Musical act on stage in front of an audience

Every year in September new stories about Freshers' week antics arrive in our laps. If you're just starting university this year, and the thought all that partying and socialising sounds a bit too much here's a few ways in which how you can get out the other end alive, and ideally on a high! 

Don’t worry about it

Freshers’ week is never as good as anyone says it is. If you find that you haven’t made any friends or haven’t really connected with anyone, there are plenty of opportunities to later. You might find people on your course or one of the societies or clubs you join right up your street. And remember, everyone else is just as nervous as you are and doesn’t know anybody either.

It’s not all about the alcohol

Yes, they’ll be plenty of time for drinking and socialising, but remember to do a few other things during your Freshers' week. These include registering for university and getting your student card; signing up for any elective modules; getting your timetable and meeting with your personal tutor; getting a feel for the university and finding your way around; attending any Freshers’ fairs on offer and signing up for some interesting clubs and societies; and decorating your room and buying a few supplies to make yourself feel at home.

Expect to spend money

Unfortunately it’s often the case that your student loan hasn’t come through by Freshers’ week so you’ll need some money in the bank to get you through what will probably be the most expensive week of your life so far. I spent £200 in my first week by being out and about and going out in the evenings and I couldn’t quite believe how much one person could go through so fast. I told myself I would reign in the spending after that first week, and as we got settled and had lectures to go to and libraries to visit (all the things that don’t cost money) it was never an issue after that. You do want to have a good time and not have to say no to things and people, so just remember to budget for an extortionate first week. 

Keep an open mind

Uni offers you the chance to meet new people and what better way to do this than with an open mind. Unless you’ve got friends or family from somewhere else in the UK, it’s likely that it’s among your first time your had the chance to get to know how other people live in other parts of the UK, and you’ll hopefully have the chance to meet international students as well. You’ll also find people with different interests and hobbies that you, and you might stumble across a new-found love! 

Along with an open mind, use a door stop to keep an open door when you are not busy so that others in your flat or halls of residence can stop and speak to you. You might even want to have a tin of biscuits or cookies that you can hand out as a welcoming gesture if people stray into your room. You’ll find you’ll make friends a lot quicker, and will be seen as a social neighbour.

Eat some fruit and veg

Beginning uni is all about eating pasta, bread, potatoes and any other carbs you can fit on your plate. As you’ve probably never had to fend for yourself it’s hard to know what to eat and how to cook. In week one, keep things simple and remember to eat some fruit and veg from time to time - a bag of apples sitting on your desk doesn’t go amiss - and as the weeks pass move on to simple, easy and cheap recipes with all the food groups rolled into one to keep you going.