Girl Drinking Beer With Straw

First Year: What Not To Do

18 things not to do. I repeat, *not to do*...

 

1. Over-pack

Things you think you need but don’t:

  • A summer wardrobe (welcome to the North)
  • An iron (ironing is a myth)
  • Soooo many books (you’ll be lucky if you read one)
  • Food (better to buy it on arrival)
  • Pens and pencils (one pen will regenerate, don’t worry)
  • Lots of plates/bowls/cutlery (if you’re sharing a flat, it’s basically a free-for-all)

 

2. Not socialize outside of your fresher friends

Sure, you’ll make some buddies during the first week that you’ll know forever, but don’t make the mistake of never leaving their side. There’s a whole wealth of people on campus and at university that could be your next bestie if you put the effort into meeting them.

notting hill gif

3. Say “I’ll do it next year”

This is the year to do everything you want to do. Join D&D society because you feel like it. Host a radio show on controversial TV opinions. Join Jailbreak and travel halfway across the world. Don’t leave anything to next year when you can do it right now.

 

4. Underestimate the workload of first year

Yes, yes, first year has the lightest workload, but it’s also not hard to get snowed under. And fast. Keep on top of deadlines by doing assignments earlier than you think you need to, keep a calendar, and put time aside for work each night – Future You will be grateful.

 

5. Dip too far into that overdraft

Most banks offer a large zero-interest overdraft to students which can be handy to fall back on, but they can also be the beginning of a long road out of debt. A current first year told me, “I wish I’d never got an overdraft because it’s going to be so difficult to crawl back out of it.” For many of us, living without one isn’t possible, but try to be sensible.

Crazy Rich Asians gif

6. Hide in your room

This can be a difficult one – especially if you’re struggling with homesickness or your mental health. That said, the best thing you can do is to meet your new flatmates and make some friends. Moving away to university will be one of the hardest things you do, but having a support network just down the corridor is the best medicine.

 

7. Throw away your moving boxes

Oh man. Okay. I cannot stress enough that these boxes are lifelines. Ask for spares from your local supermarket and hoard them for when you move out.

 

8. Forget to eat your greens

Eat veggies! I spent first term at my most unhealthy point because I lived on takeaways and alcohol.

Gif of man holding heart shaped pizza

9. Set off the fire alarm

Don’t be the guy who makes popcorn while drunk and sets off the fire alarm when you inevitably fall asleep and burn it, meaning that everyone is dragged out of bed at 3AM. Don’t do it.

 

10. Leave dirty dishes in the sink

Nothing makes your heart beat harder than seeing your flatmate’s passive aggressive messages in the group chat about the state of the kitchen…

Angry Leslie Knope

11. Not join any societies

There are some fantastic things you can say you’ve done if you join societies: Pole Society, Magic & Circus, Bailrigg FM, Take2Cinema, Ballroom Dancing, Spanish for Beginners, and so much more.

 

12. Forget your keys

It’s a rite of passage to wake up your flatmates in the middle of the night because you’re drunk and tired and you’ve (obviously) forgotten your keys, but don’t make it a regular habit. Please.

 

13. Never ring home

Your family miss you! Let them know what you’re up to so that they can be proud of (and maybe have a laugh at) you. You never know, if you’re ill or cold or hungry, they might send a care package <3.

Cardi B facetime

14. Buy books brand new

eBay is a thing for a reason. That reason is poor students. Find your course books here (or on other second-hand student sites) for half the price.

 

15. Not learn some staple dishes

Pot Noodles will only get you so far before your organs start to cry out for some nutrition and an actual cooked meal. Find some recipes online and give them a try – risotto, cous cous, soup and chilli aren’t that hard to make from scratch and are versatile enough to make a bunch of meals (whack it in a wrap, roast a pepper and stuff it, put it in a sandwich, etc.).

Gif of Michelle from Full House eating a plate of spaghetti

16. Think you’re a morning person (you’re not)

If you can choose your seminar times, choose late ones. You will thank yourself later.

 

17. Get on the wrong side of your flatmates

These people are living with you 24/7 – even if you don’t find your BFFs 4 Lyf down the corridor, at least be polite and friendly enough that they’ll be there for you (e.g. when you forget your keys).

 

18. Not document your experience

University is one of the best, maddest, and most unforgettable experiences you will ever have. Take photos, keep a diary, make sure you have a record you can look back on and show family when you visit home. Don’t forget your first year!