Off to university? The first year of being an actual student might seem pretty daunting but this nifty little guide will set you on the right path. From Freshers’ Week socials to basic budgeting, here are seven ways to have the best first year of university, with top tips from the experts at Student Hut.
1. Do your research
Freshers’ Week will be a whirlwind of flat parties, freshers’ fairs, new friends, student club nights and figuring out (with varying degrees of success) how to cook a meal. Prepare yourself as best you can for university life by doing your research: look for nightlife reviews and the best hang-outs in town, see where the nearest supermarket is and check out what public transport is around your halls and campus so that you’re not caught out.
2. Explore your new hometown
Grab your new mates, get out there and explore your new hangs. This is going to be your home for the next three (or more) years, so don’t waste any time in finding out all about your adoptive new town. By the time you graduate you’ll be devastated to leave your favourite coffee shop behind, so make the most of every moment.
3. Join a society
Uni is the perfect time to branch out, try new things and meet new people. What better way to do that than to discover new interests and passions that you never realised you had? University societies are a great way to meet people who are interested in the same things as you. Most universities have lots to choose from, such as a Coffee Appreciation Society or a Quidditch Society, or subject-specific societies. You’ll be sure to find your people somewhere.
4. Get cooking!
Learning how to create some simple, healthy dishes is a great idea to make sure you’re not surviving on takeaways alone. If you’ve lived at home until this point, you may not have had much opportunity (or desire!) to get hands-on in the kitchen – but now’s the time to dive in and have a go! Look for easy student recipes or budget recipes that don’t require too much skill or too many fancy ingredients.
5. Join a sports club
From rugby to netball, and even ultimate frisbee, there’s a university sports club for every kinda girl at uni. If you’re not sure which to sign up to, see if you can find reviews of societies or reviews of sports clubs, or ask students in their second and third years which ones are the best to join – and which have the best socials!
6. Sample the nightlife
Of course, your freshers’ year wouldn’t be complete without sampling all of the weird and wonderful nightlife on offer in your university town. So be prepared to dress up in a bedsheet toga and join the masses on a bar crawl around all the student hotspots – you’ll have a brilliant time, even if you do decide that partying in a toga should definitely be a one-time thing!
7. And relax!
Thousands of students around the world are in the same boat as you. Minimise stress by budgeting carefully – a valuable skill to learn in your first year – and talking to lecturers if you’re worried about work, making your room a comfy, homely haven and actually reading your university emails. Your first year at uni is about learning how to strike a happy work-life balance. You won’t get it straight away, but it’s all part of the learning curve!