University survival tips for Freshers Week and beyond
You’ve got the grades to study your chosen degree, you’ve crammed as much stuff as you can possibly fit into your parents’ car (plus a bit extra), and you’ve moved into your new home for the next year on your university’s campus. Now your parents have left you in your new room, you’ve probably still not unpacked, and you’re likely to be thinking, “now what?”
Between moving to a new and unfamiliar city (with no Bank of Mum of Dad within easy reach), making new friends, and studying full-time, your first year at university as a Fresher can be very daunting. For many students, it’s their first foray into becoming a ‘proper adult’, as you’ll now need to manage your finances (responsibly, might we add), as well as feed yourself, do your washing, and motivate yourself to attend lectures and do your assignments.
This might all sound scary, but there’s no need to panic! Make sure you’re properly prepared with our university survival tips for Freshers Week and beyond…
- Learn how to budget your money
Between paying your tuition and accommodation fees every quarter, to having to buy food, toiletries, tickets to travel on public transport, and other essentials on a weekly basis, university is an expensive experience that you need to budget for. Make sure you know how much money you’ll have from your student loan each quarter, work out how much you’ll need to spend each week, and stick to it.
One important thing to bear in mind is that because of Freshers events, many students overspend on alcohol and event tickets in the first week of university. If possible, save a bit of extra money in advance to accommodate for this; you don’t want to eat tins of value beans for the first few weeks of university.
- Move into your accommodation early
The earlier you move into your new home for the year, the more time you have to familiarise yourself with where everything is located on campus, as well as meet the people you’ll be spending the next 3 years with. You won’t be the only one exploring the campus beforehand!
Additionally, as much as many of us hate unpacking, you should also get this done as soon as possible to ensure you have some time to check you have everything you need before your lectures, seminars, and assignments get into full swing. However, you should keep your door propped open to encourage other people in your dorm to pop their head into your room and introduce themselves.
- Familiarise yourself with your new town or city
Now that you’ve unpacked, introduced yourself to your new dormmates, and located the canteen and lecture halls on your campus, it’s time to explore your new town or city. This means finding out where your nearest doctors surgery and pharmacy are, the most popular venues for Freshers events, and the most convenient and affordable places to do your weekly food (and alcohol) shop.
As well as familiarising yourself with the local train and bus services (or at least how to get to the stops you need), you should also be aware of where you can order taxis from. If you get lost on a night out, this is essential for ensuring you get home safe and sound.
- Choose your events, clubs, and societies wisely
When you’re at your freshers’ fair, it can be tempting to sign up to as many societies possible to make new friends. However, you’ll only have so much time to fit each society’s events around your lectures, assignments, and other activities, and joining fees can get costly if you’re not careful.
Of course, joining societies is a great thing to put on your CV when you do graduate and apply for jobs, as well as being a good way to feel more involved with your university, and widen your social circle. Our advice? Research as many societies as possible before putting your name down!
- Take advantage of student discounts
Student discount is the one thing that most people miss when they leave university, and it’s something that you should definitely be taking advantage of when you’re having to budget for your weekly food shop, textbooks, boozy nights out, and everything else! That way, you can feel a little less guilty when you buy yourself a new going out dress.
Although many universities issue student IDs, these won’t be accepted everywhere. As the NUS extra card is accepted in so many places, it’s worth paying the £12 for the year, and you even have to option to buy a 2-year or 3-year NUS card. In fact, this works out cheaper in the long run!
Already signed up for your NUS extra card? You can get 50% extra on all top-ups with RWG Mobile!
To find out more about RWG Mobile, contact our team.