The first year of university can be quite daunting. Having a new start in a new city with new people, it's all so different. Here are a few tips that came in handy on my first year of university.
Everyone is in the same boat. What you are experiencing, everyone else is too. The anxiety you feel as you drive up to your new accommodation for the year, the nerves kicking in as you go and meet your new flatmates; it's new for everyone so don't be afraid that you are in this alone.
Enjoy your freshers week! Freshers will never be the same as it will be in your first year. You are new to the city, a different nightlife and new people. Freshers is a perfect way to settle in and get to know your new flatmates. Of course, freshers week doesn't have to involve drinking...(which is what everyone thinks). There are clubs and activities set up in the day and night for those of you who prefer to get to know each other without the influence of alcohol. Just make the most of it because it only happens once. Freshers week in your second and third year won't have the same atmosphere as your first year.
Socialise. Freshers week is perfect to make friends and find people who have the same interests as you do. Enjoy meeting new people, go out and join in on the activities that are on offer. If you take an interest in people and make an effort then people will do the same back. The friends you make in first year will most likely be there the whole of your university journey.
Don't miss lectures over and over again. First year is known to be the year where you tend to slack off here and there. But that doesn't mean you should be missing classes. First year is so important as it allows you to firmly make up your mind as to whether university is for you or if you have chosen the correct course or not.
Don't like your course? CHANGE! First year, preferably the first term, of university is the time to change your course. Don't carry on if you don't think it's for you. Do it while you can instead of regretting not doing it.
Don't get on your flatmates bad side. Be friends with your flatmates. The worst thing is to become enemies and have to spend another year living with them, you don't want that happening. Even if you take a dislike to someone or someone does to you, just stay civilised with them, you don't have to necessarily be best friends with them. No one is forcing that on you.
Spend money wisely. Freshers week is known for students to blow their whole student loan on alcohol, student lock-ins (BE AWARE!!) and food. Ok, food is a priority but I suggest you do a massive food shop as you arrive. Either your parents take you or go with your new flatmates and do a shop which will last a few weeks or a month. Don't take your card out at night. Having your card on you will only tempt you to get more money out and buy another drink or 5, or get a takeaway on your way home. Only take a small amount out so you won't overspend and regret it the next day.
Stick to your normal sleeping pattern. Freshers week tends to f*ck your sleeping pattern up massively. You will end up going to sleep at 4am and waking up at 3pm in the afternoon. Don't fall into this routine otherwise you will end up missing all your lectures and get 0% attendance.
Stuck? Don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's in lectures, or about university, or money...there is always someone there to help you. The amount of questions I had in lectures about my assignments was ridiculous but the lecturers don't mind (they sort of expect it) and will always be there to give you advice/help.
ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE! Of course, university isn't for everyone and many people tend to drop out in the first year. But enjoy the first year as it will be a lot more easier than the years to come. You know what they say 'university are the best years of your life'.