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Articles > Student Life August, 30, 2017

Freshers Advice: 21 Solid Tips from Graduates

Louise Dunne
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We asked Graduates from our community to reflect on the good ol’ days, and pass down their wisdom in an attempt to prevent the next bunch of Freshers from making the same mistakes. We had over 200 responses to the competition and whittled it down to the best 22 nuggets of knowledge. The number 1 spot won £50! So if you’re starting university pay close attention, you won’t get better freshers advice anywhere else…

Grad 1


Memories don’t get made by saying no! Join everything, even if you end up quitting. When else are you going to go rock climbing? Say yes to nights out, catch ups, parties, meals…  Don’t focus on the negatives, university is such a privilege and it should be fun. Had a bad day in class? Go for a walk around your university city, go in a cafe you’ve never been in before. Just live and have fun, and do your absolute best!

firends in Freshers week shirts

– Louise, York St John University



grad 2


First impressions stick, so don’t burn out on the first night of freshers week! You’ll meet so many new people and it’ll be a struggle at first to remember all their names – but if you’re the one who chugs half a dozen dirty pints and ends up needing their stomach pumped, you’ll carry that stigma with you all through first year. First impressions are key, so don’t give yourself an unwanted label. Drink up, but don’t be that idiot!
– Max, University of St Andrews




grad 3


Cook a pizza and leave it in the fridge for when you get home from a night out. It will help the hangover, stop you from buying something while you’re out (saves money and trying to find somewhere) and you won’t have to cook anything when you get in (saves time, unwanted fire alarms and injuries!)
– Abi, Manchester Metropolitan university



grad 4


Go hard, but know when to go home. Apparently sleeping in the club is frowned upon, and will give you a reputation that is likely to be maintained throughout your degree… Getting enough sleep means you can drink and dance for longer, so make sure you fit in enough zzz’s to avoid unplanned shut-eye in the club!

fresher asleep in club

– Jenny, University of Bristol



grad 5


Party animals – put the same amount of effort into your work as you do in partying. Let your hair down in freshers and on nights out but, and even though for some first year may not count, it’s easier keeping grades up if you’ve got used to working at a higher standard in your first year. Form good habits!
– Courtney, University of Central Lancashire


grad 6


Learn early on is when the university library closes. Nothing is more mortifying than being locked in a building all night because you had your headphones on, and then activating the alarmed fire escape like I did. It will save you a lot of hassle trust me.
– Trevor, Liverpool John Moores University



grad 7


Don’t get so drunk that you ‘chunder dragon’ on the way to the club, but despite this still get in, then proceed to dance on the empty dance floor like nobody is watching. Oh and then definitely don’t go home with someone and puke on the bed… Not personal experience obviously…

Freshers in a club

– Emily, Norwich University



grad 8


Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. If everyone is showing off how brilliant they are finding uni on Facebook, don’t worry if you aren’t feeling the same. It isn’t a true representation. If you feel it isn’t for you, stick it out! I did, and I’m so glad I did 🙂
– Lisa, Royal Holloway, University of London


grad 9


Don’t be embarrassed to be who you really are! Yes, Quidditch might sound daft, but you want to try it- so do! The friends you end up making will make up for any criticism you get from others. And your parents don’t seem as embarrassing when they’re bringing home-cooked food when they visit, so let them come!

freshers posing in student house

– Annabel, Bangor University



grad 10


Go to the supermarket at around 7-8pm to find the reduced items!
– Rob, Bournemouth University


grad 11


Show up to induction week. Everyone assumes induction week is pointless and lame, especially when it was in freshers week and too hungover to go. I was like this and decided to bore it off. However, huge mistake as that is the week you meet your friends and group of your course. Biggest bit of advice is to go and introduce yourself to others so you’re not alone when lectures start!
– Lauren, Liverpool John Moores University


grad 12


Take part in as many out of lecture activities as you can. You’re only at university once! Get your work in as soon as possible, that way you can party whilst all the last minuters are panicking!

Fresher pole dancing in superman costume

– Joshua, University of Chichester



grad 13


Don’t be in unhappy relationships. Don’t force yourself to carry on with a long distance relationship just because you think the time and effort you have already put in will seem wasted otherwise. Some partners may be worth the effort but some aren’t. If you find yourself losing touch with your long distance partner it may be best to let it happen in first year and don’t put yourself through a horrendous, bitter break-up during the stress of dissertation in final year!

fresher smiling

– Becca, University of Surrey



grad 14


Be open minded enough to change courses in their first year if  you find that a particular course is not suitable for you. Many universities offer students the ability to change their course in their first year, but this flexibility is practically non-existent in the second or third year. If you foresee that you may not do as well in your chosen course as you imagined, it is better to take advantage of the flexibility offered in first year.
– Babatunde, University of London




Don’t forget to start looking for houses or apartments for 2nd year before Christmas break. It’s daunting to think you have to know who you want to live with for a year after 3 months of university, but the best places close to campus go quick!
– Zamir University of Leicester




