We all know that being the ‘new kid’ sucks, but there is an exception to every rule. Being new is great in your first year of college/university and that’s because there will be hundreds of other kids that are in the same boat as you.
Everyone else is fresh meat too.
As a freshman, being clueless is absolutely fine and that is amazing. You can ask so many questions without being judged. “Where is this building?”, “Where’s the best place pick up lunch?”, “Who has the best parties?” No question is out-of-bounds. So, those of you that’ll be starting college/university in the new year don’t stress out about it. No one is judging you for not knowing anything. Just go with it and you’ll be fine.
As the 2015/2016 academic year comes to a close I have decided to celebrate the end of my first year in college by providing a list of things I wish I knew about freshman year.
1. Go out on random week nights
As a fresher, it if basically an obligation to enjoy your first year in university. Especially if you go to university in the UK and your first year ‘doesn’t count’ and all you have to do is just pass your exams you have no excuse not too. So if your friends decide they want to go out on a Tuesday, GO. And make sure you don’t miss out on sports nights, those are mad.
2. Don’t stay stuck in high school
You’re not in high school anymore kiddo, no one really cares about what grades you got or what subjects you did. They care about the moment. Typical question you will get asked in freshers week usually consist of “What’s your name?” ” Where are you from?” “What course are you doing? ” “What halls are you in?” etc.
Its okay to talk about home friends once in a while and what you used to do, but don’t get stuck in the past. Move forward, make new memories.
3. Always use student discounts
Honestly, take advantage of them. You don’t be a student forever, and with a student budget, these discounts may just get you through another week.
4. Go to office hours
I literally cannot stress this enough. Go through your lectures and anything you don’t understand GO AND SEE YOUR LECTURER. Honestly, it could save you the hassle from trying to get in contact with them right before exams. I know this cause I’m in that exact situation right now.
5. Always carry a phone charger
You honestly never know when it could come in handy. There are times where you end up staying in the library late and if you need to get in contact with someone and your phones dead, it’s really annoying.
6. Don’t buy textbooks before the first week of class
Firstly because you might not need all the textbooks on your reading list. Lecturers will usually tell you which book they think is most useful, so get those ones.
Also, don’t just go buying the textbooks. Go to the library and check if they have copies there, cause it saves you a ton of money.
7. Get along with your flatmates
By all means, this doesn’t mean you have to like them but you WILL be living with them for a year. So at least make an effort to at get along.
8. Try to not skip too many classes
I beg you. Firstly, because it becomes a habit. Secondly, because it gets pretty hard to catch up once you start missing them regularly. Just go to classes, it’s not that hard
9. Don’t miss out of free food
Living on a student budget means that sometimes you may have a lack of food, either because you’re low on cash or you’re too tired to get any, so free food is your holy grail.
10. Make your room yours
You’ll be living in your room for at least a year, so at least make it yours. Living in a room that feels temporary is never good. By jazzing up your room and making it yours makes it feel more homely and you’re less likely to feel very homesick.
11. Don’t underestimate your workload
You may think you’re only a fresher and you don’t have much work but do I have news for you. First year is when they try to get everyone at the same level and therefore means that there is A LOT of work.
12. Get out of your comfort zone
University is a time for you to try new things. Go to freshers fair and join as many societies as you like. Sign up for things that you like but also remember to try something new like windsurfing or pottery. Societies are a great way to learn something new but to also meet new people.
13. Call your family
They get on your nerves sometimes but it’s natural to get homesick when you first move into university. Don’t be embarrassed to admit it, it’ll happen to everyone. Make sure to call/text/email your family to update them on your life. I will guarantee that your family miss you just as much as you miss them.
14. Buy a mattress pad
You’ll thank me for this later. A comfy bed goes a long way