University: A Fresher’s Survival Guide
You have your A-Level results in hand, you’ve got into university and you’ve picked your accommodation, so now what?
Beginning university is an exciting time, but also daunting – especially if you’re planning to move away from home. So the Carabella team, who have been there and done that, have put together some first year advice, that will help you feel more prepared to begin the next stage of your life…
When you receive your money – whether it’s a student loan, money from your parents or a part-time job, write down what you think your monthly outgoings will be. It’s easy to get carried away and run out of money at the end of the month, or the end of term. Start to understand what money will leave your account and roughly what money you’ll have left to spend on food, socialising and shopping. Don’t avoid looking at your bank account, no matter how depressing you think it may be. Face up to your outgoings and be sure to know what’s left to spend.
Step out of your comfort zone
Talk to everybody! The people you live with won’t be your only friends. Introduce yourself to people on nights out, attending your seminars or on campus. For the first few weeks the topic of conversation will revolve around where you are from, the course you are studying and where you are going out tonight. At the beginning everyone is in the same boat, so remember this when you see a lonely fresher wondering the halls.
Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you have to live on beans on toast
Have a signature dish. Know a recipe that is cheap, quick and easy to cook. No one expects you to be the new Jamie Oliver, but find something that you enjoy cooking that doesn’t just include beans, something frozen or a take out. Don’t forget to eat your greens and eat healthy once in a while. You’ll need to have a substantial diet if you’re planning to survive freshers.
Take pride in your work
While your first year work isn’t as fundamental as your second and final year, its still really important to study, hand work in on time and to love your subject. After all, you’ve chosen to spend nearly £9,000 a year on your degree, so you need to make the most of it! Enjoy researching your assignments and make enough time to study.
It’s also a good idea to make a good first impression with your lecturers. Your tutors will be more likely to email you back, give you constructive feedback on your work and spend more time with you in tutorials, if you hand in high quality work on time. This will come in handy when you get round to finally writing your dissertation!
Let your hair down
Remember to make the most of it: do what you love, whether that means lying in bed until mid-day, going out and having fun, hibernating in the library or cooking dinner with your friends.
A note for parents
It is also a daunting experience for parents who are helping their child who is leaving for university. The best way to help your child settle in is support. Whether that means dropping them a weekly text to see how things are going, sending a monthly food package to ensure they are eating more than baked beans, or sending them off with a survival kit, all will be appreciated.
If you’re wondering what to pack in a student survival kit, take a look at the Carabella student gift boxes. Our variety of survival kits include a range of useful, fun and stylish products, such as a travel coffee mug (for those 9am lectures), a student cookbook to inspire healthy cooking as well as a variety of stationary products to help with organising revision notes.
P.S. If you are still stuck for ideas, check out our previous Student Survival blog post. We spoke to students to see what they truly wanted to receive in a care package while at university, items include tea, earplugs and washing tablets (for homely smelling, fresh clothes).