Fresher’s Week Survival Guide
Fresher’s Week Survival Guide
Fresher’s week – the week you’ve flown the parental nest and you’re out in the big, wide world. This first week is one that will go down in history as one of the most eventful in your academic career. At least the bits you remember will be.
Here at Ziffit.com we have a few stories to tell between us and have put our heads together to create a Survival Guide to Fresher’s Week.
Let’s start with your health. It’s a known occurence that almost everyone will get poorly in their first week at university. That’s a lot of new germs flying around and your immune system is likely to be doing all it can to fight off as much as it can – but with the lack of sleep, combined with a poor diet and lots of alcohol – there’s only so much it can do.
Stock up on multi vitamins and iron – and failing that - cold and flu medicine. Help your immune system out as best you can, especially as you’re not likely to be eating a lot of fruit and veg!
You need sleep – and not just a power nap in the back of the lecture hall for 5 minutes during your university orientation. You need an actual night’s sleep – so whilst the first week it is deemed necessary to survive on 2 hours sleep a night, a mars bar for breakfast washed down with an energy drink – we’d recommend having at least one night where you stay home and catch some Z’s.
Don’t be tempted to give up all forms of exercise as your body won’t thank you for that. Try and avoid buses, taxi’s and the like if your classes are within walking distance. Not only will it help with your health it will keep your bank balance in check and it will give you the chance to get to know the area better. (NOTE – we obviously don’t advise walking alone in areas you’re unfamiliar of, especially when it is dark and late at night. Use your common sense here).
Now we know what you’re thinking – this is nearly as dull as talking about keeping healthy in the first few weeks of university. But trust us – we’re not total fun sponges, this one is important. We know how easy it is for your grant/student loan to burn a hole in your pocket. And you may be feeling a little flush in the first couple of weeks but don’t let yourself be that person surviving on own-brand beans and tap water by Halloween.
So how can you budget and avoid getting yourself into even more debt that the Student Loans Company can take credit for?
Have you thought about trading in your old CDs, DVDs, books and games with Ziffit.com? You could earn yourself a nice chunk of change getting rid of your old Blue or S Club 7 CDs (we all have them, no shame in it) or maybe that Dawson’s Creek boxset? You won’t need these at university, so clear out that clutter and earn yourself some money. (It also leaves space in your room that will inevitably become a home gym or guest room in your parental home.)
Join forces with your flat mates and do food shops together – particularly if you’re near one of those big wholesale supermarkets. Buy in bulk, it will save you money in the long run. You can also spend an evening cooking meals in batches that can then be frozen.
It’s also worth stocking up on the following: pasta, rice, couscous and lentils – as these keep for a long time and are super easy to cook. Also eggs – nothing beats a fried egg sarnie or a cheese omelette as a post lecture snack.
If you live outside of town and have to drive to classes, think about car-sharing where possible. There are some apps out there that can help (https://www.blablacar.co.uk https://liftshare.com/uk)
Hop on the student card bandwagon – use it! Use it as much as you can. We cannot stress this enough. You’ll be pleasantly surprised of the huge variety of restaurants and retailers who accept them!
Consider getting a weekend job, or a job that allows you to work a few hours here and there. Although we’d recommend leaving this for a few weeks as you want to makes sure you allow enough time for classes/assignments as well as down time.
This sounds a bit daft – but it’s so important to try and make friends as this will ultimately help reduce homesickness and mean that you have a great time in your Uni years.
Try not to be too shy – don’t lock yourself in your room and ignore your flatmates, make an effort to keep your door open as much as possible and head to any communal areas as soon as you can and introduce yourself.
Universities have some excellent (sometimes obscure) societies for you to join. This means you’ll have a support system outside of your flatmates and people on your course. It will mean you get to interact with a wide range of people regularly.