Surviving First Term


First term is always the hardest – especially for a Fresher. Moving away from the home comforts of a roast dinner every Sunday and having fresh sheets on your bed every week can be downright traumatic. Luckily for you, we have a few tips to help you get through the dreaded Michaelmas term!

Fresher’s Flu

With all the new people from around the world coming into one place, the dreaded Fresher’s flu may make its way over. As much as I’d love to offer a helpful solution, unfortunately it’s often a case of riding it out. That does give you a good excuse to curl up with a cuppa and the Friends box set, but it definitely isn’t the best of news. However, there are a few things you can do to try and keep healthy. Lancaster is cold, so get the boots and scarf on and try to keep warm! As annoying as it is to eat actual real food rather than Dominoes/insert favourite takeaway here, plenty of fruit and veg give the immune system a boost and even just a few extra glasses of OJ will help. Although you may feel like you’re a walking Holby City extra, a bit of anti bacterial hand gel never goes amiss either.

Work Hard

Hopefully after a few weeks you will have vaguely got the swing of how the lectures, tutorials, and seminars work. It’s not as complicated as it seems, honestly! Yes, it’s a tricky balancing act; it is easy to go straight into school mode and get all your work and reading done the second its set, and then go completely into student mode where you drink your body weight in alcohol and begin a complex relationship with your liver. First year doesn’t count, we all know that, but do be aware that if you apply for internships or jobs those marks might be all they have to go on. Make sure you do your work, keep up on your reading and participate in lessons but don’t kill yourself. First term isn’t about getting all ‘A’s its about getting the hang of the whole uni malarkey, and of course learning how to get through the day without letting on that you have a hangover.

Play Hard

So, with the work hard spiel is over I can say what we are all thinking: first term is also the time for playing hard! I’m certainly not promoting hard drinking but I am saying that it’s ok to use first term to find your feet (and by feet I refer to your liquor of choice.) Of course playing is not just about consuming questionable cocktails, it is also about getting involved in sports, societies, and all that extra stuff you enjoy. Yes, it’s fun, but you will also learn things, make friends and have amazing experiences. Having something else to focus your attention and time upon is hugely important and allows you to do something you love, try new things, and meet new people. Win all around!

Becoming a Grown Up

First term doesn’t turn you into a bona fide grown up but it does allow you to dip your toe into the adult world, and for the record it’s ok to massively fail at first! This is the time for figuring out how to do things that make you a productive member of society; things like cooking, cleaning, and other little things that take you out your comfort zone. Some people have never taken a bus before, or never lived alone, or used a washing machine. All of that is ok and this is the time to figure it out. You will screw up, you might ruin a few clothes, burn some food, and break a few plates but that’s ok. That is what first term is for; you’ll figure it out eventually. But for now, maybe put Dominoes on speed dial just in case!

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