It doesn’t matter how prepared you think you are, even the most organised of students can be caught unaware by the chaos that is freshers’ week. From signing up for courses to getting to know your flatmates, it can sometimes be difficult to find your feet for those first few weeks – especially when you’re living in a new place surrounded by new people!
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
To help you find your feet, we’ve pulled together 10 absolute truths you’ll be glad you know about uni, as well as some pro tips for making the most of your student life!
1. There’s no such thing as too much fancy dress
Fancy dress is taken very seriously at university. Gone are the days where you could get away with a stripy T-shirt, calling yourself a 'robber'. Good costume takes time and commitment – you could hit the charity shops or bring a box of odds and ends from home, just do whatever it takes to make sure you have the most memorable costume going!
2. The nightlife is much better than at home
It really doesn’t matter where you come from, the nightlife at your university is better! Whether it’s the discounted student drinks, the cheesy 90s nights or the fact that everyone’s out to have a good time, your uni nights out will be the ones you remember in the years to come!
3. You will get freshers' flu
If you haven’t already heard of freshers’ flu, you soon will.
Freshers’ flu is the dreaded disease that many students catch during those first few weeks at university – whether it’s because they’re away from home-cooking for the first time or because they’ve come into contact with lots of new germs, no one really knows. All we know for sure is that it feels far more brutal than a standard cold and tends to come on when you’re feeling more run down than usual… whatever the reason for that may be!
Pro tip: Take a little freshers flu survival pack to uni with you, including tissues, cosy socks and plenty of paracetamol!
Note:If you’re displaying flu-like symptoms, don’t forget to visit the NHS website to check whether they are consistent with the symptoms of COVID-19 and find out how to get tested, if required.
4. You will get locked out
At home you have never had to worry about looking after your keys - if you go out and come back late, the front door key is under the big flower pot or one of your parents is waiting up for you.
At uni, you will definitely get locked out of your student flat. The question you need to ask yourself is: what do you prefer? Risking the wrath of your housemates as you bang on their windows and ring the doorbell continuously for 45 minutes.... or camping outside the front door?
Lost keys? No worries. Our Key Care cover makes sure you're covered for up to £1,000 for any replacement locks and/or keys, plus locksmith charges. You'll also get access to an emergency helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
5. You will never run out of teabags
Very quickly the highlight of your day and solution to any problem will be a cup of tea. Initially you will stick to the tried and tested supermarket brand – but as the year passes, you will get experimental. Green Tea, Black Tea, Assam and maybe even Fruit Tea will find their way into your cupboards.
Pro tip: Tea can be the ultimate ice breaker in student halls – so why not take a pot of tea and biscuits when you go door knocking on your first day?
6. Early morning lectures are unavoidable
Your university timetable can be cruel at times, and you will have your fair share of 9am lectures. It's just a shame if they occur the morning after the best student night out of the week!
That being said, one of the best things about an early morning lecture is how much you can get out of the day – if your lectures and assignments are completed by midday, that leaves the rest of the day free to nap, Netflix and snack!
7. Karaoke is an acceptable night out
It used to be the most embarrassing thing your parents could make you do. But ironically at uni it’s cool, funny and free – and therefore a favourite student pastime.
Even if you’re socially distanced this semester, why not set up a remote karaoke night over Zoom for you and your friends as a way to get to know each other better? You’ll at least get to know each other’s taste in music and how fearless they’re likely to be when you do finally get out on that dance floor!
8. Procrastination becomes a pastime
You really should finish off that last assignment and get an early night.
They’ve just released a new documentary on Netflix, and it’s sure to be a nail biter. Plus your belly’s rumbling, and your brain won’t function properly on an empty stomach. And awww, that friendly cat is in the garden again!
Whatever your technique, everyone develops their own, personalised way of procrastinating at uni – it is a place of learning, after all!
9. You will end up joining a number of random societies
Joining societies are a great way to socialise with like-minded people, as well as discovering interests that you never knew you had. There are literally hundreds of societies to choose from at uni, from knitting clubs to charitable ‘jailbreak’ societies, whereby you are sponsored to break out and get as far away from the ‘jail’ as possible without spending any money – some participants even manage to make it abroad!
Even if your uni is running a virtual freshers’ week, don’t worry - there will still be lots of opportunity for you to sign up to clubs and societies online, as well as get to know your course mates over conference calls!
Pro tip:If you’re socially distanced this semester, why not break the ice with your new friends and course mates with some Zoom bingo?! Click here to download your free Zoom Bingo card!
10. It will be the most fun you ever have
While the main reason to go to university is to end up with a degree, you’re also there to enjoy yourself, experience new things and just focus on being you. You’ll probably head to uni with a bunch of things you want to cross off your bucket list, and now’s the time to do just that so you can look back knowing that you’ve got no regrets!
Confirm your student cover
Did you know that if you live in halls, your student belongings may be insured without you even knowing? Click here to check and confirm your cover.
If you don’t live in halls, inuring your gadgets can mean that if anything does happen to them, you won’t have to rely on the bank of Mum and Dad to replace them! Get a student gadget insurance quote
- Student top tips
- Socially Distanced Student Guide
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- University Bucket List