Written by: jemma

About to experience your first week of university? Worried? Excited? Heard some rumours? Well look no further, here is a guide to surviving freshers' week.

moving in

Moving into your accommodation

The day has come for you to move into university. The plethora of emotions you are feeling may include excitement, worry and nervousness. But here are the hints and tips you can take to eliminate any negative emotions so you can get settled in as soon as possible.

Universities usually deploy students to help out during freshers’ week. They are there to:

  • Help you get settled in
  • Show you the ropes
  • Be a friendly equal to talk to

When you move in, students will sometimes be posted around the university campus to give directions to specific accommodation, show you where to pick up your keys and help you move in all your stuff.

Once you manage to make it to your room, there are usually a few tasks to carry out. For example, an inventory – this is to note down what is in the room and make a snag-list to ensure any damage made is previously inflicted and not you (so you do not have any money knocked off your deposit at the end of the year).

Of course, you also need to connect yourself to the university wifi, and some universities may require you to fill in a survey or sign in online. While you move in all your things, unpack and carry out any tasks needed, you should simultaneously try to meet any flatmates that may also be moving in. Try to be patient if no one has moved in yet, they may come later or even on a different day. You will not have been left on your own!

Though it can be nerve-racking meeting new people, it is important to remember that everyone is feeling the same way – introverted or extroverted. Therefore, take steps yourself to try to meet some new people:

  • Leave your door propped open while you settle yourself in. This way, you can catch anyone moving in after you as you unpack and it makes you seem approachable and open to some conversation!
  • Knock around on people’s doors to see if anyone’s in and if so, to make the first steps in talking to people.
  • Bring something with you like a tub of chocolates, you can then offer them to anyone that you bump into – it’s a quick and easy way to break the ice.

These are just a few tips, The student room has more on how to settle in and make friends.

The week’s activities

Freshers’ week is a week off before lectures and seminars begin and it usually comprises of:

A range of activities on campus for you and your new friends to get involved in. This may include sports events, quiz-like activities like ‘treasure hunts’ around the campus, and small markets and fairs.

Introductory course lectures

You are often invited to attend a small introductory lecture for your course. It gives you the opportunity to meet the course convenors and staff, know the different modules, understand the way things are assessed and general information. You may also be asked to sign up for different modules during the week as well. Especially if the university you are attending works on a major and minor degree scheme. Of course, your university will provide you with more information on this.

Other lectures and talks

Some universities hold other lectures or events on other matters, such as: accommodation; fire safety in your halls and around campus; or opportunities the university may provide you throughout your time there.

Tours around the campus

This is a chance for people to visit the different facilities. For example, the library and how the system works, different study areas, the place you can go to in the university with different enquiries or help if you ever need it. This is helpful to people who did not manage to visit the university for an open day.

Trips to places around the university

Universities often organise days out, outside of the campus itself. These may be trips into local towns/cities for some shopping – food shopping or even a trip to a homeware store to stock up on more things for your new accommodation. Or perhaps trips to local tourist destinations, like a beach day for example. More often than not, with events like these, you may have to pre-book a ticket and pay before you arrive at the university for freshers’ week – you will be notified about these though.

Freshers’ fairs

Fresher's fair
These are a collection of stalls that you can go around to sign up for different societies and clubs at the university. These are a fantastic way to make new friends, get involved and take up a new hobby. A lot of universities have many different societies that run under the student’s union – a wide range to choose from. If, perhaps, they do not have one that you are particularly interested in, then why not create your own society!

Parties and nights out

These are arguably the most notorious aspect of freshers’ week. An event is usually organised for every night. Of course, if nights out and parties are not your thing, there are plenty more events to get involved throughout each day. For those party animals out there, events that run could include on and off campus bar crawls, live music nights, themed parties at clubs in the local town or city, or even formal balls to welcome all the freshers. Remember to remain safe throughout these events – stick with the people you know and came with and be sensible with your drink – keep it with you at all times and think about other steps you can take to stay safe.

The idea is to get you to know the university and just have fun before education kicks in.

Usually, you and the group of people you are living with are assigned volunteer students who assist you throughout the entire week. Therefore, you will be provided with lots of support and guidance throughout the week and there will always be someone at hand to talk and ask questions to.

Keep an eye out on your university’s website for any information on the events that will take place on your fresher’s week. They may also contact you directly or invite you to join a freshers' Facebook page.

Try to get involved in as many activities as possible! You will be mostly sticking with your flatmates, but if they do not want to go to an event – go and see what it is like yourself! Who knows, you may be able to make more friends.

Overall, enjoy the week, be safe and make the most out of it as possible.