Dear Fresher

20 September 2015


With the majority of my readers' age being between 18-24, I thought I'd write something a little different on the blog today. Think of this as a little letter to anyone who is going to or has just started university. Although it has come with its ups and downs, my uni experience has made for the best three years of my life and I've loved it so much I have decided to turn my BA into an MA by studying for a masters this year at the same university. I fully understand that university or college isn't for everyone, but for those of you embarking on your first year, here are some tips on how to survive and make the most of your time in higher education.

Before you go: try and find your flatmates on forums/Facebook. I found this so helpful and managed to find the majority of my flatmates before moving into halls and this broke the ice a bit before moving in (a cheeky stalk can also let you to get to know them a little bit before moving in too). The same goes for those not going into halls as you'll also be able to find those staying close to home too or even find a friendly face who is on your course that you can sit next to for your introductory lectures.

When you get there: bring biscuits/cakes/snacks as again these can break the ice and get a sense of communality going (if that makes sense?). Get whoever has brought you to do a food shop for you, (my mum only packed me some tinned goods...) as this will be one less thing for you to worry about in your first week. Also make the most of your accommodation if you're in it! Me and my flatmate went to all the flats in our block to introduce ourselves before the first night, but if I could go back I'd expand this to the surrounding blocks too. 

Don't stress: for the majority of courses in the UK, first year marks do not count towards your final degree. I didn't know this applied to me until a month in, so worked my butt off trying to read every book and carefully do all my seminar prep, which stressed me out a bit. The stress was a tad unnecessary, everyone is finding their feet with this course, it's okay to make mistakes and it's more than okay to get 55% (that's a mid 2:2) - it took me a while to get my head around the way university marking works. So try and relax, I missed opportunities to socialise and get involved with things because I tried too hard in my 1st year, don't let that be you - make the most of your first year and have fun. 

Get involved as much as you can: if there was something I could drill home to my fresher-shelf it would be this. Going around the clubs and societies fair in my first week I saw so many things I thought I wanted to do and put my name on their mailing lists, but came down to actually joining the only extracurricular thing I did in first year was write for my uni's newspaper. I went to a cheerleading try-outs (failed massively) and missed the deadline for signing up to the dance society. By the end of my third year I'd competed in three dance teams for my university, been a RAG committee member and took part in Freshers' Week Crew and RAG Week crew. My third year, although it was the most stressful, ended up being the best year of my undergrad experience and that was because it was the most involved I had been in uni - so in a way I did what you're supposed to do in reverse. Although my grades did suffer a little bit, I came out with a 2:1 and a tonne of experience which I'm much happier with than just a 1st and nothing to put on my CV.

Stock up on fancy dress: from a clown to a cat, and from Gretchen Weiners to a circus animal, during my time at university I have really been it all. After rent, bills and food, fancy dress is probably what I've most frequently spent my money on, whether that's been for sports nights, birthdays or Halloween. Suss out your local Primark or cheap fancy dress shop (for those of you in Newcastle, head to Magic Box!!) because dressing up doesn't have to be expensive. Also save your previous outfits as you never know when you might need them again.

I hope you've enjoyed this chattier-than-normal post and if your heading to uni this September for your first or final year - GOOD LUCK! Try to remember that after these few years you'll probably be   working 9 to 5 (cue the Dolly Parton lyrics), so make sure you make the most of flexible hours (i.e. Netflix, naps and nights out).

For those of you who went/go to university, what would you say to your younger self and what tips would you give to freshers?

Charlotte x

55 comments

  1. I did a similar post too and I agree, get involve as much as you can. I wish I had posts like these to read when I first started uni. I'm starting my final year soon and although its going to be the most stressful, I'm defo going to get myself into more social activities x

    bohorush.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I'll be sure to check your post out then! Same I wish I had got into reading lifestyle blogs before I started uni for tips and advice like this. Good luck with your final year! It will test your stress, but its good to make the most of it and get involved in loads while you still can :) x

      Delete
  2. I feel like I was a fresher so long ago! :(

    Great tips and read <3

    Katie Loves ~ Fashion Blog | Bloglovin' | Instagram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same! I wish I could rewind back to being a fresher again and redo the whole uni experience. God you enjoyed this Katie, thanks for reading :) x

      Delete
  3. Great tips for freshers, they will love them =) I wish I was still at that time of my life, hehe

