Starting University: My tips for the first week

I’ve been planning to write this post for so long (at least 2 weeks) but as I made progress on it in the past few days, WordPress has decided to delete all evidence, so here’s me, starting again!

I moved to Royal Holloway (in Egham but part of the University of London) on 20th September 2014, and am living in a flat with 7 others. And so as not to bore you, here I present: My tips for Freshers/Welcome Week!

1. Don’t worry about how you introduce yourself: I introduced myself to my flatmate Elodie (after exchanging names) by saying “That will be confusing” (initially because we both have El… names, but also because I also have a friend called EloISE). She remembers that. I also got flustered when George asked if I could cook (answer is yes, at least compared to what he cooks)

2. Take the free stuff: There is so much free food on campus, so just take as much as possible – the first night included a free meal at which you got two pots of pasta/Chinese/curry/stir fry; I took both pots because I could have some cold, someone else took the carton of juice. There’s lots of free chocolate and pens at Freshers Fayre too…

3. Go to Freshers Fair: Firstly, there was a voucher for free Dominos. Secondly, there’s bound to be something you want to sign up to, and even if there isn’t, then there’s the fun of signing up for things and then getting emails all year for something you only signed up to for the free pen/chocolate/peer pressure.

4. Don’t get (too) drunk: I can’t say don’t get drunk, because people do, although personally I haven’t. Yes, drinking can create great stories (my next door neighbour was so out of it that he couldn’t unlock his door!) but it also creates mess, sickness and possibly missing important lectures/induction.

5. Go out with people similar to yourself: I went out once during Freshers Week, supposedly to see Scouting for Girls. Basically there was a long wait to get into the main hall, then a fire alarm, then over an hour’s wait before they even started (11:30pm). Me and Beanie decided that we would just go home, as drinking is not our thing. Also, don’t walk home alone in the dark.

6. Talk to people: I went to the supermarket on the second day just because there were people going. I didn’t even buy anything, but we tried to guess things about each other (surprisingly accurate about me, not so much about the others…) Talk to people in your induction lectures and stuff too – it’s nice to see a familiar face when work starts.

7. Enjoy not having work: The idea of Freshers is to ease you into university life. You have no work or commitments. Make the most of it. I now have reading and notes to do. And I am enjoying it, but I don’t have the same chance to do absolutely nothing as I did in the first week.

8. (Optional) Change your name: At university almost everyone calls me Beth. No-one called me Beth before but I like it. It’s also much easier when you’re doing mixers at subject socials, as it’s so much easier to say Beth than Elizabeth (not that I don’t like Elizabeth). However, it can get confusing when interacting with people from home.

OK, so that’s my Welcome Week post finally done! Hooray!! It’s been through drafts and redrafts, but here’s some form of account of my first days at university! And only two weeks late! Stay tuned for more insights on university life!! Oh, also do comment if you want any specifics, especially as I haven’t posted anything about the emotional/anxiety side of the whole move to university.


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