Look after your stuff. Milk is a legitimate form of currency in student flats that can absolutely be used as a bartering tool. The same rule applies to toilet roll. And dominoes promo codes too.

fresher in horse mask

– Evie, University of Winchester




That huge student loan is going to leave as quickly as it came. The huge deposit can feel great, but looking back and wondering what the hell you spent it all on isn’t so good. It’ll definitely make the first few months post graduation easier if you have some spare cash. Also, make sure you make time to speak to and visit your family. I probably went home a little too often during uni but it meant I didn’t miss out on my younger brother growing up and that’s something I definitely won’t regret!
– Jess, Peninsula Medical School




Be prepared for fire alarms, ‘go hard or go home’ you can’t say no to shots! You can make every occasion a drinking game if you try hard enough. If you’re not up all night before an assignment is due, you haven’t tried (partied) hard enough. You WILL fall asleep in a lecture… guaranteed.

Freshers week theme night

– Laura, Northumbria University




Just get out there and BE YOU! Don’t think you have to be anyone but YOURSELF. And make the most of it – Freshers is one of the best years of your life

Fresher doing shots at Freshers week bar

– Grace, Northumbria University



Don’t buy textbooks, buy tequila! – Becka, University of Essex




Don’t do vegetables, stay in drugs and eat your school – Mihnea, University of Aberdeen





Okay, so maybe the last 2 were not so good advice but uni is about new experiences, becoming independent and figuring things out for yourself. Hopefully this freshers advice has given you a nudge in the right direction 🙂

Best of luck!!!

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  1. fatma


  2. Emily Pinder

    I think…that this is great advice for people starting uni

  3. Darren Gray

    Always eat before drinking. The drink won’t hit you as hard and you’ll last longer. Always line the stomach before a heavy session

  4. Fahad

    great advice for the students like me who r starting a new life joining university!!

  5. Alejandra Tapia

    I think… it was helpful, will definitely keep some of the advice at the front of my mind.

  6. nigar

    perfect photos

  7. Lucy

    Really helpful! Starting this year and feeling nervous about the new experience but hopefully I’m going to enjoy it!!

  8. anki kumar

    Use some vegetables but not with tequila.

  9. Vikas

    I think…this is very helpful

  10. Vikas

    I think… This is helpful

  11. Deeksha Agrawal

    I think… This made me even more excited for the next month <3

  12. Maria Passa

    I’m soo excited for university ahhh

  13. Molly Hudson

    I think…this was really good as I’m going to Uni soon! Really helpful haha

  14. Alivia

    I think this is good advice for freshers for last year, but what about those who started this year? In light of recent problems surrounding COVID a lot of these we cannot partake in.

  15. marcus

    Great ideas for starting as a fresher student

  16. Edvard

    I agree 🙂

  17. Edvard

    Haha, that’s good.

  18. Callum

    Good advice. Will come in handy.

  19. ellie

    great advice!

  20. Vilte

    I think this would have been so useful 6 months ago!!

  21. Alice

    so basically drink alcohol but not too much.. or too little

  22. Cecilia

    I think…this is going to help massively, because I’ve applied for university and I’m quite nervous about the whole experience. By the way, love the photographic illustration xx

  23. Bubbbbbbbb

    I think… this is amazingly helpful unless you only listen to the last two only

  24. Ari

    I think… you only get one chance to do this so it should be done wisely but also wrecklessly

  25. Janki Pankhania

    Always be yourself. Don’t change who you are to fit into a crowd of people. The people who are suited for your company will come to you in some way or another. So don’t worry! Have fun!

  26. aleasha mallon

    I think…uni is all about finding yourself so go out and meet people and every step will count to you being able to find yourself


    In as much as it is good to be a part of the happenings in uni, it is also important to know why you are going to school. So many people get carried away by activities that are not necessary and thereby affect their primary aim of going to uni. Think very well before you act because what ever you do affects the future either negatively or possively.

  28. Landrine Richard

    The tips on this are funny, especially the last one

  29. Emmanuel Falola

    I think… that was very interesting

  30. Kafayat Basaru

    This was nice to read, really got me excited for uni.

  31. Samantha Lucas

    I think…this was really helpful as I am starting uni in 2 weeks time and this helped put my mind at ease! Thank you

  32. Marlena Krolik

    Im defo gonna think about all these

  33. Enisa Marku

    Looking forward to be a fresher!

  34. Rebecca Hughes

    I think… people can advise you as much as you want, you’re still going to make the same mistakes.

  35. Amanda Cliffe

    These tips were hilarious and really interesting! I particularly like the first one – because you only go to university once!

  36. Abdullahi Nuhu

    I think nothing sucks more than staying at home doing nothing……

  37. Claire

    Happy to have read these comments! Feel a bit better now (I mean, I’m not so nervous anymore) btw the last two comments ✌️

  38. Shanice Tarbert

    Don’t buy textbooks, buy tequila!