Surviving freshers week is the first hurdle of every student’s university journey. Although it’s an exciting time to make friends and explore a new city, it can also be quite a daunting prospect.
Will it be easy to make friends? How far will your budget stretch? How will you deal with freshers flu without mum’s chicken soup?
Starting your student life is a step into the unknown without the support of teachers, parents or old friends.
But it is possible to survive freshers week and even enjoy it!
Follow our student guide for useful information on how to nail the most important seven days of the university experience.
How to make friends
One of the biggest fears people have when they start uni is whether they will make friends.
Leaving the comfort of your school buddies and heading into the unknown, it’s easy to feel like starting secondary school all over again.
But don’t forget that EVERYONE is in the same position so there’s no reason to feel alone in the crowd. Get out there and get socialising.
If you’re stuck with where to start, we’ve got some helpful tips on how to make friends during freshers week.
1. Join Facebook groups
Before starting university, join relevant Facebook groups connected to your uni. Introduce yourself and start making connections before you arrive. Surviving freshers week is much easier if you go into it with some friendly faces.
You will, most likely, find groups for your halls, year group and subject, but there may be others for induction and orientation too.
It’s always intimidating being the first to put yourself out there on a facebook page but breaking the silence will mean you’re more likely to start your week with some friends, so don’t be afraid!
2. Find a society
A study published on Nature.com revealed friendship groups are ‘overwhelmingly homophilous’.
For those of us not reading anthropology, that means we stick to people who share our interests and have similarities.
So what better way to make friends than go straight to the source of people who share our passions? Head to the freshers fair and check out the societies on offer. If you’ve got a hobby or you’ve always wanted to join a sports team, a society is the perfect way to meet like-minded people.
3. Be open
Universities are a melting pot of people from all over the country and the world.
There will be people with different backgrounds, experiences, languages and much more. Although it’s comforting to hang out with people who are similar to you, the best part of university is engaging with people from different walks of life – so embrace it!
Student life is all about meeting new people and building relationships with them. It is your chance to grow and connect with people you may never have met otherwise.
How to avoid freshers flu
Surviving freshers week in one piece means avoiding the dreaded freshers flu.
If you’ve never heard of it before, freshers flu is the annual bout of illness that flies around uni at the start of the academic year. Symptoms include a sore throat, blocked nose, coughing, tiredness, headaches and nausea.
Currently, there is no hard evidence about how it spreads, but taking a few sensible steps can help limit your chance of catching it.
Biomedical and life sciences lecturer Derek Gatherer from Lancaster University, suggests:
- Keeping good hygiene including washing your hands before you eat.
- Keeping your immune system healthy by avoiding too much alcohol and sleeping well.
- Avoiding individuals who are obviously ill.
Those three tips might be difficult to follow when you’re starting university, but do your best because the pain is real!
How to budget in freshers week
One of our best pieces of advice for surviving freshers week is exercising your power to say NO!
Every club, gym and society will be desperate to tie you into a year-long contract, and will try to tempt you in with big discounts. It’s very easy to rush into these when your enthusiasm to try everything is high and your student loan is burning a hole in your pocket. But the best way to budget in freshers week is to wait before you sign long deals.
You may miss out on some decent offers but joining a gym you will only use for two months will cost you much more in the long run.
Think about the things that are most important for you. The majority of places will still have decent discounts for students well after freshers week so there’s no need to rush.
How to start your studies well
Many students are unwilling to admit it, but first year does matter!
You will be told many times that you only need 40% to pass your first year — which, at many universities, is true. But did you come to uni to scrape by?
Get your academic career off to a flying start by starting university with a productive attitude.
Study your student guide, do extra reading during freshers week and introduce yourself to your lecturers. Most importantly: make sure you know your weekly schedule and where you need to be.
Vital information is shared in those first lectures, so make sure you’re there to take it in.
Using Loose Ends During Freshers Week
Making friends and sticking to a budget are two of our top tips for surviving freshers week. And guess what? Loose Ends can help you do both!
Not only can you connect with your new Facebook buddies through the app, you can also find the best deals at local bars and restaurants.
Breaking the silence on any social media group can be intimidating but who’s going to say no to a 2-4-1 cocktail?
If you’re sitting in your dorm alone during freshers you can bet there’s someone pretty close doing the same. Make a Loose End and get out there to make the most of the week.
Surviving freshers week: The conclusion
Starting university is daunting. There’s no doubt about it. But the key to surviving freshers week is in being proactive.
Get yourself out there, join a society or two and, when you are there, be fully involved. Don’t be on your phone but speak to people and engage. You’re never going to make new friends if you’re still glued to the group chat at home.
It’s also important to remember that freshers week doesn’t define your university experience. If you don’t make best friends in your first week that’s absolutely fine. Just keep putting yourself out there and meeting new people.