Advice For Starting Your University Experience: A Freshers Guide 

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Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

There are so many words to describe what my university experience meant to me. It has truly been the defining chapter of my life and I owe my university years more than I could ever repay. I have condensed my years of wisdom into some pieces of advice that will hopefully enrich your university experience, as you begin a very exciting chapter in your life.  

You’re not the only one who is nervous 

This one is a general fact of life but really is worth remembering when starting university. Everyone is in the same boat as you – they have all moved away from home and have left their families and friends behind. Nobody is more confident starting out than you are, and if they seem it this is most likely a tool to make them seem less nervous. University is a big adjustment for everyone, and it is important to remember that you are not wrong for feeling daunted because I guarantee you the person who seems to have everything sorted is just as unsure as you.  

Don’t be afraid to make the first move 

Moving into halls was such a stressful part of my university experience that I intentionally did not want anyone in the flat already to see me move in. I was embarrassed and scared of meeting new people. If I could go back, building on my previous bit of advice, I would tell myself not to be afraid of going up to someone in your flat and making conversation. There is so much to talk about aside from getting to know each other. People want you to make conversation and might be scared to themselves. So, do yourself and them a favour. Oh, and bring a doorstop; this is a great way to open your room to your flatmates whilst telling them they can come in and chat.  

Do not stress that you have not found ‘your people’ yet 

This is advice for all of university. One of the biggest changes is getting used to knowing so many more people than what you’re probably used to from school. There are people everywhere, and just because you do not get along with your flatmates amazingly, doesn’t mean that they’re your only friends for three years. With so many people out there, it might take some time to find the ones you really click with. You should not feel pressure to settle into one group immediately for comfort’s sake. Take your time. 

You should feel comfortable saying no 

As a chronic people pleaser, I found it hard to say no to people and opportunities to go out early on. Whilst I was never forced to do anything I did not want to do, there were times when I overdid it to impress. The only person you have to answer to is yourself. When university is introducing you to adulthood, and all the new potential risks, always remember that if someone is forcing you to do something you do not want to, they are probably not a good friend to have around. 

Things will be ok!

These are just a few pieces of knowledge that helped guide me as I began university. This might seem too far off for someone about to enter university in September–but I promise things are never as daunting as they seem! There might be bad or lonely times at university, and nobody slips into it without some bumps along the road. But, if you keep these thoughts in mind, they will help you ease your way into what I hope will be the best years of your life so far!

Words by James Evenden 

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