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Things you don't have to do

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Like having a few drinks on a night out? (or night in…) Go for it, a lot of people do- especially during Freshers’ week. However, it is important to note that this isn’t why we have it. If you don’t want to drink, or drink a lot then don’t! You should never feel pressured to fit in and you’ll be surprised at how much respect you get for it. University tends to be very different from school in this respect, just be honest from the start that drinking isn’t your thing and people won’t think it’s a big deal. (It also means you can remember peoples’ names the next day…)

Be best friends for ever and ever with the first people you meet.

“Ooooo the friends you make during Freshers will be your friends for life!” No. Not necessarily. I made some fantastic friends when I moved into Peter Taylor Halls in Cambridge but I also made some of my closest friends (who I live with now) a good few months into starting uni. A lot of my friends don’t talk to anyone they met in Freshers’ week. Of course this doesn’t mean don’t bother talking to anybody- you ABSOLUTELY should! Talk to everyone! Even if you’re only friends with these people for a few weeks- it will make your time at university about 17829871 times easier! But don’t feel worried if the first few people you meet you don’t click with. That’s okay and it happens to a lot of people.

Have to pretend you love being away from home.

Some people find it easy being honest about missing home, and if this is you then great! It’s much easier to just be honest from the start and say if missing your family/friends/cats/dogs/room/double bed etc because it means you can talk about it rather than bottle it up and pretend to be this instantly transformed, independent and mature individual. Moving to university is a massive deal so I would be very surprised if there weren’t times you missed home, even just a little bit.

Join every single Club & Society and go to every event on offer.

Now, I know I work for the Students’ Union and I will tell you till I’m blue (like my shirt) in the face how AMAZING all our Clubs, Societies and events are! But it is also okay if you really don’t want to get involved in this way. You will be overwhelmed with invites and people asking you if you want to join their club, and I absolutely encourage you to give as much stuff a go as you can, but these aren’t always for everyone. You can actually set up your own Club or Society if there is nothing out there that interests you already, but if this still isn’t your thing- that is okay!

Pretend you know how to boil an egg.

Like we said before, moving to university is a huge change for pretty much everyone, so don’t worry if the only thing you can cook is a Pot Noodle. Maybe you’ve never even cooked one of these before! (You’ll find this useful: Student cookbooks are really good so I recommend one (sometimes you can pick up free ones at Freshers’ fair…) but things like cooking, washing, ironing, sorting out bills will be something you learn as and when you need to do it. I finished university in July and I still don’t know how to use a washing machine…! So don’t panic, you don’t need to learn everything at once.


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