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Top Tips for freshers from a University Student

Article writen by: Jodie
30 November 2021

Moving to a new city can be daunting, especially if it's your first time moving away from home. Whether you're moving into accommodation for students in Leicester or Loughborough, everyone will be going through the same thing and thinking "What do I do now?". Our student ambassador, Jodie, attends Loughborough University and has come up with top tips that you can follow as a student moving to Loughborough University; with all these tips being super useful for students moving to study in Leicester too. Read below so you can ensure you're fully prepped for your big move.

Don't Overpack

It’s so easy to overpack when you first move into halls. No doubt half of the things you bring to Loughborough university will go untouched in your under-bed storage. This can be a hassle for moving in and out, so try to keep your belongings at a minimum. Another tip is to not over buy kitchen appliances. You are likely to have a very small cupboard to store your stuff. If you get to find out who your flat mates are before you move in, it could be helpful to discuss sharing these. Also, the less you buy, the better you are at staying on top of your cleaning up, making you easily the favourite flat mate.

Join clubs/societies
You want to make the most out of what you’re paying for. Uni is the perfect time to start new societies or sports! This is where you make so many like-minded friends, as you have a mutual interest to begin lifelong friendships. Start by going to freshers’ bazaars. These can be good for giving you inspiration, not to mention all the freebies you get! Go alone or with your flat mates, just remember to get out there and ask questions even if you’re only slightly interested. During fresher’s week, most societies and sports clubs will hold free taster sessions. This is a good chance to test them out to see if you actually like them. Make the most of these taster sessions and go to as many as you can, you might even discover a totally new and random passion!

Make friends with everyone

During freshers’ week, everyone will be in the same boat. You will all be experiencing a huge change, moving away from family and friends, as well as beginning independent living. It’s so important to be open minded and chat to everyone. You will support each other and get through the transition period together. You will be meeting people from all different cultures and backgrounds, who will all have such distinct personalities. Be open-minded, you could meet your closest friends anywhere at any time!

Stay healthy
It’s so easy to get into a rut of drinking every night, constantly eating take-aways and sleeping in till evening. This is so normal during fresher’s week, but you can easily miss out on the day to day activities that go on, as well as having a constant hangover - which isn't ideal. I recommend you always keep a bottle of fresh water by your bed to prevent those hangovers in the morning. Also, get into a habit of having a nutritious breakfast. You may not be hungry, but this can be a good hangover cure. Keep up to date with the fresher’s timetable and schedule your night outs and lie-ins carefully. ​ Exercise can also be a good way to get some feel-good hormones. If you have a
gym membership, don’t neglect it during fresher’s week, go with some friends and check out your new surroundings. For lighter exercise, a walk or jog can also do the trick.

Budget carefully
Everyone is in a different boat financially. Some will be relying on their student loan, some will have to get a job to support their living costs, and some get a payment weekly or yearly from their parents. Don’t compare yourself to others, just keep to your own budget carefully. It’s good to work out your weekly allowance and split this up realistically. A large sum of this will go on your food costs, as well as general healthcare products. You will also have to consider the costs of going on nights out. Drinks are always so expensive in the union, and you may drunkenly get rounds in for everyone, not to mention the takeaway costs after! Allow room in your budget to account for these, you want to have fun but not be relying on your overdraft.

Remember student discounts
It’s so easy to forget these even exist, especially when you’re new to student life. But these are so useful! Many popular brands have student discount, just remember to ask in store or check online before buying. A common one is an app called ‘Unidays’, which is accessible to all students. There are more out there, make sure to check online for ones you may have access to. Additionally, its key to remember to get your own Tesco clubcard, Sainsburys nectar card, and so on. The discounts you can get from these can be crazy, and even the little ones add up overtime.

Chill and have fun
Your second and third year will become so much more stressful because of the increased workload. First year is the time to try out new things and make the most of the uni ​ experience. It’s common for courses to use first year as an introductory year, and the mark you get may not count at all towards your final grade. Use this year to find yourself, explore new hobbies/interests and have fun with your new and diverse friendships. It can really open up your mind after being stuck in one hometow your whole life.

My only regret during my first year was overly stressing about grades and not putting myself out there. I wanted to try out so many societies, but I felt held back by my workload. I needed to get a work-life balance and develop myself as a person, not just academically! I hope that anyone reading this can learn from my mistakes.