Are you going to uni this September, or thinking of going to uni and want to know what to expect? One of your first university experiences will likely be freshers’ week, the purpose of which is to help new first year students (freshers) settle into uni life before classes officially begin.
There is often lots to see and do, so make sure you are properly prepared by reading our handy guide.
What is freshers’ week?
So, “what is freshers’ week exactly?” We hear you ask. Well, in simple terms, if you are going to university, freshers’ week is the chance for you to get settled in. Freshers’ week will usually happen in your first week or so at university, and can last anywhere from 4 days to a few weeks.
Each university will have varying freshers’ week activities, but typically, you will be able to meet your new flatmates if you are staying in halls, get to know the campus, and attend freshers’ parties so that you can get to know your new friends. Most universities will also run something called a ‘freshers’ fair’ at some point during the week. A freshers’ fair is a one-stop shop for new students, where you can go to get information, and sign up for any clubs and societies that may interest you.
Going to university can be a very exciting time, especially if you are moving to a new city or living away from home for the very first time. However, embarking on this new adventure can equally seem quite daunting if you don’t know how to prepare, or what to expect. So, here are some of our top tips for how to prepare for freshers’ week and get the most out of your first few weeks at university:
'There is often lots to see and do during freshers' week, so try and make the most of your first few weeks at uni'
Put yourself out there
Although it might feel a bit intimidating going to a new university, to do a new course, and meeting new people, try and make the most of freshers’ week as it will fly by. Although it might be tempting to hide away in your room because an overzealous flatmate wants to show you their prized Pokémon card collection, remember that the purpose of freshers’ week is to help you ease into your university experience and make some friends.
Forming friendships early on will make your first few months at university a lot easier, especially if you are missing your family and friends from home. Having a university crew will also make sure that you have a good support network, and people to talk to if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Remember, everyone is in the same boat.
Try something new
At university you will meet a range of new people, and be exposed to lots of new experiences. Most universities have many clubs and societies that you can sign up to, and there is usually something for everyone, whether you are into sports, arts or something else. You can usually find out about what your uni has to offer at the freshers’ fair, or at your student union.
Oxford University have a Quidditch Club, Edinburgh University have a Chocolate Society, and Bath University even has a Curry Appreciation Society! The possibilities are endless!
Take advantage of your fresher status
You only get one chance to be a fresher, and with this privilege comes great deals. You’re probably already used to taking advantage of some kind of student discount, however, most freshers’ fairs will have stands from various companies offering exclusive discounts and freebies to freshers. This can range anywhere from free stationary and discounted gym memberships, to fast food vouchers and free snacks.
Create a packing checklist
If you are moving into university halls, make sure you have written a list of all of the things you need to take with you. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all and forget to bring a crucial item. You definitely don’t want to get to your halls and spend your first night without a toothbrush or important medication.
Eat your greens
Being in charge of your own money is exciting, but it can also be tempting to fall into bad dietary habits. While it’s okay to treat yourself now and then, it’s not advisable to eat cold pizza out of the fridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the duration of freshers’. Freshers’ week can be pretty full on, so it is important to eat well if you want to feel good and avoid the dreaded freshers’ flu!
It’s not all fun and games
While freshers’ week is about having fun, during this time some serious things will need to be taken care of too. Course enrolment often takes place during freshers’ week, which may require you to have your ID and acceptance letter to hand. Failing to have this when you need it may cause delays to your student finance payments being released, so don’t fall short. If you are living on campus, make sure you also sign up to the campus doctors so that you can be treated if you require medical attention.
Not sure if university is for you? Check out our list of alternatives to uni for some other ideas for what to do when you leave school.