Lectures, socialising, moving out, studying… You’re about to start college or uni, and there’s so much to think about! So how do you make sure you get the right balance of studying and socialising and make the best first impression in the next stage in your life? Student Laura Brown has prepared a guide to see you through the first few weeks…
If you live at home, you’ll find that you make most of your new mates in lectures. Try and get contact details for the people you meet, whether it’s a phone number of their Facebook, so you can catch up at weekends or arrange to go for a coffee between classes. Everyone really is ‘in the same boat’ – you’ll discover that people are keen to gossip about their university adventures.
If you live in halls, you’ll probably stick with your flatmates – but don’t forget you might only be with them for the first year! It pays to have friends in your tutorials: the scatterbrained guy down the corridor isn’t going to be able to help with that maths problem. Also, not everyone’s routine will be the same as yours – some people might leave the kitchen sink crusty (ew!) and others will keep their cupboards spotless. It’s up to you to be considerate and not let other people’s habits do your dome in. Take a deep breath and invest in a yoga mat.
Start the party
You’ve picked up the bag of free goodies… and the Freshers’ Week line-up is inside. Campus tours, sports club taster sessions and parties almost every evening… there’s a reason for Freshers’ boozy reputation! If nights out aren’t your thing, there’s bars where you can chat with your friends in (relative) peace. Remember that Freshers’ is a great way to get to know the faces that you’ll spot round campus.
Some campuses require that you buy a Freshers’ Pass before the week kicks off. It’s a good idea to purchase this beforehand so you’re assured entry into all the events.
Back to reality
Whoever decided that introductory lectures during Freshers’ Week were a good idea? Chances are you’ll be sleep-deprived and perhaps hungover, but these meetings will give you important information about the year ahead. Plus, you can chat to your classmates about the severity of your headache.
We wouldn’t recommend spending the whole year in a zombie-like state though. Before you know it, deadlines and winter exams will approach. It can be difficult to study if you’re in halls, but libraries offer dedicated quiet areas where you can take your laptop and swot up. Most also have social learning spaces so classmates can discuss ideas before assessments. Suss out your best study zone at the start of term.
They may not repel water or alcohol, but academic diaries can be lifesavers! A mid-year planner (from WH Smith, Paperchase etc) will keep track of your assignments and tutorial dates – plus you don’t need to get your phone out in class. Or write things on the back of your hand…
Check out our list of can’t-live-without-apps and tips for making the most of college or uni here.