Written by: Shani Fowler
If your child has just started university you will no doubt be aware that freshers week has happened and the real student life is about to begin – so here’s a guide of what you should know about starting Uni.
It’s two weeks!
For starters freshers week is actually a fortnight. Yes two long indulgent weeks of partying and/or at the very least socialising. To avoid overdoing things and getting “freshers flu” it is best to try and pace yourself. This is easier said than done when you along with thousands of other young people suddenly find yourself living away from home for the very first time. The heady mix of freedom and independence provides temptation to attend anything and everything that is going, the very minute you arrive. Yes it’s important to mix and get to know people but it’s important to get some sleep, so a couple of early nights are necessary and make sure you eat properly.
Mind the money
Pace those purse strings too! With partying and socialising and no doubt subsequent penchant for junk food – there comes a rather hefty price tag! Avoid blowing a massive portion of your student loan on just those first few weeks or you could find that for the rest of the term you are you are only able to watch from your room window, eating stale jam sandwiches as everyone else heads out.
Prepare for missing home
Much as it can be fun to be out, doing your own thing, finally having your own space and making many new friends, there are bound to be times you miss home. After all, you have been there for so long it would probably be strange not to. Something tiny could set you off, maybe a song you hear reminds you of your family and suddenly you find your bravado crumbling and quivering, along with your bottom lip! Get on the phone to home – speak with them maybe every few days, ring to let them know you are okay and hear their familiar voices. Speak with other freshers on the campus – they are also very likely to be feeling a little homesick too.
You don’t have to drink!
When we think of student life we are often catapulted to an image of drunken rowdy antics. However for many reasons many people don’t drink. It might be religious beliefs, cultural reasons or the fact you just don’t like drink. You don’t have to spend your time propping up everyone whilst you remain sober just so you feel you fit in. One of the good things about university is the diverse range of students that attend, and there will be plenty of like-minded people who, like you, are capable of having a good time without ending the night curled up in someone’s hedge with a kebab wrapper stuck to their face.
Attend freshers’ fair
This is the place where the various student societies look for their new recruits, possibly political parties, student newspapers etc. You might pick up a couple of “enticing” freebies but you will also get a feel for societies and activities you may want to belong to.
Remember getting too carried away can have consequences. You may have worn your best beer goggles and ended up having a fling with someone you realise you no longer have the hots for when the cold light of day sets in. Console yourself – you will not have been the first, nor will you be the last one to do this, but in the event of such a mistake – remember to recover a little dignity and smile nicely but make it obvious you won’t be repeating the event any time soon!
And one for mums and dads!
Once they settle in, the kids will have a ball but you will inevitably miss them and also worry as they make their way in the world of higher education. Keep yourself busy and allow yourself to burst with pride. You have got them safely into thinking about and progressing with their future. You have got them to a place (no doubt with a few rollercoaster dips along the way) where you only dreamt of when they were a tiny baby. Enjoy the free time because remember it will only be a few weeks before the half term arrives and they descend on you with a pile of laundry that looks like it would be happy to walk itself to the washing machine.
Enjoy the new era everyone!