Starting university as a fresher is really daunting. It's probably the first time you have moved away from your family. You will be living with complete strangers and living in a new location. There is masses of advice out there which tells you what you should or shouldn't be doing in freshers week. To narrow it down, we contacted some current Students' Union officers to find out their BEST advice for freshers.
So, read on to find out how to maximise your freshers experience!
Neve Atkinson - Access, Education and Participation Officer at Cambridge SU
“Let yourself be bad at your subject for a while! Everyone finds their first term difficult, and nobody is expecting you to write the best essay of your life the day after Freshers' Week ends. Enjoy yourself, try your best and remember that there is a world outside whatever you're studying. And if you find yourself struggling, ask for help! That's what your lecturers and teachers are there for.”
Joshua Borokinni - VP Wellbeing and Diversity at UPSU
"Stay generic. Be true to yourself. The journey is a long one and you will need yourself more than you need anyone else. Take breaks when you need to. Don't burnout yourself because you want to impress anyone. It is a marathon not a sprint."
Nyah Lowe - President of Undeb Bangor
“Get involved with all of the opportunities available during freshers week, particularly at Serendipity/ the Freshers' Fayre and talk to student groups with similar interests, it’s a brilliant opportunity to network and get involved in activities spanning not just freshers but the rest of your time at university.”
Doha Laftimi - VP Sports and Health at The Students' Union UWE
“Everyone tells you this, but you don’t realise how different your experience could have been if you had joined that society, that sport club, that event or more. University is the best time to meet people with different interests, from different backgrounds, countries… and this is such a valuable experience. I joined UWE Jets Basketball club at UWE Bristol even though I have never played before, and it was one of the best decisions I have made. So, take part and enjoy your time!”
Rose Franchi - Activities and Development Officer at Sheffield SU
"If you're not sure what you're into, why not try something new? Your SU will have lots of different activities on offer, including societies and sports clubs, volunteering, democracy, and more. When I first came to university, joining societies really helped me to meet people with common interests and make friends, some of whom I am still friends with five years on!”
Sheldon Allen - President of RUSU
"This will be one of the only times at university when you can afford to 100% immerse yourself in everything your Students’ Union has to offer without worrying about deadlines and grades! Take up opportunities, go to sports and societies taster sessions and most importantly have a great time!”
Ella Williams - Activities Officer at LUU
"Coming to uni can be daunting and there's always so many exciting opportunities available. I'd suggest going along to a few things that you're interested in and see where that takes you, also try to stick things out for a few sessions as the first sessions can be hectic as they are often very popular! Don't be afraid to try new things, go along with your flatmates and friends to the things that they want to try out - you never know, you may find a new hobby! Clubs and societies are such a great way of making new friends and meeting people that you'd never cross paths with, so just give it a go!”
Celina Sousa Pereira - Wellbeing and Liberation Officer at Manchester SU
"Create a solid network of friends and peers - they are your home at university. Unsure where to start? Meet your Peer Mentor. They are usually 2nd or 3rd-year students from your university who mentor 1st years. Join as many societies as your schedule allows. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can in your university accommodation. Suggest starting a study group in your first lecture or seminar. Sign up for a buddy scheme if your Students’ Union has one. Show up at your Students’ Union. I can assure you that there is always something going on and an opportunity to meet new people."
Sam Dickins - VP for Societies and Volunteering at Undeb Bangor
"Say hi to everyone! University is a new place full of lots of new people and it can be a little nerve-wracking making friends and getting to know people but the best thing I could say is go in with a mindset of saying hello to everyone you come across. Even if it's just bumping into someone random during moving-in week or you see someone to chat to at a social or event, sometimes those random little conversations you have just because you said hi turn into amazing friendships while you're at uni."
Flazzi Adekanmbi Olamide - VP Community and Engagement at Essex SU
"Don’t be afraid to approach people, at the end of the day, all the freshers that have arrived are in the same boat as you. Go out to events, mixers and societies. These places are where you’re going to meet people with similar interests as you. This is how I made a lot of friends who I am still friends with today. Staying inside may be the more comfortable thing to do but stepping out of your comfort zone will be the best thing you would’ve done for your experience at university. And above all, you’re a fresher so just have fun with whatever you do."