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Fresher Fears Forgotten: How to Make the Most of Your First Year at Uni

Going into your first year of uni? Feeling nervous? It’s not as scary as you think, and in fact there are a dazzling array of potential experiences, opportunities and relationships awaiting you over the horizon. So don’t be afraid, now is the time to start getting excited!

Article by Rachel J.

Yes, your first year of university is going to be a big change, especially if you’re moving away from home, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful! Here are some tips to get you started at uni and ensure that your first year is the best year of your life!

Living Away From Home

A lot of you will be moving into student accommodation, so it’s important that you prepare yourselves! Make a detailed list of what you need to pack, and shop for the things you’ll need, such as kitchen utensils, nice and early. You don’t want a last minute rush!

It may seem quite daunting to have to live without your parents, but just because they won’t be there to wait on you hand and foot doesn’t mean you can’t see them. Get Skype if you haven’t already; they’ll probably miss you at least as much as you miss them, so contact them regularly!

If you get really homesick, don’t give up too easily. A lot of people find living alone hard at first, but you’ll have hundreds of other Freshers who are in the same situation, so you can support each other!

First Impressions

If you are moving into halls, some of the first people you’ll meet will be your flatmates. If your university lets you know exactly where you’re living before term starts, check out Facebook – people often set up groups so that you can get to know one another over the summer. If one hasn’t been set up for your halls, why not set up your own and post it on the university Facebook page?

When you get to university, it’s a good idea to bring some goodies like cake or alcohol to share around – people will love you for it! You’ll meet so many new people in your first few weeks, so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. You’ll all be nervous! Most importantly, though it is cliché, don’t forget to be yourself!

Clubs and Societies

Every university has a wide range of clubs and societies, and there will be pretty much something for everyone. Whether it’s sport, singing or Harry Potter that gets you excited, make sure you join up – you’ll meet loads of great new people and get involved in some fun extra-curricular activities! Societies are usually run by students, and getting an executive position on one will look great on your CV and will advance your leadership skills!

Overcoming Freshers Fears - Getting the most out of your first year

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Studying

All this socialising is great, but be sure to balance it with your academic studies – remember, you are going to university to get a degree! In most courses at most universities, the first year of study doesn’t count towards the final degree, so don’t overwork and stress yourself out. There should still be time for those parties and nights out you’ve been looking forward to!

If your degree starts in your first year, or you’re just concerned about passing, don’t panic. Everyone gets worried about the step up from college to uni, but no one’s asking you to do it on your own! Of course, university studying is much more independent than A Levels, but there will always be help at hand. If you’re struggling, talk to a seminar tutor or member of university staff. No one’s going to think you’re stupid for asking!

Opportunities

At university, you will get more opportunities than at any other time in your life, so take them! There’s loads of valuable experience to be gained, whether you get a part time job, do some volunteering or take part in a post-grad study. It will do wonders for your CV, and remember, you will be looking for a job when you leave uni so you’ll be boosting your chances! Earning money certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s not everything, so be open to any unpaid work you might get – especially if it’s relevant to your studies!

There may be a lot of changes to your life in your first year, and that can be daunting, but the most important thing is to enjoy yourself. You’re only a Fresher once!

Rachel is a blogger who has just finished her first year at university, and has absolutely loved it, so she wants to get Freshers excited about the new chapter in their lives that uni will open!

Featured image: ucluphotosoc

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