Moving into halls can be daunting, especially for the shy and introverted. Speaking as someone who was shy and introverted and chose to live with 21 other people during her first year at uni, I think I can definitely give out some useful advice to those who are nervous. Here are my top tips for first years who are moving into student accommodation.
Now, I’m not saying stride in to the room with a microphone and scream your name, however be sure to politely introduce yourself to your new housemates sooner rather than later. Granted, my mother practically shoved me into the kitchen on my first day and that meant I had to say “Hi I’m Courtney” to 7 strangers, but I think it was one of the best things she did. Freshers week moves fast and if you hide away in your room for the first few days you may struggle later down the line. An old trick that you may of heard of before is to keep your room door open when you can so you can easily make new friends.
Don’t go too hard
Freshers’ week often brings to mind 24 hour partying and drinking. If that’s your thing, go for it, but be sure to look after yourself and at least have a couple of nights off from the alcohol. If you go too hard, you will end up in bed by the end of the week, with freshers’ flu and missing out on more fun later in the week. Have fun, but take it easy.
That being said, be sure to go out on a couple of the nights – even if the thought of night clubbing makes you vom in your mouth. You’ll probably find that your whole house or flat will go out as a group quite a lot in the first week, and yes it’s not for everyone. As a recently-turned-18 year old with little previous experience of going out, I was terrified by the idea. But in all honestly if I didn’t go out and be a part of the group in the first week, I would have probably not have made the life-long friends I have today. It sounds very fickle, it’s not it’s just about having fun and going with the flow.
Attend some of the day activities
Freshers’ isn’t all about getting pissed - there’s lots of fun to be had in the day too! Head down to the freshers fairs, pick up your freebies and get excited about the new chapter in your life. Your student union will probably host several fairs, including ones with societies and sports teams, which are an excellent way to meet new people with similar interests. Make sure you attend those introductory lectures too, remember you are at uni to get a degree and some vital information about your course could be missed if you don't go. P.S. Try not to turn up hung over to these, I experienced one of my first 'I may throw up' hang overs on the day of my introductory class; my friend had saved a chair for me right at the front near the lecturers podium too - it was not a fun fifty minutes to say the least.
It’s tempting to pick up 7 ready meals at Tesco and live off them for the whole week, but again, you’ll soon get run down if you’re not eating right. Be super organised freeze some meals in advance, or have a night in with your flat and cook a proper meal for each other. I remember my floor cooked fajitas together and it turned out to be a really special night!
With that sparkly student loan fresh in the bank, you might be tempted to spend it ALL on going out, new clothes or just general shit you don’t need. Budget yourself so you have a bit of cash to spend on having fun, but don’t go crazy as this money has to last until February (that’s five months of eating pot noodles if you’re not careful).
There’s a tonne more stuff I would like to say to first years, but I’ll just leave it at that for now. The main things are to have fun, be sociable and try something new! P.S. Being a graduate, I’m very jealous of you all.