Navigating Freshers’ Week: A Guide to Getting a Good Start Before the Seminars

It’s been a long hot summer, but the party is far from over. With freshers’ week fast approaching, students everywhere will be planning nights of fun before the studying starts.

With over 160 Universities across Britain, there is no doubt there will be parties, pop-ups, and even some study prep starting in September. And as a right of passage into higher education, you’ll be engaged in social events throughout the days and nights.

Preparing to make a first impression is key. Whether this is packing your favourite red mini dress to give you a boost of confidence, or researching clubs that speak to you, there’s plenty of prep you can do before heading off for your freshers’ week fun.

Preparing for freshers’ week 
Getting thrown into the world of higher education can be intimidating, and with so many choices within the first week, making sure you’re well-prepared for the transition is crucial.

Whether you’re remaining in your home city or moving somewhere else, researching your university’s schedules and freshers’ events can help you plan out your first-week itinerary, so you don’t miss out on the events you really want to attend. You don’t want to be double booking yourself and finding you’ve missed out on life-long friendships by going to that coffee morning rather than the local club!

This welcome period is incredibly busy, and for many, it might be well away from the family home. Making sure you’ve packed all your essentials and necessities ahead of time is essential as it can give you less to worry about when you get there and a chance to settle in properly. You don’t want to be worrying you’ve forgotten your favourite shoes the second before you run out the door!

Making the most of social events 
Socialising is a huge part of freshers’ week, and making the most out of it can help you find lifelong friends and settle in that bit easier. Whether you’re learning about your new flatmates or finding people on your course!

But freshers’ week can be expensive and with the student budget being tight, you need to find ways of enjoying yourself without breaking the bank. In 2021, students spent up to £421 a week, more than the previous two years. It can be easy to splash the cash when contactless is involved – but managing your finances can mean you don’t miss out on more events further down the line.

Resisting the urge to spend those extra pounds on an iced coffee or that extra shot can make the difference between eating plain pasta or eating out. Thankfully, bars and clubs are known for putting special deals on for new students, but spreading out your social events can help your money last longer, if you don’t mind missing out every now and then!

And some events don’t have to cost you anything. In fact, there are some events (like freshers’ fairs) where you can get free merchandise, vouchers, and more.

Look out for orientation sessions, campus tours, fairs, student clubs, and societies. Freshers’ week is the perfect time to settle yourself in environments that will help grow your passions and hobbies away from your degree.

Here are the types of societies you can expect to come across during the week:

Sporting societies – sports societies can be a great place to meet lifelong friends (or even rivals!) and we’ve all heard one rumour or another about their initiations. During freshers’ week, you’ll notice various sporting societies available, including football, rugby, and netball. By joining, you’ll have the opportunity to play your favourite sport, compete in tournaments, and of course, make new friends!

Cultural societies – socialise your way through various cultural societies, including music, dance, theatre, and literature. Learn a new skill or develop one you already have, all while building connections with like-minded students.

Political societies – political societies within universities are often a great way to get involved in debates, campaigns, and even more social events with the aim of changing things around campus. This way you can find friends who share the same passions as you!

University is your opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone. So, if you’ve always wanted to learn that extra language, find out how good you are with a football, or take part in something that makes a change for good on your campus, this is the time to do it.

Exploring the area
If you’ve just moved to a brand-new city, you’ll have a lot of exploring to do. Whether this is finding the local student pub or fighting your way through the crowds to the nearest hotspot, finding your feet in a new location involves a bit of adventure.

It is okay to be a tourist in your new home! You might even find that visiting the big attractions might lead you to some of the hidden treasures. So, the next time your flatmate is heading out for their next food shop, or someone on your course wants a field trip, there is nothing to lose in exploring with them.

Looking after yourself
Freshers’ week can feel overwhelming at times. There’s a lot to get your head around, and this is only intensified if you’ve just moved from your home city to a brand-new part of the country.

And by meeting so many new faces, freshers’ flu is just around the corner. Avoid missing out on social events, or even your first lectures, because of a sore throat, pounding headache, and high temperature. Instead, make sure you’re looking after your well-being as much as possible.

Get plenty of rest, eat well, and drink alcohol responsibly. If you do feel a tickle coming on, reaching out to a pharmacist can get you the best medicine to fight off the first-week sickness.

Having a few self-care nights and pampering sessions can be a great break away from all the chaos and a time to really get to know your new friends without having to yell over loud music. Watch your favourite film on Netflix, grab some face masks, and spend the night in instead of out.

This iconic week can set the tone for your entire university experience, so make sure you are spending the time doing what you love. Haven’t managed to tick every single box that you want to tick? Don’t worry, there is plenty of time to discover, or rediscover, yourself over again!


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