A letter for the freshers
So, arrivals weekend is officially upon us and once you’re equipped with your shiny new Warwick ID and your very own set of keys (to go along nicely with your mild sense of panic and (hopefully) some degree of excitement), you quickly run into the obvious question: what next?
Well first on the list is head to the kitchen and . Avoid the cupboard under the sink and the awkwardly placed top cupboard that only the tallest of people could ever reach (why do those even exist?) but aim for a reasonably high fridge shelf. Trust me on this. Also, a quick FYI: opened milk bottles WILL leak if you lay them down, no matter how careful you are, so opt for the one-pint bottles that will stand on a shelf, or arrange to have a designated milk shelf for the flat if you want to prevent potential disasters- milky ham is a nightmare I had the misfortune of witnessing in first year and it was absolutely as gross as it sounds.
Now you’ve successfully marked your territory in the kitchen, the next piece of advice may seem pretty obvious but go with it: you need to . I know, I know, that’s what you’ve been doing, right? But seriously, if you don’t properly unpack those boxes, bags, suitcases and god knows what else right now (well not RIGHT now, finish the blog first), then they will almost definitely sit around in your room taking up space for at least a week. Not to mention that once you’re unpacked you’ll most likely still be rearranging drawers and shelves for at least the next week, so you might as well get a head start. Also, make sure you keep a mental note of where you put things! The amount of times I’d know for SURE that I’d packed something, but had absolutely no clue where I’d put it during the chaos of unpacking was verging on ludicrous (though that could have been as a result of my obscene overpacking- see last post).
Okay so, you’ve commandeered the best kitchen spaces, and have a somewhat tidy room (take a mental picture of the carpet now- you probably won’t see much more of it if you’re anything like me), “what next?” I hear you say: it’s time to “Oh no!” I hear the antisocial and shy among you cry, but I’ve got some great advice for you: Speak! To! The! People! Around! You!! Leave your door open while you unpack, arrange to go to Tesco to do your first food shop, plan to go to the fresher’s fair together, arrange pre-drinks in the kitchen for the MTV party (that still happens, right?? I’m feeling particularly old and out of touch right now), just do SOMETHING with your new flat mates to break the ice.
Remember to – as tempting as it can be to lock yourself in your room, there will be a lot of opportunities to have some quality you time later on, but now is not the time to hide from the Scary Strangers next door: getting to know them early on is going to make your year a whole lot better in the long run. My mum had such little faith in my ability to make friends that she sent me with a box of chocolates to bribe my housemates into liking me, a fact which they (mostly affectionately) bully me about that to this day, the fact we all still speak is proof in itself that it must have worked!
So in summary, be territorial about your kitchen, somewhat organised about your room, and extra sociable with your housemates and your arrivals weekend should run smoothly. The last thing to do (now you’ve finished my blog) is close your computer, stop messaging your friends from home about how scary this is and how nice your room looks and throw yourself head first into university life (once you’ve figured out how to work the oven that is).