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you for such a sweet comment! Same I wish I could go back and do it all again - so jealous of those just starting out :) x

      Delete
  4. I never went to uni but I do wish I did! these are some great tips, good luck with everything sweet :)

    ♡SleepyHeaven♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah well it never is too late, but even so uni isn't always for everyone! Aw thank you for such a lovely comment, glad you liked these tips :) x

      Delete
  5. Great tips for starting out, this time of you always makes me miss the fresher's fun
    Best of luck with your MA

    http://www.whatrajwants.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you Raj! Yeah definitely, I miss being a fresher so much. Thank you so much and thanks for stopping by :) x

      Delete
  6. These are such good tips! I'm just about to start University after TWO gap years! I have waited so long for this and am so excited! :) Great post! :) xxx
    www.samanthafrances.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Samantha! Ah good luck :) I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. Hope you've found this useful and remember to make the most of your first year. Thanks for reading lovely :) xxx

      Delete
  7. I'm just heading into my final year and I remember my fresher's year - it was so nice that we had met all on facebook beforehand! Oh and you definitely need a school uniform fancy dress in there, for the *sigh* inevitable school disco night! xx


    www.iridescentplaces.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah good luck with your final year Caroline! yeah it definitely helps meeting your flatmates online before moving in. Haha yes school uniform fancy dress is like a necessity - I think I've been to two or three since starting :) x

      Delete
  8. I feel like I've missed out on a massive rite of passage as I've never done the whole freshers thing! So envious of everyone who has though x

    Always, Alice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah well uni isn't always for everyone! I'm envious of those coming to uni now, as I feel I didn't make the most of my freshers' experience so I would love to do it all again :) x

      Delete
  9. Love this! I feel a bit old reading it though because I'm 27 but finally going back to school to get my BA this winter. I'm finishing up my AA right now, so by the time I get to the university I should only have 1.5-2 years left. I'm happy I have a plan, but sometimes I regret how long it's taken me to get to this point! I plan on getting my Masters, too. I'll be in my early 30's by the time all is said and done, but hey, you have to start somewhere! Something I'm going to try doing is get involved in things at school. I never did that way back when as a freshman, so I feel like I have a second chance this time around. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Amanda! Honestly it is never too late to go to uni so it's good that you're not letting your age stop you. Yeah you definitely have to start somewhere and it must feel so good to have a plan and know exactly what you want. Although education can seem long it is totally worth it in the end. That's so cool that you get a second chance, good luck for the future Amanda :) x

      Delete
  10. I feel like I was a fresher so long ago!So envious of everyone who has though

    http://www.pinkqueen.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been three years for me and although it feels so long ago in ways it feels like yesterday! I'm so jealous of those starting out this year too, wish I could go back and do it all again. Thanks for stopping by :) x

      Delete
  11. Even though I've graduated this was still an interesting post to read, Uni in England is so different to the Australian experience!

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I'm glad you found this interesting even though your no longer a fresher! Writing this I realised how UK orientated it was but yeah it's funny how the uni experience ranges across the world :) x

      Delete
  12. I just graduated and this is still an amazing thought to ponder!

    x, Kat of Nested Thoughts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on your graduation Kat! Yeah it is really interesting to look back and think of what you would do differently if you could. Hope you enjoyed this post :) x

      Delete
  13. Hahaha nothing beats a "cheeky stalk" as you say x
    Followed you on bloglovin

    http://vleai.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha glad I'm not the only one! Thanks for the follow Alisha :) x

      Delete
  14. Hello,

    Amazing ! :D

    Sarah, http://sarahmodeee.blogspot.fr/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah - thanks! Glad you liked this :) x

      Delete
  15. Great tips, especially the Facebook one!

    Anika | www.anikamay.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anika! I think its great to get pro-active in getting to know who you're going to be living with, so I'm hoping that what I did can help others :) x

      Delete
  16. Fab post hun, I have to agree Facebook is such a great tool before uni and it’s a great way to get to meet people beforehand and I found my uni actually did a Facebook group for those starting the same course.

