The musings of a final year medical student

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Freshers' Week: My Advice

So I moved up to university on the 20th September, and I feel very settled in. However, first of all, I had to make it through Freshers' Week. I had the best time, met lots of lovely new faces and would thoroughly recommend that you throw yourself in at the deep end, really get into the thick of it.

Over that week, I realised many things and have got some tips for any soon-to-be Freshers.

N.B some of this advice is based on the assumption that you would treat Freshers' Week the way most people do: constant partying, forgotten morals and feeling a bit ill. I'm not advocating that, but the following advice will be useful.

 - Bring plenty of petty change and small notes (fivers and tenners) for club entry and taxis back home (and 4am Maccie's)

 - Bring flip flops - they will be important for communal showers (don't get verrucas off the shower floor) and bathrooms, out of the blue fire alarm drills, and just general lounging around in your flat.

 - On your moving in day, dress in light, loose clothing and wear plenty of deodorant. The amount of walking, lifting, adrenaline and nerves mean perspiration will be involved. I met quite a few freshers that were less than daisy fresh, shall we say.

 - Make sure you shower 1 or more times a day. All the drunken sweating will not be great. In addition, it will help you wake up and press on through your hangover.

 - Make sure you have contraception sorted before you get there. The pill does not protect you from STIs. Yes, you can get free condoms at Freshers' Fair but this is usually at the very end or mid way through the week.

 - Don't trash your flat or do drugs in it. You might think it's funny at the time but the university or landlord can charge you a fortune for it. Medical students can be thrown off the course for being caught smoking cannabis, or anything more severe.

 - Don't buy every freshers' social wristband/ticket on offer. Most people go to the student union events. Try to gage which ticket/wristband is the most popular, not the one where the promoters are constantly harassing you and spamming your Facebook.

 - If a freshers' event claims to be "The best night of your life", it most certainly won't.

 - Keeping busy is the most important thing and will stop you from feeling homesick. The ones on my floor that cried did spend a lot of time by themselves. If you go out a lot and join in on as much as possible you will have much more fun and will be far too busy to feel sad or teary. Try to be out of your room as much as possible.

 - Bring doorstops. You can purchase cheap ones for less than a pound online. Bring several to lend to your mates. Having your door open makes you seem much more approachable and sociable, and the doors in halls are always heavy fire doors, so a doorstep is necessary.

 - Keep a full water bottle in your flat and your bags at all times. You're going to be dehydrated.

 - The best way to make friends is to keep a smile permanently pasted on your face. You will look much more approachable and make friends easily.

 - Try to get some exercise. Even though your head may be hurting, stomach aching, you feel exhausted from sleep deprivation, a light jog or walk will really help clear your head and make you feel marginally better.

 - Don't just hang out with the same people, or people who are at your university that came from your old school. Uni is all about meeting people from all walks of life, and you want to have a good bond with the people you are sharing a flat with in your first year.

 - If you get a reading list upon arrival at uni, go STRAIGHT to the library and get said books. Don't waste any time in getting them, otherwise all the best ones will go.

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