February 19, 2015

So, you have made it through the confusion that is UCAS. You have passed your A-levels while devouring an impressive amount of chocolate. You have begun to discover clubbing and all that comes with it; the joy, the expense and the potent body odour. You have packed hundreds of miscellaneous items into every inch of your parent’s car. Well done.

Now, it is time for your next challenge: Freshers’ Week; an introvert’s worst nightmare and the egotist’s dream. Whatever part of the personality spectrum you place yourself, don’t panic. Listed below are some pointers on how to make the most of it:

1) Embrace an open door policy
It is a bit scary stepping into your halls of residence for the very first time. After all, this is where you are going to live, for 1 year, with people you have never met before. An ‘open door policy’ suggests that you are warm, friendly and outgoing, and that is before you have even had a chance to have a proper chat with anyone. Tell your new flatmates about your policy as soon as you can and let them know that they can pop in for a chat with you anytime – watch it work its magic.

2) Bite the bullet
Drop your boxes and send your parents away, it is time for you to approach your fellow housemates. Remember, they are probbaly more scared of you then you are of them. Put on a smile and say HELLO! One word. That’s all it is! The quicker you run through the introductions the quicker you can get to know your flatmates who are, (9 times out of 10), pretty great people.

3) Dive in
When the parties begin and pre-drinks start, get involved. Shuffle the cards, offer to pour some drinks or make a playlist, (stick to the charts, you can reveal your guilty pleasures later). Make it your mission to introduce yourself to everyone in the room, from the early birds to the late comers. Additionally, join a club or society. There are so many to choose from and they are not all competitive or testosterone fuelled. The more people you meet, the bigger the pool of potential mates. You can swim around and find some really genuine people. Everyone is in the same boat.

Going to university is about so much more than just getting a degree. It is a way of life that is unparalleled. You will laugh like you wouldn’t believe. You will surprise yourself with what you know. You will discover so many sides of yourself. You will make friends for life. These few weeks can change everything. My final bit of advice is to have fun and stay safe. If I could do it again I would!