There’s just over a week until Freshers now and the excitement is really starting to build! We want you to have the best time during Fresher’s Week and all throughout Uni – we can’t tell you how to do it but we can tell you what not to do. (Some of these are from personal experience. Hindsight is a wonderful thing…)
1. Try not to get locked out.
It will probably happen so read ahead and you’ll at least know what to do… A lot of the halls have doors that lock automatically behind you, which is great – until you realise your keys are still in there. Keep your key or keycard safe! WHEN you do get locked out, you can contact the warden or security after 11pm using the red phones.
2. Don’t jump right into your overdraft.
If you’ve got a student current account and a loan, it can seem far too tempting seeing an extra grand or so just sitting there. Should you use it as an excuse to buy a tray of tequilas in the club and takeaways every night? No. Overdrafts are a good safety net but they shouldn’t be relied on – you do have to pay them back! Save it for the emergencies and rainy days when you really need it!
3. Don’t forget to ask for a student discount!
It’s available in more places than you might think! 10% here, half price there. It helps to save money where you would normally be spending! You even get regular freebies like a McDonalds cheeseburger, mayo chicken or McFlurry with your meal.
Grab yourself NUS Totum card and check out Unidays for discounts when you start. You also get discount and free Uni software, too!
4. Don’t forget to enrol!
It might seem a basic one but you do actually need to tell the university you’re here and ready to begin your course. If you don’t enrol you won’t actually be a student! That means no access to Vision, campus computers and student emails or sit any exams or submit coursework.
Find out when you need to enrol before you arrive and make sure you’re there.
5. Don’t forget to complete your inventory.
You’ll get a list of all the stuff in your room that you’ll need to check, sign and return to your Housekeeper in the first week. This is your opportunity to note down anything that’s marked or broken so you’re not charged for it at the end of your tenancy. This goes for private lets in the city, too! Don’t be caught out by
Letting agencies or landlords trying to over-charge you!
6. Don’t overpack.
Alright, this one is what not to do before Freshers, but it's still important. Do you really need to bring a popcorn maker with you? And unless you’re planning on hosting Come Dine with Me, you don’t need that ten piece dinner plate set. Same goes for your footbath, drum kit and industrial dehumidifier…
Minimalism is in so keep it simple.
7. Don’t get blackout drunk.
You won’t be able to remember having fun and it’s dangerous and in the short and long term. At the least, you’ll face a lot of embarrassment; at the worst, you could be hurt or get into trouble. You’ll place a lot of responsibility on your new friends if you’re out of it, and that’s not fair on them. Have fun, but don’t overdo it.
8. Don’t spend all of your time in your room.
Yes, it’s nice and cosy, but there’s a whole new world beyond your bedroom door. Get stuck in to your new campus life and beyond as soon as possible.
9. Don’t be afraid to say hi.
It might seem cheesy now to go up to people you don’t know with a big smile on your face, but this is the one week in your life where it will be the norm. The more you do it, the more relaxed the atmosphere becomes.
10. Don’t steal your flatmates’ food.
They probably won’t begrudge you a slice of bread and some jam when you’ve been living together for a few weeks and you've all bonded, but first impressions count and helping yourself is rude.
For some people it’s a hygiene thing (not always personal), for others it’s a money thing. Best to wait until they offer if they want to.
11. Don’t pull all-nighters.
Sleep is beautiful, but if you do it all day, you’ll miss out on all the fun. And for some courses, attendance is mandatory, too!
12. Don’t forget to use a condom.
Sex is great. Safe sex is even better! And it’s never been easier to get free contraception – our Advice Hub gives out free condoms so be sure to grab some just in case you meet that special someone!
13. Don’t sleep through the fire alarm.
Despite them being very, very loud and very, very annoying, some people can actually sleep through the fire alarms! This could be from being deep sleepers, being out the night before or simply assuming it’s a drill. It’s a £50 fine if you’re found in halls during an alarm, so get out if you hear that siren.
14. Don’t forget your friends and family at home.
It’s great that you’re having such a good time. Let your parents know so they can stop worrying, and don’t forget to check in with your school friends either – new friends shouldn’t replace the old!
15. Don’t chase the swans.
What did they ever do to you? They don’t like it. Plus, if you scare them (or their young) enough they’ll chase you back and you’ll deserve it!