How To Survive Freshers' Week

If you're really excited for Freshers' Week then not a lot of this post will apply to you (although you may find some points helpful) - continue to do your thaaang and have a blast!! However, if the idea of Freshers' Week brings you out in a nervous rash and you can think of at least eight things you'd rather be doing then this is the guide for you!

You'll be absolutely overwhelmed with Freshers event information when you move to uni. There will be posters dotted around your accommodation, flyers shoved at you in the street and annoying preppy promoters banging on your door at ungodly hours of the morning. If you made the mistake of joining any Freshers' groups on Facebook before arriving at uni then prepare for a billion event notifications. There's no escaping them, honestly. However annoying all of these things are, they're actually really informative and should give you an overview of what's going on in your city! A lot of events will be organised by individual clubs so make sure you do a bit of research before recklessly spending £30 on a weeklong Freshers ticket. I don't know ANYONE who attended all the events they set out to go to (because hangovers are a bitch) and you'll be grateful you saved that money later on! Your uni might provide special events for your course too so look out for that. Consult with your new flatmates and decide which events you're going to go to and which ones need to be avoided at all costs - that way you'll have some idea of where you'll be, how much you'll be spending and you won't have to worry about being alone! 

2) Look for things to do that appeal to you.
I was dreading Freshers' Week for the sole reason that I don't really enjoy drinking. I can't handle my drink very well when I do drink and being around drunken people when I'm sober makes me feel really uncomfortable. However, Freshers' Week isn't all about drinking!! There's a huge stereotype that the first couple of weeks of university will be nothing but drinking and partying but my experience couldn't have been more different although I did vomit in my own bed once. My university held a lot of daytime/early evening events during Freshers' Week such as a coffee shop crawl and a pizza party so that there are alternative ways of meeting new people. I was also lucky enough to befriend people who would rather stay in and drink. This meant I was able to be comfortable in my own flat but not miss out on any of the social times and bonding experiences that are so important in the first weeks of university! Memories are made in Freshers' Week that you'll still be talking about a year later so make sure that you're there to be a part of them, no matter how tempting it is to hide away in your bedroom! Social gatherings and being around people constantly will become the norm so it's good to get involved straight away! And if drinking isn't really your thing, it's extremely possible to play Ring of Fire with a hot chocolate or a milkshake (trust me, I've done it) and you won't be sad when you have to down your entire glass. :) Exploring your new city with friends (if you moved away from home) is also a really good way to get out and about and see where you'd like to spend your free time. I checked out all the key shopping places, coffee shops and art galleries first and it made me feel a lot more 'at home' in Leeds and also gave me ideas of things that I wanted to do/experience before lectures started.

3. Say 'YES' to things you'd usually avoid.
Although I think it's really important that you feel comfortable and happy with what you're doing in Freshers' Week, I also think it's a really good time to step out of your comfort zone and try things that you'd never usually do. I keep saying to people who come to me with worries about starting uni that the best thing to do is say yes to everything (within reason) because you can always return to your uni room and wrap yourself in your duvet if things get too much. The important thing is keeping an open mind and making the effort to enjoy yourself, even if you're feeling a bit skeptical about how much of a good time you'll have to begin with - you may just surprise yourself and discover that it's more fun than you thought! :)

4. Stockpile the flu essentials.
There's no point in trying to avoid Freshers' flu - it's coming for you. Make sure you're equipped with all the essentials for every illness imaginable because Freshers' Flu is dynamic, disgusting and an absolute killer. Not literally... but it is BAD. My personal faves are paracetamol with added caffeine (it'll dull the aches and give you a much needed boost when all you want to do is die in bed), lemsip (no matter how gross it tastes, it's gonna do you the world of good!), berrocca (not sure if this even works but it'll become a staple part of your diet during Freshers' Week and probably beyond, you know, just in case it does work...), mansize tissues (for when your nose is running like a tap) and a hot water bottle (because who can even afford to put the heating on?)

5. Keep in touch with family/friends.
Although Freshers' Week passes in a blur and it's difficult to find time to yourself I think it's really important to stay in contact with your family and friends from home. I think one of the main reasons that I never felt overwhelmingly homesick was that I didn't feel like I was 140 miles away from my family. I'd give my Mom a quick call each evening (mainly to let her know that I was still alive) and keep my friends from home updated on what I was getting up to. A lot of my friends had moved to university the year before me so they were able to give me good advice because they'd been through Freshers' Week themselves. Skype and FaceTime are also wonderful inventions for staying in touch with people and are a lot more personal than a phone call! Having a familiar voice/face can make you instantly feel so much better so don't feel like you can't ring people for a chat if you're feeling a bit down.

6. Enjoy yourself!!!
I look back on Freshers' Week now with a real sense of longing, which is something I never thought I'd say! It can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially when you're feeling a bit homesick, sleep deprived and sniffly, but keep powering through because it's so worth it! The people I met during the first two weeks of moving to university have ended up being as close as family to me and I'm so thankful to uni for bringing us together. Even if you don't enjoy Freshers' Week and it's a bit of a disaster there are still so many new and exciting opportunities to come whilst you're at university and you're bound to find something you love!

Wishing all of you that are starting (or returning) to university this month the best of luck - it won't be as nerve-wracking as you expect, I promise!! If you have any tips for starting uni or have written a similar post then please comment below, I'm sure that uni newbies will appreciate it! :)
Love, Hails.


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  2. your blog is so lovely, and this was really helpful! i do enjoy drinking once in a while but i'm definitely not about going out clubbing every single night!! i wrote a blog post for freshers about staying safe when out at night, i'd really appreciate anyone giving it a little read!

    Rose xx

  3. I'm hopefully starting uni after the summer and I'm really nervous for it! Thanks for the tips. - Becky x