Some wise or not so wise words on starting university- Freshers Week..Wednesday, September 14, 2011
As you probably have already gathered this is a slightly different post to normal, I'm afraid for one post only I'm ditching the beauty and dishing out some advice. I know, I'll make sure this is a rare occurrence. My topic of advice is some tips for starting university -Freshers week.
It's that time of the year where university is starting and I can hardly believe that two whole years ago, I was a nervous little fresher about to move away from home into the land of scouse (Liverpool.) However I struggled during Freshers Week and looking back I wish I wasn't as pathetic as I was and I don't want anyone else to make this mistake so hence why I'm writing this post.
Everyone was quite surprised when I announced I wanted to go to university, I've always been a proper home bunny, when I was younger (I'm talking like 9/10 not 15) I used to get homesick on sleepovers and I'd fake an illness so I could go home. I know, I know how sad. So yeah the girl who didn't like staying one night away from home wanted to go to university. I decided on Liverpool Hope University, I decided in my
stupidity wisdom that I wanted to be at a campus that wasn't slap bang in the middle of an city and Hope had the media course that I wanted to study.
I was very nervous as the weeks approached, I was extremely worried about being away from my Mum and Sister who I'm very close to and I was also worried about being about 300 miles apart from my new boyfriend. I didn't cope very well the first few weeks which ultimately ended up in me transferring universities at the end of my first year but that's another story for another day. So without a further or do here's my tips on how to cope with some things you're faced with when starting university.
- Homesickness: I was so, so, so homesick when I first got to university, I cried and I cried and I cried a little more. I rung my Mum if I could come home, I rung my Dad if I could come home, I asked my friends if I could come home. I went through a box of tissues in two days and I had a little red nose like rudoplh. Please, please do not let homesickness ruin your fun. I wish I let myself have a little more fun instead of thinking how much I missed my boyfriend and my Mum. Moving away from home is a massive step and it was for someone like me, so it's completely normal to feel homesick. Keep yourself busy and occupied. Decorate your room and make it homely. One of the first things I did was put all my pictures up of my friends and family so I could look at them when I was sad. Most of my friends didn't get homesick, like I said I was a total home bunny. I still get homesick from time to time now, it's normal and I think it's completely fine to miss your family. Freshers week is the most important time for making new friends so whatever you do, do not wallow in your room feeling homesick. Get out and meet new friends. I promise it will take your mind off things.
- Keep yourself busy.. Freshers week is like being on holiday. You don't do anything in the day and then you go in get ready and party all night. In the day I tended to sleep, you tend to not get in till 3/4am most nights which can be quite tiring for seven nights in a row. I tended to not do so much in the day which was stupid and I wished I'd got out a little bit more. Go to the Freshers Fair, you get loads of freebies including magazines, vouchers and so many more random things. Meet new people, talk to as many people as you can. The more friends you make the better. I wish I'd been a bit more sociable when I first started, when I'm sad/nervous I can go quite quiet and I wish I hadn't. Though once I'd had a drink I came out of my shell.
- Long distance relationships: I met my boyfriend about a month before we both went of to university, all our friends thought we were mad for starting a relationship before we went off to university. To be honest I thought we were a bit mad too, but I believe in fate and something was saying to me to not give up on it. If I had,I wouldn't have my lovely boyfriend in my life and we wouldn't be living together now so the person in my head was 100% right. Because we were both starting university things were difficult. He was always busy whenever I rung or had umpteen people in his room, to say those first few weeks of our relationship were hard is an understatement. If you're going off to university and either leaving your loved one at home or your both off to university, please do not worry. People say long distance relationships don't work. People who say that didn't try hard enough. LDR are bloody hard, they are no walk in the park. I got to see my boyfriend every three weeks sometimes even four or five. A train ride was FIVE hours and a car ride was four. If you want your LDR to work you need to work hard, communicate often- phone, text, skype, email etc. Also you need to make sure you trust each other 100% or it won't work. It annoys me when people break up before starting university, just because you have a boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't mean you can't have fun, it just means you won't be able to pull on a night out and anyways why would you want a hamburger when you've got steak back home!?
- Money-Everyone associates being a student with being skint. This isn't necessarily true. Without sounding like an old lady- BUDGET. Work out how much you need for rent, food etc and then see how much you're left with for yourself- drinking, shopping, etc. Both me and my boyfriend know so many people who blew their student loans (we're talking about £1500 here) in about a month and then lived in their overdraft for the next two months. You don't want to do that, budget and look out for offers. The freshers fair will give you loads of vouchers for takeaways, shops, night outs so make sure you grab loads of them. Also a NUS card extra is a great investment, yes it's £11 but you will make that back in discounts. Also if you want to get a job, it gives you extra money and it means more people to socialise with.
- The actual uni bit- Uni is not like college or school, you only get good marks if you work hard. In my first year I hardly put any effort in and now I regret that. I know that your first year doesn't really go towards your final year but I just could of worked harder. I think because I didn't like where I was living, I rebelled by not working as hard as I could. I've now pulled my socks up and I do alright at uni, I've never been a A grade type of girl but I'm on track to get a final 2:1 for my degree. Work hard and you'll reap the benefits.
- Make your room lovely and homely, you can buy gorgeous things for great prices at shops like Wilkinsons, The Range, Dunelm, Primark and a little more expensive a favourite of mine Next homeware.
- Take lots of pictures with you, seeing friendly faces on your noticeboard will help. Also take posters (if you're allowed) I had a lovely Cheryl and Taylor Lautner poster which my boyfriend slightly disliked ;)
- Do a food shop before you go. Freshers week is MAD, you won't have that much time to do a food shop so do one before. Get dried stuff that won't need to be eaten fresh- pasta, rice, noodles (pot noodles and supernoodles were a favourite of mine in freshers week) bread, potatoes, tuna, beans etc.
- Buy your alcohol before too. You will be pre-drinking, we always went to flat parties before going out, I took shot glasses with me and a bottle of Apple Sourz which is a great drink to share with people.
- Take a replacement phone with you, I have a blackberry and being clumsy I took an old pay as you go phone with me on nights out. So if I lost my phone, or if it got nicked it wouldn't matter as it was old. Just make sure everyone has your replacement number though.
- Don't wear heels on a bar crawl.
- Get to know your flatmates, you will be living with them for a year. A couple of my housemates didn't get on and me and my other flatmate would giggle listening at their arguments. You don't want this if you can help it.
- Go to lectures- at least at first.
- Get used to taking naps. I had one like every day in my first year.
- Take lots of photos and create new memories
- Finally HAVE FUN. I seriously hope if you're starting university you enjoy it and make tons of friends and have the time of your life. I did enjoy bits of my first year and freshers week was fun (well the nights out were) Even though Liverpool Hope University wasn't for me, I met some lovely people and Liverpool is a great night out.