16 Tips for Fresher’s Week
September is here and with it comes the excitement and potentially trepidation of either starting your first year at university or continuing onwards. Either way, progress is made, and the summer blues will begin to set in before you know.
All the members of the Currikula team have finished university, so we have knocked our heads together to come up with 16 top tips for your first or returning fresher’s week. These are straight from the horse’s mouth so don’t worry too much if you don’t think they apply to you. They’re not coming in any particular order.
Let us begin
1. Bring an Ethernet cable and a router
This one is a little out there but lots of student accommodation still don’t have Wi-Fi! I know we’ve been out of university for a couple years but our sources tell us this is still the case. Unless you have the rarest of data plans, (that elusive “unlimited”), then you’re going to want to try and set up your own Wi-Fi.
Most universities have a wired connection so you will need an Ethernet cable to connect your computer directly or with a dongle (curses Apple!). Most computers now allow you to share your network turning your computer into a router… guides for windows users and mac users or there are actually separate programs you can download.
Of course, if you don’t want to leave your computer on all the time you may have to pick up a cheap router and use that. Plug the Ethernet cable that you would plug into your computer, into your router and you should be good to go.
Pro tip: Name the network something inconspicuous in case your university has issues with your own private WiFi network. *
2. Do your admin early
Death, taxes, admin. Three rules of life that will always be true. However, to save yourself the hassle of trying to remember what you need to do in order to register for a student card, join certain clubs or societies, sign up with the doctor, or anything remotely admin like, we suggest you do it from the start. Ideally, try and tick them all off in the first few days. Everyone will be doing it so it should be easy to form a group and go around ticking off the different things you need to do.
It’s also something to talk about with people if you’re shy and gives your group a goal to achieve.
3. Attend those first lectures
This one is less about Fresher’s week in particular, although some of you may have welcome lectures during this time (you have our sympathy). Anyway, we recommend that you attend the early lectures as much as possible. Yes we know the first year doesn’t count. Yes we know that you don’t have much choice over what you’re studying. Yes we know you’re hungover… But hear us out.
If you attend all the starter lectures you learn important things:
- How they mark
- What expectations they have with extra work
- What office hours are
- You may learn exact hand in dates
- Whether the professor is going to be a hard ass and take attendance
- Who is in your class
Armed with this information you can make judgments later in term about what you may or may not be strongly inclined to attend. Plus, as number 6 states, you know who is in your class, thus you now know who you can talk to if you happen to miss a few lectures due to an unforeseen and bed binding illness (or who needs to sign you in).
4. Do what YOU want
It’s your fresher’s week, pick what you want to do and do it. No one will stop you. There will be all kinds of parties and events to attend. If your flatmates don’t want to go, check your building if there’s no one there that wants to go, break our number 9 rule and reach out to people on the event.
What this doesn’t mean however is staying in your room. You have every chance to experience a lot of what the university has to offer. Go out and enjoy it! If drinking isn’t your thing then go to the day events, there will be evening events without drinking as well and the best way to find them is to be out and about during the day.
5. R.I.P your budget
If you have been proactive, you’ve tallied up your pennies and figured out that you have exactly £13.72 every day to spend every day with an extra £2.47 on weekends and every other Thursday then that’s great. Congratulations that’s more than 99% of the rest of your year’s intake will have done. However, for fresher’s week, throw it out the window. Burry it. Resurrect it a week later.
Fresher’s week is expensive, the events are normally ticketed, the booze is flowing, the signup to societies and clubs require fees, you’ll have forgotten to bring a teapot or a series of other items that really don’t make sense until you get there. Of course, you simply might be jealous that your flat or house mates have a TV and an Xbox set up in their room, so you’ll go out and buy one.
If you’re stressing about the budget then you’re not having fun. It’s that simple really.
6. Your flatmates probably are not going to be your best friends
Shock horror this one. But people don’t like everyone they meet. Whilst some of your house mates or new friends will become your groomsmen or bridesmaids in the future, the odds are quite low. But don’t worry, those first friendships are a bouncing board to allow you find others.
The odds of being put in the same flat as your soul mate by the university ‘flat matchmaker’ system is about the same as you finding out that you’ve got a President’s kid in your flat.
7. Fresher’s flu is a thing
Oh yep. Prepare to be ill following a wild week of fun. We’d recommend Beechams All In One. As a good all around pill it covers: a chesty cough, blocked nose, sore throat, aches & pains, headache, and fevers. Basically, it’s the dream and you should stock up on it.
Pro tip: There’s a max strength version for those ‘literally dying’ as you proclaim. **
8. It’s almost better to not know anyone when you arrive
Some people turn up knowing what seems to be half the university, which is fine. It’s not a bad thing. However, it does confine you to the same people, the same behaviour, the same social interactions and the same stories from 1000 years ago. And all of that means that you don’t get to that classic American High School film thing and… reinvent yourself.
If you know no one or minimal people then you can busy yourself making new friends, crafting new stories, finding new traditions and building a new network of people to spend time with.
9. Live offline as much as possible
Your first week at a university will never be matched, you’ll never have such an amazing opportunity to meet exciting and new people every day and night, in and out. So use it. Get heads out of phones, eyes off screens and go and meet people. Yes, you may need to use Facebook to find fresher’s events or to add some new friends details but for the most part the best way to maximise fresher’s is by going out and mixing with people.