    Charlee XO | CharmedCharlee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you Charlee, I'm so glad you liked it! Yeah it definitely is a great tool. My uni sort of did pages and groups on Facebook as well as a forum - and I think I even went on The Student Room too to find my future flatmates/coursemates :) x

      Delete
  17. Great post and tips! That will be useful for many :) Wish I had people giving me tips like that when I was a fresher :) x

    www.elabellaworld.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you for such a sweet comment Ella! Same I wish I had blog posts like this to read before I went off to uni, so I hope this can help at least a few newbies out there :) x

      Delete
  18. awesome post!

    http://fridaynightstyle.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Oilivia! Glad to read you liked it and thanks for stopping by to check out my blog :) x

      Delete
  19. Sounds like you definitely had a fab time at Uni! I'm still umping and arring about going - I think it's because all my friends have gone I feel as if I should be going! The Facebook one is super handy as my friend was worried about not knowing anyone in her room, so I suggested looking on FB to find groups. She's settled in already just a few days in! xxx

    Hannah x hannatalks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely was fab and I'm so glad I went! It did come with a few downers and crying breakdowns though so it wasn't all peachy but overall it was such a great experience. I'd say don't just go because all your friends have done it, I think you need to be passionate about what you want to study otherwise you'd be stuck for years doing something you don't like. I was so nervous before moving in too, so FB and my SU's forum definitely put me at ease when I found my future flatmates. It's daunting at first but you just have to remember everyone else is in the same boat :) xx

      Delete
  20. Great tips! Especially the fancy dress - I barely had any normal clothes on nights out at uni... That's all changed now I'm a grown up!! Haha!

    www.rockonholly.com - Fashion and Style Guide xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thanks Holly! Haha yeah I don't think I'd be caught dead in normal clothes on a Wednesday and its so much fun wearing all that fancy dress. Aw when I finally face the adult world next year I think I'll have to throw the odd fancy dress party because I'd miss it too much haha :) xx

      Delete
  21. These are some great tips and this whole post was really comforting - I just started uni last week! So thank you for sharing your advice. I actually wrote a "things the first week of uni taught me" post because it was the biggest learning curve ever haha.

    Bethany | curlyandwordy.blogspot.co.uk xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bethany! Aw I'm so glad that this has helped you and that you found this post useful. Ohh I'll definitely be checking that post out. It's surprising how much you learn about yourself and others in such a short amount of time at uni. Good luck and I hope you enjoy your first year :) xx

      Delete
  22. I love this post - it made me miss university so much. I have exactly the same experience as you with my third year being my best and most involved. I would love to tell my fresher self to just gain confidence and sign up for a society as doing so from second year onwards vastly improved my experience xo

    Emily | emsalice.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Emily glad you enjoyed it! I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who did what you're supposed to do in advance. It annoys me so much now that I didn't take those opportunities from day 1, because like you it definitely changed my experience and made it so much better :) xx

      Delete
  23. I found coursemates on a forum before starting Uni and it was so so helpful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it really was so helpful! Thanks for checking out my blog Cherry - I love yours :) x

      Delete
  24. This is all such good advice :) Facebook groups were so handy, especially for halls so we didn't end up with like 5 toasters haha xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty | High-End Palette Giveaway

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jasmine! Yeah the groups are so handy for little communal things like that. Thanks for reading :) xx

      Delete
  25. Great tips! Especially about getting to know your flatmates and getting involved! I would do it completely differently if I could do it again!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Danielle! If there was one thing I could change about my uni experience it would be to get involved with things right from the start - so annoyed that I can't tell my past-self that haha :) x

      Delete
  26. These are such great tips♥♥

    chocolateandsunset.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Summer! Hopefully freshers out there will find this post useful - thanks for reading :) x

      Delete
  27. Such a great post, Charlotte! I miss being a fresher. Good luck with your MA!

    Julie-Ann xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thank you so much Julie-Ann! I seriously miss being a fresher too. Thanks and good luck with the rest of your degree :) x

      Delete
  28. packers and movers mohali Do you facing problem in shifting of goods, office shifting, car transport in mohali ? Just relax see here best top packers and movers in Mohali and get online ...
    packers and movers jalandhar Cantt, Jalandhar. For Relocation Services, Get Phone Numbers, Address, Reviews, Ratings, Photos & Maps For Best Packers ...
    packers and movers varanasi Household Shifting in Varanasi, Relocation in Varanasi and All Over India. In this world of competition, relocation to a new ...

    ReplyDelete

Latest Instagrams

© Charlotte's Road. Design by Fearne.