The Freshers’ Survival Guide


07.09.13 - Freshers survival guide - Lucy Lamb 3
photo by Lucy Lamb

Freshers’ Week, that special time in every undergraduate’s life, often thought of as a blur of new places, new faces; and just a short space of time until that new place becomes your home sweet home, and that new face becomes your BFF. Oh, not to mention it’s one of the best experiences of your life. Albeit, this time is the pinnacle of a fun-filled university life, but here are a few things to consider if the beginning of a new year gets a little overwhelming.

Imagine the thousands of young adults moving into their halls this autumn, being tightly squeezed into confined clubs and lecture theatres, replacing sleep with drinking their body weight in vodka and living off a diet of takeaway – it’s unsurprising that the majority of students aren’t exactly a vision of health when those 9am lectures suddenly creep up on us. Spending a whole day in bed nursing a hangover is one thing, but can you imagine being missing out on all the fun because you’re confined to your room feeling really, properly ill? Didn’t think so! Believe me, the infamous Fresher’s Flu is no myth, but those dreaded germs can be kept at bay in the following (really simple) ways.

Your first point of protocol is some good old fashioned H2O – it is absolutely essential to keep hydrated! Not only will drinking plenty of water keep you, y’know, awake, it will flush out all of those horrible toxins and probably do the world of good for your skin, so you don’t look like an extra from the Walking Dead. Next, don’t neglect your fruit and veg. Admittedly, aiming for 5-a-day, every day is a little unrealistic for us students, but getting your hands on some of the good stuff is probably easier than you think (sourz don’t count, though). If vegetables aren’t top of your shopping list, you could take to smoothies to boost those all-important energy levels. Last but not least, try and catch up on those Zzz’s. Of course, in-between staying out until sunrise but managing to be up the next day to claim some Freshers’ Fair freebies, sleep is just an inconvenience. However, you should aim to bag a solid six to eight hour snooze.

Ok, so you’re fighting fit and feel like you should be ready to face Freshers’ Week head on. But there’s one problem – your head just isn’t in the right place. It’s totally natural to feel all out of sorts when dropped into a completely new environment. This doesn’t just apply to first years – for all you second and third years out there, it’s understandable that a three month summer packed with home comforts is always going to be difficult to tear yourself away from. The anxiety of missing family and friends can easily be dismissed, simply by planning fun weekends of visiting in the near future. Making plans in advance will not only give you comfort in knowing your loved ones aren’t that far away, but it will guarantee that you begin to appreciate your independence.

Perhaps leaving old faces behind isn’t the problem, what if you’re apprehensive about all those new faces? In this case, find comfort in knowing these new faces will also be thinking this. There are always people to talk to whether that be the student next door or a member of your JCR. Also, consider propping your door open so that you yourself might be that friendly face called upon for a chat.

Bearing all this in mind will help you survive Freshers’ Week both physically and mentally, ensuring that you remember this exciting opportunity of a week for all the right reasons.

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