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Fresher's week. What a terrifying concept — literally a whole week of awkwardly attempting to socialise with people that you've only just met. An even more terrifying thought when you consider that I had the social ability of a teaspoon before university started. Luckily, I like to think I've come a long way since then, and so I'd like to offer what limited tips I can share...

1. Please do yourself a favour and damn sOCIALISE.

I know it's hard, especially if you're awkward like I was at the start. Know that it's easier to put the effort in early on than it is later down the line. Don't let that scare you though — be an open book and actively want to get to know everyone, even if it's just casual conversation that feels a bit dead. We all have to start somewhere. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your true friends (it's just, like, statistics or something, right?)

2. Don't feel or be pressured

Don't be pressured to do ANYTHING that you don't want to do. I didn't drink or go to any parties before uni, so I stuck to that routine during fresher's week. The closest I came to was joining some of my new-found friend group's pre-drinks before they all went out until whatever hour and guess what, I didn't drink there either! Awkward was definitely my name and game, oops. But it was perfectly fine, because I was still accepted to this new environment and by these new people, so I felt relatively at ease and non-pressured. When you do decide to follow the crowd, ensure that it's 100% your decision and your decision only. Saying that, fresher's week is where you're expected to most exceed your comfort zone, so remind yourself of this and know that it's the easiest time to get involved with things even if you feel like a total new-comer. (Heads up: everyone is!)

3. Join societies and stick to them

Societies are so much fun but unfortunately as a first year, things got on top of me and I decided to drop out of them (whilst missing them terribly). Luckily I recognised my mistake, and here I am telling you not to make the same one (unless you really hate everything about it I guess). Now in second year, I have quite important roles in a couple of societies and I feel so much more fulfilled that  I'm able to maintain a society/workload/social life/uni balance. It's given me incredible opportunities and experiences, some of which are the definitive part of overall university experience and ones that I will never forget.

4. Be realistic

If you're still feeling uneasy in your new environment, I urge you to understand that this is totally normal. For the first month I felt like a total fish out of water, but I kept telling myself that this was only the beginning, that it could only get better from here. And that's so true; this is one week out of your entire university experience. Don't drop out at the sound of a warning bell, be steadfast! You can totally do this. And if you really feel that you can't...

5. Find support

Confide in a new friend, a member of staff you trust, a friend from your home or even your family. Let them know how you're feeling emotionally, academically, and in every other way.

Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Fresher's Week



Fresher's week. What a terrifying concept — literally a whole week of awkwardly attempting to socialise with people that you've only just met. An even more terrifying thought when you consider that I had the social ability of a teaspoon before university started. Luckily, I like to think I've come a long way since then, and so I'd like to offer what limited tips I can share...

1. Please do yourself a favour and damn sOCIALISE.

I know it's hard, especially if you're awkward like I was at the start. Know that it's easier to put the effort in early on than it is later down the line. Don't let that scare you though — be an open book and actively want to get to know everyone, even if it's just casual conversation that feels a bit dead. We all have to start somewhere. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find your true friends (it's just, like, statistics or something, right?)

2. Don't feel or be pressured

Don't be pressured to do ANYTHING that you don't want to do. I didn't drink or go to any parties before uni, so I stuck to that routine during fresher's week. The closest I came to was joining some of my new-found friend group's pre-drinks before they all went out until whatever hour and guess what, I didn't drink there either! Awkward was definitely my name and game, oops. But it was perfectly fine, because I was still accepted to this new environment and by these new people, so I felt relatively at ease and non-pressured. When you do decide to follow the crowd, ensure that it's 100% your decision and your decision only. Saying that, fresher's week is where you're expected to most exceed your comfort zone, so remind yourself of this and know that it's the easiest time to get involved with things even if you feel like a total new-comer. (Heads up: everyone is!)

3. Join societies and stick to them

Societies are so much fun but unfortunately as a first year, things got on top of me and I decided to drop out of them (whilst missing them terribly). Luckily I recognised my mistake, and here I am telling you not to make the same one (unless you really hate everything about it I guess). Now in second year, I have quite important roles in a couple of societies and I feel so much more fulfilled that  I'm able to maintain a society/workload/social life/uni balance. It's given me incredible opportunities and experiences, some of which are the definitive part of overall university experience and ones that I will never forget.

4. Be realistic

If you're still feeling uneasy in your new environment, I urge you to understand that this is totally normal. For the first month I felt like a total fish out of water, but I kept telling myself that this was only the beginning, that it could only get better from here. And that's so true; this is one week out of your entire university experience. Don't drop out at the sound of a warning bell, be steadfast! You can totally do this. And if you really feel that you can't...

5. Find support

Confide in a new friend, a member of staff you trust, a friend from your home or even your family. Let them know how you're feeling emotionally, academically, and in every other way.
chloe | 20 | nottingham

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About the Author

Chloe Jade is an undergraduate student at the University of Nottingham reading English and Philosophy. Post-graduation, her ambition is to become a journalist. In order to read, write and share as much as she wants, she decided to create this blog so that she could explore her wider interests and experiences.