, which is why freshers is not worth missing.

Activities

Freshers week isn’t just all about food or induction classes but also fun activities. There is always something that you can take part in and enjoy during the week. Every university is different, some will have photo booths where you can keep memories of the day and others will take it a step further and rent out carnival rides and games. You will also find live music being played by local bands or music students from the university, which creates a lively and fun atmosphere. All these activities not only help you make friends but also guarantees that you have a good time before the term starts.

Registering

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Okay so probably not the most exciting part about fresher’s week but without a doubt it is the most essential. It’s important to register before your course officially starts because otherwise you will have to do it during your class time. You don’t want to annoy your lecturers before they even know your name! There are students present during freshers that are there to take your student picture and help you with any of your registration details. It’s also a good idea to pick up your student card, so it saves you time on your first day of university. Then once that gruelling task is over feel free to go out and enjoy the rest of the day.

Coupons and discounts

Getting something for cheap is every student’s fantasy and freshers is the perfect occasion to nick some free coupons for clothes and food. So the next time you decide to order a Dominos remember that you can have one pizza for free. You can also get discounts on student nights out and at student unions, so don’t just take the piece of paper and stuff it at the bottom of your bag to be forgotten. Use it because it will be a lifesaver for your bank account.

After parties

Freshers week isn’t like university; the fun doesn’t just end after five o’clock there are plenty of parties to attend that are designed for new students. It’s also a good way to talk to new people and get a few drinks in you for some much needed liquid courage.

Buying university merchandise

As a new student you can buy university merchandise such as hoodies, pens and mugs all year round but freshers is when most students buy it. It may be one of the first stands you see when you enter the campus. It can make you feel like a valued member of the university and also help you on those lazy days where you don’t want to choose what to wear.

Helps with homesickness

Freshers week can be very therapeutic for some students, especially if they are international students or are moving into student accommodation. Leaving home for study can be difficult to cope with, which is why freshers is a great way to learn not only about your university but also the city it is in. It also helps you connect with people and gives you something to look forward to.

by Nadia Saleem (journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University)