Moving to University is a daunting concept for everyone. Between you and I? My own moving to University experience involved a lot of tears, a lot of laughs and many more awkward introductions. Want to learn how to make this entire process a little easier? Read on…
1. Be open minded.
Chances are that you’ve already preempted your idea of University life. Whether that involves sororities, groups of Freshers getting drunk every night, Supernoodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and skipping lectures because ‘first year doesn’t count anyway’ or not, broaden your mind and be a little open-minded about it all. Whilst starting University can mean reinventing yourself a little and inspiring some confidence, do remember that University doesn’t mean ‘do what everyone else is doing’ and that you can just… be yourself.
2. Say hello, a lot.
The first rule of thumb, once your parents have zoomed back off to the family home and left you with ominously stacked boxes that you only packed up last night, is to say hello. To everyone. Your flatmates, the people in the flat opposite you, the people downstairs, the people you see in the launderette – just do it. I met some of my best friends by finding them on a Facebook group (see point 3) and arranging to, literally, say hi downstairs in the courtyard.
Ah Facebook, a love/hate platform for the majority of us. Use Facebook to find groups and pages for people living in your halls, studying your course or who share your love for British short-haired cats. We’re in the 21st Century after all, what better way to network and make friends than online? I was lucky enough to find my flatmates, coursemates and now best friends by chatting to them on Facebook before my First Day.
4. Organise yourself.
OK, so you’ve made a few friends and now the temptation is to go out every evening, leave the unpacking ‘until tomorrow’ and generally live life a little. All well and good, but do remember to give yourself some time to settle, learn the ropes of your town and organise yourself before lecture, seminar and workshop routines slot into place.
See that calendar in your Freshers Welcome Pack (probably behind the freebie cereal box and next to 2193748923 pens!)? Pin it up and mark on all your important dates. Your first day, holidays, family birthdays… whack ’em on.
Take an afternoon to venture around your town with your flatmates, and familiarise yourself with the area. Where is the train station? Is there a taxi rank? How about the supermarket? How much is an average taxi ride, bus journey? Where’s the nearest shopping centre? Your Topshop student discount is waiting patiently…
Finally, once you’ve seen your timetable – don’t panic! – write the lectures up in your diary and highlight (literally, use those neon colours!) realistic times that you’ll be able to dedicate to seminar prep and reading. Then plot in spare time and social time, and possibly hangover time, and you’ll be able to make the most of your days at those hallowed halls.
5. Have fun!
Last but not least… just have fun! You’ll never be this young again, you’ll never have an excuse to dress up as a crayon on a Tuesday night, or bar crawl ‘because’, or be able to justify everything with ‘I’m a student’. Honestly? My University years were hands-on-heart some of my best – I even managed to live to tell the tale and escape with my mitts on a First Class Honours degree. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life… Kinda.
Michelle Chai is a self-confessed colour avoider, avid coffee enthusiast, multi-tasker extraordinaire and, by night, a regular fashion blogger at Daisybutter. She edits Aesthetic (both online and print) and really enjoys her ongoing quest for the perfect knit. FYI, this one came close to nabbing the title.