So you are eager to start university, and you are moving into student halls soon? At this point, you probably have a million questions. Well, that’s totally normal! It’s all part of the adventure into the unknown. Many people say that these are the best years of your life – and they’re not wrong! You will meet lots of new friends and learn many life lessons, some good, some not so good (*cough* sambuca hangovers *cough*).
While the idea of being by yourself can sound daunting, it’s also incredibly exciting. Think of all the opportunities that are suddenly available to you. For many of you, your first year at university will probably be the first time you’ve lived away from family, so it’s time to put on your adult pants and get used to some independent living! You’ll need to learn how to cook, even if it’s only the basics like pasta or beans on toast because you, sure as hell aren’t going to be able to afford takeaway every day!
It’s probably going to be pretty hectic in the first couple of weeks. You’re not moving to university to sit in your room and eat super noodles all day, so make the most of that introductory week to get out into the city and take advantage of what’s on your doorstep!
Make the most of freshers week.
It’s totally normal to feel shy or overwhelmed on your first day, but remember that everyone is in the same boat! You’re just going to have to put yourself out there and go beyond your comfort zone in order to meet people. Try sitting in the common area with some cheap snacks and beer and invite your dorm mates to come and say hello. Get a deck of cards out and play a drinking game or some other sort of ice-breaker activity to get everyone talking.
There will not be a better time in the university calendar to get chatting to others and make friends for the years to come. However, if you can’t make it to freshers week, don’t worry, you’ll quickly work out what you have in common with your flat and classmates. Even if you’re living alone, you’ll still be able to make new friends, so don’t stress too much over it.
Have we got any tips on starting conversations? To be honest, just dive right in and say hello or ask a question! You never know if you are about to meet the new love of your life or your next travel buddy. Obviously, you’re going to university to study and get a degree. We get that. But making friends is incredibly important too, so try and make the effort. Even if parties and clubbing aren’t really your thing, still go to the Fresher’s events for that crucial first week, even if you then go into full-on hermit mode for the rest of the month!
Managing Your Money
Sit down at the beginning of each month and work out your budget, otherwise, you’re going to end up neck deep pretty quickly! One of the essential things you need to factor in is your monthly rent costs, as well as what you expect to spend on food, travel, and other essentials. There are always ways to save a few quid here and there, so look out for vouchers and deals, and go to the supermarket late at night when they reduce the price of everything. An extra fiver may not seem like a lot, but that can probably buy you four pints on a two-for-Tuesday at the student bar, and maybe even a shot of tequila! If you are struggling to budget, bear in mind that the university is always at hand to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help
Learn Some Drinking Games
Hands down one of the best ways to make friends at uni. Be the hero that suggests beer pong or introduces everyone to the rules of ‘Ring of Fire’ and the party will be in full swing in no time. Having said that, some of you might not drink, and that’s not a problem. You can still suggest some stupid games or join in with a non-alcholic drink. It’s 2020 people so let’s throw peer pressure in the bin!
If you’re in need of a few suggestions to help you a little bit here are some timeless classics:
- Beer Pong is a crowd pleaser and a favourite of all because it’s easy to follow, however difficult to master. To play this team drinking game layout two sets of cups forming a pyramid on both ends of the table, gather a ping pong ball and fill the cups with your drink of choice. Although this doesn’t have to be beer, beer is recommended as anything stronger will get expensive, not to mention chaotic pretty quickly! Divide into teams then take it in turns to throw the ball into the other team’s cups. If you get the ping pong ball into your opponent’s cup, they have to drink its contents.
PSA: probably not the best game for germaphobes because the ball tends to go all over the place, including on the floor, before finding its way into someone’s cup.
Never Have I Ever is the easiest and most interesting of all drinking games. The reason Never Have I Ever is considered one of the best drinking games is it allows you to uncover all sorts of secrets from your drinking pals. Taking it in turns, a person simply states something they have never done (or has done but they will have to be prepared to drink), for example, “never have I ever gotten drunk and fell asleep in a bush”. Those who have then done said a thing, have to take a drink. As fun as this game may be while tipsy, be prepared to cringe at the hideous things you’ve confessed to the next morning!
Note: It’s always worth setting a few ground rules before you begin and you know what, if you’re not comfortable with a question, you don’t have to answer!
Join a Club!
In the University freshers fairs, you will find all the societies and sports clubs that are available to you. More than half of all freshers will join a club in their first week, and the other half probably are already involved in some kind of activities
This is an excellent idea for your first year at university. Student clubs give you the option to travel and take part in activities you might never have experienced beforehand. Joining a club takes a lot of commitment and is an excellent opportunity to meet new friends. Stick with it, and the rewards are ten-fold. Student societies vary widely, from archery and paintball to languages and photography, and everything else you can imagine in-between!
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