How to survive your first week at University
By: Claire, redwigwam
University may seem a bit daunting initially, it’s probably the first time you’ve been truly independent and it can be quite overwhelming.
However, the sooner you realise everyone else is in the same boat it gets a lot easier.
There are a few key things that will make your first few weeks and months survivable…
The first thing on our list is how to deal with your flatmates.
You’ll be thrown in with about five other people you’ve never met before and naturally, there will likely be some differences between you.
If you had the foresight to contact them on Facebook beforehand you may already have an idea of what they’re like.
Be mindful some people might not want to go out every night of freshers or be less social than you. You’re going to be living with these people for the next 7 months so try not to cause any friction early on, you don’t have to be best mates with all your flat, but you don’t want it to be awkward every time you walk in the kitchen.
Clean up after yourself. Don't make a racket when you arrive back late at night. Be respectful of different schedules. And don't take their milk without asking!
Secondly, learn how to budget.
I’m not trying to sound like your mum, but when you burn through your loan in 4 weeks and have to live off noodles until Christmas you’ll really wish you had done.
Naturally, freshers week is a bit different. You could end up going out four or five nights on the run so it’s hard to budget for that, but you will have to buy textbooks and washing machine credit and lots of other little unforeseen things which quickly add up.
Also if you miss one event it’s not the end of the world, there will be plenty more. So pick and choose your events and work around your initial lectures and inductions.
There are loads of places which offer student discounts of course - take advantage of these while you can! Two sites we'd recommend are UniDays and StudentBeans, both great for keeping on top of all the discounts and offers available.
But don't forget - it's only a bargain if you actually need it!
And while we're talking about budgeting, it's always good to be on the look out for ways to make some extra cash and top up the loan for the little luxuries (scented candles, make up, nights out, a coffee maybe?)
Now redwigwam can help with that of course. We have loads of jobs for students - and the best thing is it's totally flexible around your studies. So you work when you've got the spare time - and not have to worry about turning down shifts when you don't! Sign up here to get started.
Additionally, do your admin!
Get your university library card done. Sort out which modules you want to take. Get your textbooks bought.
Trust me you don’t want to leave it until the last minute and have to queue with everyone else who didn’t do it their first week.
Go and sign up for societies and clubs too, there will likely be a freshers fair so if you’re a keen rugby player or LGBT activist go and sign up and it’s a great way to meet new people.
That leads me on to the most important point, just be yourself.
Everyone is looking to meet friends and new people, some people might seem to have great friends straight away and others may take more time, you don’t have to find your bestie in the first week.
Be sure to ask people lots of questions, remember names and show an interest in them, that’s a great way to build the foundations of a friendship.
Finally, enjoy it! It’ll be tough at times, you’ll get a bit homesick, everyone does, but it will pass once you get settled. Don’t get too sloppy and make a bad name for yourself, just be yourself and take advantage of a fresh start and being your own boss.