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We’ve all been there. You’ve been dreaming about having your own space in your shiny, new, student accommodation (more than likely a five foot square shoe box). You’ve got a Pinterest board chock full of fairy lights in mason jars, cool geometric photo designs and very inspirational totally not cliché quotes. Heads up, not a good plan.
Your room will be tiny, probably with cinderblock walls that don’t allow for hooks for fairy lights. Don’t bother stocking up on millions of throws, pillows and candles, the space will be so small they’ll just get annoying. Stick to basics to keep your space organized and cool with a few key accessories; cute bedsheets, compact storage and a few posters.
2. Winging It
It sounds basic, but knowing where you need to be at what time is essential for your first week. With all the social hype of going out, meeting people and moving into a new place, it’s easy to overlook the academic side of thing.
Most colleges have a pretty jam packed first week of activities and you should have received some sort of itinerary in your information pack. Don’t dismiss them! Some of them are great ways to get involved, like clubs and societies fairs, and some are just downright useful, like that library talk about how to check out your books and use the college’s interactive tech system. They can also be great places to meet fellow freshers and are definitely worth looking into.
3. Too Hard, Too Soon
It happens to the best of us. It’s your first night out anywhere outside of your local, sticky, teeny bopper night club. You and your new housemates have been hyping each other up all day about what you are going to wear/drink/go and the anticipation at pre-drinks has been running high. One minute you’re skipping into town, sloshing plastic bottle full of *definitely not alcohol* in hand, the next, your face has made acquaintance with the kerb.
Wiping out in your first week can be mortifying. We all know someone who earned the nickname Two-Can somewhere along the line. The shame, the Fear and the hangover the next morning just aren’t worth it. Eat proper soakage food before going out and know your limits. Don’t be that person.
4. The Latch On
Being over-eager is an easy mistake to make in your first week. People around you seem to have best friends and posse by the end of the first hour of orientation and it can feel a little like you’re floundering in the social sphere if you don’t have a million new Facebook friends by the end of day one.
Beware however, of the Latch-Ons. Laura from that awkward ice-breaker game that you swapped Snapchat names with seemed nice, but suddenly your phone is blowing up. ‘What are you doing tonight? Where are you going? Can I come? Want to get ready together? Wanna walk to class together?’ Before you know it you have a stage five clinger on your hands, who gets jealous of every new person you talk to in your course. Be friendly to everyone and remember you don’t need everyone to be your best friend. The best part of college is that you’re surrounded by like-minded people so you’re bound to find your tribe!
5. Kiss and Tell
Nobody wants to be the first people to get together within the course, but somebody has to be the one to do it – because it’s totally inevitable. You’ve talked to your new housemates about that cute guy you saw in your course at orientation and maybe even creeped on his profile, but you all agree in total seriousness, getting with someone in your course is a BIG no-no. The knowing eyes and smiles from the rest of your course just wouldn’t be worth it.
Until you’re suddenly face to face on the dancefloor having been eyeing each other up for most of predrinks. Until he gives you that cheeky grin that you just knew was going to cause trouble that first day in class.
It’s not the end of the world if you get together, it’s happened a million times before and will happen a million times again. If anything, it’s a rite of passage! The teasing will pass and eventually, the awkwardness too.
The most important parts of Freshers is to have fun, look after yourself and just enjoy your new found freedom.
By Fiona Murphy