10. Drink one type of drink
Now some people to turn up to university with a liver of steel. A metabolism that would put the efficiency of a Tesla to shame and the seeming ability to spring from bed the next day, like you after a week of sleep, when they drank their weight in booze the night before. But these people are the exception, not the rule.
Now we fully expect this advice to be ignored, after all, the shout of “SHOTS” is quite alluring after several other drinks, but we’ll write it out anyway. If you mix drinks ‘willy nilly’ then you’ll end up on the floor. Which maybe you aim for and that’s cool. Just not so cool for your new house mates, your new friends or your old friends.
Pro tip: if you insist on going hard core and testing your liver to the extreme, we advise 1) get a couple of litres of water in a bottle by your bed before you go out 2) have a carb heavy dinner 3) add some fish into that meal, fish oil seems to help with booze, don’t ask us why 4) pace yourself as much as you can 5) vodka sodas are easier on the hangover ***
11. Don’t be known as that guy or girl (drink)
Everyone has messy nights, we get that, we experience that. You have that one night where suddenly you’ve seen the bottom of more glasses than you thought possible, the sun is up before you hit the sack and you’ve ‘borrowed’ half of the traffic cones in your university town.
However, there is a difference between once every now and again and every night.
Following on from our previous comments on drinking. We would strongly advise that becoming known as the ‘drunk one’, the ‘sloppy one’, the ‘chunder dragon’, the ‘vomit commit’, the ‘baby’, the ‘nightmare’ or names in a similar fashion would probably be best avoided. Don’t want to tarnish that brand spanking new shiny reputation in the first week, do we!
Save your inner loose cannon till when your friends won’t mind carrying your drunk ass home.
Pro tip: it’s after fresher’s.
12. Don’t sleep with your house mates
“But she’s fit… he’s like a Greek God chiseled from marble… she’s the only 10 I’ve ever seen… it will work out fine… we’ve talked about boundaries… they know its just a bit of fun.”
It’s literally like playing with fire. You will get burned. But, realistically, nothing we say is going to stop human nature. Just know you’ve been warned. ****
13. Don’t be known as that guy or girl (alarms)
Nothing and we should emphasise this — NOTHING — there we go, makes people more annoyed than waking up heart racing to the sound of a fire alarm blaring so loudly it could wake the dead. Having to pull on the remnants of last night’s clothes, grab anything warm they can find in the cruel darkness of their room; before stumbling downstairs out into the light September rain to stand around for an hour waiting for the fire department or campus’s services to come. Then when they get there, discover that some idiot in your building tried to grill peaches at 3 am. True story.
- Don’t cook when drunk — that’s why Dominos has student deals.
- Open windows and turn extractor fans on when cooking sober.
Do those two things and you’ll be golden.
14. Do go all out on fancy dress
One of the best ways to meet people, to get talking to them without you doing a single thing is to dress ridiculously. Now you could do this on your standard Tuesday cheese night, but it might attract the wrong kind of attention.
However, when you’re going to a fancy-dress event, when your sports society is dressing up as babies for an evening, or the history club is dressing up as ancient Romans, or even just Halloween, the better your costume the more fun you will have. A half-arsed costume is just meh.
15. Do hang out in the smoking area
Smokers have long known this secret, the smoking area is where your best friends will be found. Those lasting friendships born almost literally out of a fire.
You don’t have to smoke to be in the area. It’s just a good place to chill out for 10 minutes in between shots. Or too cool off from the sweat box that you’ll all go to on a Thursday night.
It’s great for casual conversation, and the best thing is you can hear what the other person has to say. You’ll get introduced to numerous people as everyone seems to do a rotation through the smoking area at some point during the night.
And if you do happen to smoke you have that easy opening line (much to the jealousy of all none smokers) to go up and make conversation — “Can I borrow a lighter?”
16. Find something in your flat, a communal activity and just do it
Some flats have a roster for activities, they have a set of things that everyone needs to do. These will work for about 12 days then it will devolve into chaos. There will be infighting, there will be shouting matches and there will be political factions forming across the kitchen table. It will fast become a real life Game of Thrones.
The secret to remaining like Switzerland in this situation. To being ignored when the discussion come up. Is by picking a chore and just doing it, without fail and always on time. For example, take out the garbage once a week or wipe down all the surfaces. If you do it every time without being asked and without complaint you’ll be exempt from the discussions to a certain extent. Each side may try to recruit you. But then it’s up to you if you want to remain neutral.
Oh one last benefit, you get to pick what chore you do.
That’s it from us! Hope you’ve enjoyed and found useful out top tips for Fresher’s week.
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* We do not recommend that you break your university rules or guidelines and hold no responsibility for those that do so. We offer only a theoretical discussion of how to achieve a Wi-Fi hotspot in your halls.
** Currikula is not a medical institute as of writing it has no doctors on board nor anyone who studied medicine. Please use common sense when taking medicine and don’t take too much.
*** Currikula does not endorse drinking dangerous levels of alcohol, as quantities that would count as ‘dangerous’ varies between people we can only formally recommend that you follow government guidelines on ‘getting smashed’. If in doubt ask that doctor you registered with in the first week. Drink responsibly.
**** As always be an adult, use protection. No one wants a kid while at university. And did you know there is a strain of Gonorrhoea now that cannot be cured?