The Skiddle guide to Freshers survival

Starting University comes with all kinds of emotions; there's excitement and nerves, and plenty of questions that need answering too. We're here to help with advice on how to survive the first week, and beyond.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 13th Sep 2018.
Originally published: 29th Aug 2018

Image: USSU (credit)

Results day has been and gone, the prospect of university which has always seemed like an imaginary adult pastime is now only a few weeks away and by this time next month, you will have seen a new side to yourself and your liver that you didn’t realise existed. It’s is pretty scary, but it’s okay to be a bit scared, everybody is, but it’ll also be the best gig of your life. To settle your stomachs even more, we, your friendly neighbourhood superheroes have put together a little Freshers survival guide as a one-way ticket to legendary uni status. So, notepads at the ready kids.

First things first, one of the most fundamental part of uni; going out and partying. Regardless of the city or town your uni resides in, there will at least be three clubs that all play different music. But what’s crucial to keep in your mind, is not to right off nights out because of the music played, to begin with. You may not be a massive fan of say, RnB or House, but you’ll find that the nights out that you least expect to enjoy actually provide the funniest memories.

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After a short while, you will find a group of people who share your elite music taste, but don’t rite off other opportunities or people to begin with. Secondly, try to avoid places that aren’t student orientated and charge £5 for a double. Obviously, everywhere will have cheap drinks during freshers, but from there, always look for 241 or BOGOF deals, whether you’re going for a proper night out or a few cocktails.  You can usually find them all with one quick google search.

Next up, cooking. Now you may think you’ll be too busy clubbing or sleeping to spend time grafting in the kitchen, but hey, everybody’s gotta eat. You may have your mum or dad on speed dial, but you could cut out paying for their petrol with a few simple meals. Before explaining the specifics, tip number one and a vital one for any bidding student- food shop at lower price supermarkets I.e LIDL or ALDI. 

Everyone’s a winner in the saver’s paradise, you can get a week’s shop for £20 and have more money left for whatever takes your fancy. Whereas, you could buy the same food in higher price supermarkets I.e Tesco for £35, and the quality of the products are identical.

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To save yourself only eating toast or cereal, we highly recommend pasta. Students get a bad rep for pasta, but ultimately you can whack anything in it: cheese, mushrooms, sausage etc and it is consistently tasty.

When all the process consists of is boiling it in water for twenty minutes, you can’t exactly go wrong. If you’re looking for bigger challenges, you can try something like fajitas or curry. There are a few cheat aspects (packet rice, curry paste and fajita kits) so the rest is easy. If you really want to impress your flatmates, you could treat everybody to a cake, because who doesn’t love cake. Finally, do everybody a flavour and clean up after yourself, there’s nothing worse than a huge piles of dishes left in the sink, you won’t be a fan favourite.

Another intimidating element, making friends. Although we all have friends at home, there seems to be a strange fear factor to making friends. The cliché statement that your family will say ‘Just be yourself’ carries a lot more meaning than you would imagine. This is because it requires more effort to be false, eventually you’ll be caught out and you could end up attracting people from the wrong crowd. Just be yourself, and people will respect you for it.

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Check out Skiddle Freshers events

Do your best to throw yourself out there, this doesn’t have to mean being the flat clown or the loudest voice in the room, but just don’t be afraid of people. Everybody is in the same boat and it’s a shared goal to all become friends. Also have a nosey at the society fair on fresher’s week, chances are you’ll find something that pleases your more refined tastes- whether it’s sports, politics, gaming, LGBT or films, uni’s cater to everything. Plus, the socials are amazing, so another chance to make friends is bagged. Don’t stress, it’s a very natural process and we can assure you that some of your best mates for life will be sitting across from you.

An aspect that you may not have thought about is decorating your room. Now, quality of accommodation differs with each uni, but nevertheless, you don’t want to be sitting staring at bare walls. You can cover the space with anything from fairy lights, to posters to a vibrant tapestry. Most of these decorations can be picked up from Primark for a few quid, and chill times by yourself or with your flatmates will be a lot more enjoyable. Seize the opportunity to demonstrate your personality in your own space. It’s one step closer to blossoming into the adult you want to become. 

The elements above will all fall into place, and you’ll reflect on your first year in May and wonder why on earth you were scared in the first place. But, it’s human nature to feel a bit alone or down from time to time, it happens to everybody. So, the final aspect to discuss is the support that all universities offer. There are always a great wellbeing team available to talk anytime, whether this is your lecturers or a dedicated team. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, and if you like you can’t confide in your mates, seek help from the services available because after all mental health is just as important as physical health. It does everybody the world of good and will reinforce that nobody is truly alone.  Good luck and have a sensational time, these truly are the best years of your life and the cornerstone of your journey to independence. 

Here’s a list of top ten tips:

1. Food shop at low price supermarkets I.e Aldi and LIDL.

2. Never pre-judge anybody.

3. Be open to every opportunity thrown at you.

4. Wash up after yourself.

5. Don’t be afraid to voice your anxieties.

6. Decorate your bedroom. 

7. Be yourself.

8. Check out the societies available.

9. Keep an eye out on restaurant and bar discounts.

10. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, you are capable of anything.