My Fresher’s Advice

  1. Do what you want to do during fresher’s week. Pick activities you like, not your flatmate’s choices. Yes, do some things together if you like, but if you choose things that really interest you then you’re more likely to find like minded people, and so some great friends.
  2. Think about second year housing. Start looking mid to late October if you’re up north, and really consider carefully who you want to live with. Don’t worry if it takes months to find somewhere you like: we didn’t get a flat until April, and it’s absolutely beautiful: 15 minutes from campus, near friends, spacious, even sized bedrooms (you often get one massive room, and one box room) and a huge kitchen for me.
  3. Take packed lunches, snacks, and a water bottle each day. Saves money, keeps you feeling great.
  4. On drinking: pre-drinks are better than forking out in clubs. If you’re going to something classy though (ball, Christmas party, cocktails with friends) keep it to a minimum- and make sure you end the night by chugging a big bottle of water.
  5. Drunken 2am pizza seems like a good idea, and delicious way to end the night- but it never is.
  6. Find spaces to be by yourself. Locate a good study space and a favourite café off of campus- and keep them to yourself!
  7. Go to clubs, societies, and sports classes– you get to know people and try new things.
  8. Couple of times a week try to properly chill out. Take a couple of hours before bed to read, or sit and chat with a flatmate- anything but playing on your phone/laptop/getting drunk. Get an early night and feel refreshed the next morning.
  9. Back up EVERYTHING. Save one copy to your laptop, one to the university system, one to a memory stick, and email a copy to yourself if it’s an important essay.
  10. Keep tabs on your money. Where is it going? How much are you spending?
  11. Don’t worry if you get homesick- don’t worry if you don’t feel homesick though. I didn’t get homesick, because myself and Newcastle really clicked. If you are homesick don’t try and deal with it by spending every night in a drink induced coma crying yourself to sleep- get out there are meet people sober. You will make friends you can laugh with every day, and not just when it’s Tiger Wednesday.
  12. Have fun. Uni can be really hard work- make sure you balance the work with fun stuff. Be it sports, cake with friends, a meal out with cocktails, exploring near-by, partying… Whatever makes you happy. Just make sure you are actually working too, because this pays off when exams come around. 
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