Five things I wish I’d known before starting uni

Starting university is a massive change in any student’s life, and although daunting, your first few weeks as a Fresher will be the most memorable of your university career. 

To help you out, here’s a list of five things I wished I’d known before starting uni.

1)    Join a club or society

Joining a club or society is the easiest way of making friends in your first two weeks at university - for me it is where I met my best friends that I still live with now. Saying this, walking around Freshers’ Fair, you will be inundated with flyers from all manner of clubs and societies. I was shocked to see societies such as Quidditch and ‘Extreme Ironing’ (yes, that really is a thing), while also noticing the more conventional rugby, hockey and football clubs . If sports aren’t your thing though, there are a whole range of other clubs on offer at your university – be sure to check them out, as each university will be different. Sign-up for the clubs that appeal to you and attend the introductory sessions – even if you don’t like the club or society when you get there, at least you’ll have tried it! 

2)    Go to freshers’ events

Although you might not have heard of half the events on your freshers’ events list (I had no idea what ‘roller disco’ was), these events are definitely worth going to, and are the best way of making friends and meeting new people. Most of my memories from first year come from Freshers’ Week, so it’s definitely not something to miss out on. 

3)    Take some photos/home comforts for your room.

When you first arrive in your halls, everything might seem a bit sterile and scary. Having some pictures and decorations with you will brighten up your room and make it feel your own. For me, taking photos for my wall and my favourite pillow definitely helped. 

4)    Don’t leave all your dirty washing for your mum when you go home at Christmas (!) 

The thought of doing your own laundry for the first time is not the most exciting prospect, but speaking from personal experience, it’s important to keep on top of doing your laundry before you literally run out of clothes. The communal washing and tumble dryer machines are often not far from your accommodation and are inexpensive. Trust me, it’s worth spending that £2 on your washing. 

5)    Leave your door open when you’re relaxing in your halls of residence

I’m not talking about leaving your door open when you’re about to go out for a ten-hour day trip, but while chilling in your room - leave it open. This creates a nice, sociable atmosphere, and means your neighbours will see that you’re open for a chat. 

Finally… make sure to have fun in your first year! It will definitely be one of your most memorable and treasured years at university, and I hope these tips help. 

Georgia Cooke, final year student at University of Leicester

UniversityGeorgia Cooke