A Fresher’s First Term
Anyone’s first term at university can be exciting, thrilling, nerve-wracking and daunting all rolled into one. It’s a brand new experience for everyone so if you’re nervous about becoming a fresher, don’t be, there’s a place for you. I have just finished my first term and coming back to Warwick feels as though I’ve been coming to uni for years. These are a few top tips I learned in my first term to bear in mind if you’re about to become a fresher.
1. Try new things
Leaving home can be scary but it’s an incredible opportunity. If you’re used to a daily routine, friends you’ve had for years, and the same old town, shake it up a bit! Cook a new meal every Monday, test out a new sport at Warwick Sport’s taster sessions, make new friends in one of the many societies; the possibilities really are endless.
2. Be busy while you can
The university workload will soon rack up (despite what some people say, uni’s NOT easier than your A levels) so make sure you take part in activities and socialise with your friends while you have spare time. Take a spontaneous walk around Lakeside or have some drinks at the Dirty Duck, Warwick’s resident pub to shake up the routine.
3. Stay on top of work
It’s easy to skip those 9 am lectures and claim you’ll watch them later, but you’ll find time slipping away from you and suddenly you have an essay due. At uni no one will pressure you to finish the reading or hit that deadline, so take control of your studies to get the best out of it – after all, you are here to learn.
4. Stay healthy
While Tesco’s deal on 2 for 1 Ben and Jerry’s may seem like a great idea, there are much healthier (and cheaper) options. Mum and Dad aren’t around to get those greens in you, so try and push yourself to have some fruit and veg every day. The Eating at Warwick scheme is a great way to get cheap, balanced meals but you will eventually have to cook so make sure it’s tasty and nutritious (but do treat yourself every once in a while). Joining a sports team is also a really good way to stay fit and healthy, and so many sports have beginners or social teams for anyone to get involved with.
5. Leave campus
As Warwick is a campus university and most freshers live on site, it’s easy to get sucked into a bit of a bubble. There are plenty of towns around so take day trips to Coventry, Leamington, Birmingham, Stratford and Warwick, or even further afield if you’re feeling adventurous. Do remember though that after first year you’ll probably be living out so take full advantageous of the easy convenience of everything on your doorstep and roll out of bed ten minutes before a lecture.
6. Stay in touch
University is a huge change for everyone and even if you’re coping well some of your home friends may not be. Keep those FaceTimes and Snapchat streaks going and even invite friends over to stay the night. Also, your parents or siblings probably won’t be used to the vacancy of your room, so call every so often even if just to assure them you’re keeping washed and fed.
7. Be yourself
This is the most important tip I can give. There is no such thing as ‘cool’ at university as there may have been at school, so there’s no need to be anyone else. No embarrassing stories or nicknames will follow you; you have a completely clean slate to work with. Let your new flatmates and friends know exactly who you are and they’ll do the same – after all, you’re all in the same boat so you are the only thing that remains constant.
So those are my top tips! Remember to enjoy your first term as you’ll never have another and it’s a daunting but incredible change in your life. Struggling with moving to uni is completely normal, everyone feels homesick and overwhelmed occasionally, and Warwick has plenty of opportunities to talk and get advice on how to cope with this great change. I know it sounds cliché but at uni you get out of it as much as you put in, so come with a fresh mind, get stuck in and you’ll have a great time.