Is your fresher getting nervous about their start at uni? Make them read this post!
Your fresher’s actual ‘fresher weeks’ are approaching quickly, and their nerves about the new start may be kicking in right about now. There is a lot of hype about fresher’s weeks and university starts in general, lots of people refer to them as ‘the best time of their lives’ – which that spell can very well be, but it can also lead to something of an anti-climax for the less confident or extrovert fresher. If your child, let’s call her Edwina again, has basically grown up in one place, gone to one primary school and then one secondary school (maybe even without changing to a 6th form college) , then the start at Readingham University together with thousands of other brandnew freshers can seem a daunting prospect. And even if Edwina is super-confident, she may find that the hyped up expectation of freshers’ weeks can almost feel like pressure to have a fabulous time, and a slow start may feel like a bad start or even a disappointment.
But, fear not, help is at hand. A survey of recent graduates, unrepresentative and anecdotal though it may be, will give candid snippets of advice for Edwina, even if it is just to remind her, that despite the varying exteriors, most freshers are as nervous as she is.
Recent graduates’ advice for freshers’ :
- Everyone is in the same boat – so it’s okay to talk to everyone and anyone. You can talk to strangers, no one minds during freshers.
- Bring a door stop and prop open your bedroom door during the day – especially moving in days. That way you meet everyone straight away and you come across as sociable.
- Make friends with people from your course as well as your housemates, so you’ll have people to study with later on. Studying does come into it, eventually.
- Bring a bottle opener. Always popular during pre-drinks.
- Unless you’re in catered halls, learn how to cook. Take-away meals lose their appeal quicker than you think.
- Don’t feel like you’re doing it wrong. Don’t expect fireworks immediately. Everyone does it differently but ultimately most people have a great time once they relax into it.
- Try and do a sport, even if it’s just for your halls. You meet people, it keeps you fit, it also gives your week a bit of structure which can be good if you’re not great at time management away from home.
- If you’re not sporty, join a society. Don’t be hungover and miss Freshers Fair, whatever it is called at Readingham Uni. Try out new stuff!
- If doing an arts subject you’ll probably get huge reading list. Don’t panic, work out what is compulsory and go from there;
- Don’t retreat into your comfort zone – if you’re not quite settling in, it’s tempting to visit home or old school friends at other unis. But it won’t make the situation better, try and stick with it, mix with as many people as you can until you find a group you’re happy to latch on to.
- Take advantage of freshers: if you felt pigeon- holed at home (the geek, the ditz, or worse) you can reinvent yourself here – no one knows you!
- Don’t hide your natural weirdness. It’ll separate the wheat friends from the chaff.
- Be the person that makes tea in the morning after a party night – that’s when you really get to know your housemates.
- Freshers parties are meant to be legendary fun. Don’t ruin it for everyone else by getting so blindingly drunk, the others have to look after you.
- Don’t forget to wash or use deodorant just because mummy isn’t there to nag you. (from a female graduate)
- Give everything time – naturally all things have changed so give all that change time to become the norm.
I hope you and your fresher found these considerate and helpful thoughts from our recent graduates as useful as my fresher and I did. When I looked at the responses I had received from my request I felt unusually reassured in the future of humankind. The main message seems to be: Keep an open mind and be yourself!