Fresher’s Week Survival Guide!

So if you’re reading this, it’s because you’ve probably because you’ve got your grades and you have now received a coveted unconditional offer to study at Essex! Congratulations and welcome to what is commonly known as “the best years of your life”! Freedom, memories and friendships await you, however daunting it might seem at first!

But, before you buy those massive bags of pasta and all of those kitchen utensils that you’re never going to use (face it, that Nutmeg Grater you’ve bought is pointless), here’s my ultimate guide to get through Fresher’s…

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 A very fresh faced snap of me with some of my flatmates during Fresher’s Week 2014

Wait, so what exactly is Fresher’s week?

Fresher’s week (or welcome week) is the first week of the University term. This year Fresher’s week starts on Sunday 2nd October. This time is designed for students to settle into life at University before lectures begin the following week. You’ll be meeting and getting to know the people that you’ll be living with and studying alongside and your lecturers amongst a load of social events!

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That sounds good! So what do I need to do to get ready?

Before anything else, ensure that you’re well equipped! Making a pre-uni shop to get all your kitchen and bedroom stuff is a must!

Buying the essentials will not only  help you survive for the next few weeks or so, but it’ll also surprisingly help you make friends with people who have forgotten to get bits and pieces! I’d personally recommend a pack of cards, a bottle opener, a good set of speakers (if you already have some), a pack of sweets, a big biscuit variety pack and some tea bags. Make a good first impression by limiting those moments where you’re all just smiling awkwardly at one another in the kitchen! Make a cup of tea, get the conversation going and make it easier for yourself!

Got it! I’m actually really looking forward to Fresher’s; but what about making friends?

First rule: don’t pretend to be someone that you aren’t. You won’t enjoy yourself and people might realise that you’re faking it! Just be yourself and make that the thing that people like about you! It’s very likely that you’ll change a lot over the time that you’re at University, so there is plenty of time for that new look! Just make sure you don’t change overnight as soon as you arrive, just to fit in…

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(Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/uv3mwJCoBnjgY)

Thing is… I’m not really a big partier… How am I going to socialise and meet people if I don’t always want to go out? Can’t I just stay in and watch Netflix?

You don’t have to go out clubbing every night to meet people and make friends. In fact, going out is only one of loads of ways to get to know people at Uni! Whether it’s just showing your face for a chat in the kitchen or crowding into someone’s room to watch a movie, there’s plenty of options.

It’s really important to remember that everyone’s in the same boat; nobody knows anyone and everyone is just as apprehensive as you are!

This Fresher’s Week business sounds like an awful lot of effort. I think I need a lie down…

Whilst it’s great to get stuck in and involved in stuff, it’s important that you take some time to yourself as well! Everything will feel as if it is moving so quickly, so finding a few minutes each day just to chill out is a good way to enjoy Fresher’s whilst savouring it as well!

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The Essex Blades Netball team at Fresher’s Fair

Phew! Okay spill the beans… what’s the best part of Fresher’s?

It’s got to be Fresher’s Fair on the Saturday of Fresher’s week! Grab all of the free stuff and sign up to as many Societies and Sports Teams as you can, even if you never turn up to any of their events! If it takes your fancy, then just go for it! My advice though is don’t pay for any memberships on the day, even if you’re dead set on joining! Go to a few introduction sessions first and “try before you buy”.

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Wait so Fresher’s is just a chance to socialise for a week? Haven’t I got Uni stuff to do?

Oh yeah I almost forgot… compulsory stuff like department introductions and getting your student card are a must! A queue lasting hours to register for the Doctor’s may not sound like the best way to spend your time but it’s something you absolutely have to do. Make it more enjoyable by suggesting that you wait with some of your friends from halls? Queues, believe it or not, are the perfect place to meet people/get to know them better so use them to your advantage!

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Me and my flatmates’ first trip to Milk It (the cheesy music night on campus)

At the end of the day, Fresher’s week is something to look back on as one of your favourite moments of University. It’s where you’ll meet people who’ll stick by you over your whole course and where bundles of memories will be made! However, if it doesn’t go too well, remember that it’s not the be all and end all: you’ve still got a lot ahead of you!

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