Nine things every Fresher should know – from current Lancaster students

The students of Lancaster are here to offer their… ‘wisdom’

It’s results day, and we all know what that means – new freshers! Having experienced the chaotic world that is Freshers’ Week and first year, we get it – it’s daunting. You’re moving to a new place, living on your own for the first time, and have literally been thrown into the deep end of university life. You also have absolutely no idea what you are doing, right?

Trust me, we get it. We’ve all been there.

But have no fear (well…maybe a little) as our current Lancaster students are here to offer their “wise” words, advice and reassurance about all things Freshers’ and first year.

1. Be yourself

Don’t put pressure on yourself to be somebody you’re not. It sounds very cliché, but the best thing you can do as a fresher is just be yourself rather than pretending to be somebody else just to fit in, whether with your flat or course mates. Although finding new friends at uni seems daunting, you will soon find your people, even if it’s not during Freshers’ week or first term.

2. It’s okay to say no

Freshers’ Week is not for everyone, particularly if you don’t enjoy the clubbing scene or drinking. It’s okay to say no to attending events if you don’t feel comfortable. Don’t feel pressured if it’s not your vibe – you will meet people and make new friends in other places during your first year.

3. Put yourself out there

It’s okay and normal to feel lonely and homesick during Freshers’ and first term but try not to sit with it for too long. You need to put yourself out there, get stuck in, and try to make new friends at every opportunity, either with your flatmates, course mates, or in society meetings.

4. Enjoy yourself

Studying and working hard, particularly during the first year, is essential. However, having a healthy work-life balance is just as important. Set aside time for your favourite hobbies, meet up with friends, or read a book. Uni is not always about work.

5. Pace yourself during Freshers’

It’s important to throw yourself into as many events and parties as possible during Freshers’ week. However, you don’t want to burn yourself out within the first few days. Make sure you pace yourself, stay hydrated, eat well, and prepare for the worst illness known to every student in the country – Freshers’ flu.

No, you can’t avoid it.

And yes, we’ve tried.

6. First year is important

Although most coursework and exam results don’t count towards the final grade on your degree certificate, it is still important to remember that the first year does matter. You still need to pass your first-year modules and develop your skills, knowledge, and understanding of the course. Uni essays are unlike any other, so don’t write them off as unimportant – use your first year at uni to set yourself up in good stead for the rest of your degree.

7. Only bring the basics

Don’t bring the entire contents of your bedroom in the boot of your car to uni. Your first-year room should feel as homely as possible, but only buy the basics at the start, especially when you have to unpack it all at the other end after hours of driving.

Trust me. It’s a lot easier to buy stuff once you’re at uni, especially during the plant & poster sales held on campus during the first few weeks of term.

8. Take the Sugar Bus

Want to save money on a night out? Take the Sugar Bus. Although it may seem cheaper to split a taxi between yourself and three of your friends after a night out – believe me – it’s not. Those £15 taxi journeys from Sugar to Sultans add up faster than you think.

9. Join the Lancaster Tab!

Okay, a bit of a shameless plug here, but we’re serious! So many of our writers will tell you that joining us was one of their best decisions yet. You’ll meet loads of people from various courses and years, gain some amazing writing experience, build up a portfolio, and it looks great on a CV. Not to mention, we bring biscuits to our weekly meetings. Come along to our open meeting which will be hosted in the first few weeks of term to find out more!

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