Before I headed off to live in University halls, I had a master plan. I foolproof way to get people to like me. Or so I thought. It involved getting rid of the family as soon as possible and offering people unwanted cups of tea. This quintessential British drink is the key to anyone’s heart, right?
My plan was out of the window as soon as I arrived. Instead of being super cool and popping in to help people unpack, I was surrounded my parents (both my own and those of my new flatmates). Then while putting my new crockery away in the kitchen, I had the perfect chance to talk to another fresher, and yet it turned into a discussion between her and my mum. Not exactly to plan…
But, four years later, I’m about to move into a flat in London with that same girl that I was too shy to chat to. We’ve been best friends since first year, despite my shaky start.
It just goes to show that your first day probably won’t happen as you expect it to, but there’s a good chance that everything will work out okay.
If you’re off to University this year, or if you want to reminisce about your first week, read on to find my top tips.
- Prepare for the parents
I assumed that everyone would ship off their parents almost immediately and chaos would descend. But instead, people turned up throughout the day and kept their families around. Leave them to it, and rest assured that you can relax with your family for a while – even go food shopping or out for lunch – without missing any of the action.
- Take the time to put a homey touch on your room
The first stop should always be to put your new fresh bedding on your bed to make it look cosy, then put your photos up and set up your laptop and – of course – the wifi. It will make you feel a lot better to come back to a space that feels like ‘yours’ after the madness of moving in.
- Tea is your friend
Despite my conviction that I was going to win friends with tea, it can really be a good reason to chat to your new housemates. Make a cup, ask if anyone else wants one, and nurse it in the communal areas of your flat. That way you’ve got an excuse to say hi to everyone coming in and out of the kitchen. And you have tea, which is another major plus.
- Don’t forget that you need to eat
In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that you actually need some food in the fridge and cupboards. Bacon sandwiches are the hungover key to making everyone love you. Stock up at the nearest supermarket before your family jet off with the car, which will make grocery shopping that bit harder.
- Go with the flow
New friends want to head to the union? Or out into the city? You’ll have experienced every part of the nightlife by the end of the week (if you want to), so go with the majority rules on this one. Whatever you do, it will be a memorable night. It’s tempting to drink lots due to nerves, but it’s worth restraining yourself as you’re in an unfamiliar place, no matter how at home you might feel.
- And – of course – be yourself
Everyone is super keen to impress everyone in freshers’ week, but no-one can hide their real personality for a whole year. Be yourself, don’t be afraid to be different, and be polite to everyone. Your best friends might not be the first ones that you see, but they might just be.
If you are going to uni this year, please be aware that pretty much every single graduate is incredibly jealous of you. Make the most of everyday and enjoy yourself. It’s going to be life-changing.