Make plans and put yourself out there
Meeting new people can be unnerving. However, the most important thing to understand about university is that everyone is in the same position as you. Friends you make during freshers could very well become friends you keep beyond university. Great ways to meet people are of course going out to events, joining societies, getting a part time job in a new city at a student hiring workplace and meeting your new accommodation neighbours, especially during the first few weeks of the year.
Keep in touch with family or friends from home
Whilst it can be daunting being in a new city and studying at a more demanding level than before it is always a good idea to communicate regularly with family or friends from home every now and then. As people that know you best, they will be suited to give you any advice you may need (particularly surrounding new situations and people you are encountering).
Enjoy yourself and don’t overthink things
This advice is of course easier said than done, however due to the countless weeks of preparation and thinking about moving to university, sometimes it can be hard to relax and enjoy yourself. In your first few weeks in your new city ensure you allocate yourself time to be social or relax in your own space. Enrolment and your first few lectures are there to ease you into your university life. So make sure you jump into things and ensure you don’t let unnecessary stress impact your freshers experience.
Go to the right people should you have any need for support
We are aware not everyone has someone just a call away or even in the same timezone as them. Should you need to speak to anyone about anything at all that may be causing you issues, almost every university has a support team be it an advisory panel, or a confidential mental health support appointment. These services are provided by the universities to be used and are used by many students already.
Eat plenty, and know your limits
It’s common knowledge that it’s important to eat plenty before a night out – not only will it line your stomach so you don’t overdo it on the alcohol front, but sometimes it can even rid the effects of the next-morning hangover! It’s important to know your alcohol limits, and understand that your limits may change daily depending on how much you’ve eaten, the length of time you’ve been drinking, and any physical activity you may have partaken in that day. There’s no shame in rehydrating on a night out with the odd glass of water should you need it.
Don’t leave drinks unattended
While bars and clubs are exceptionally cautious when it comes to the chance of your drinks being spiked, it’s sensible to keep an eye on your drinks on a night out. Placing a glass topper on top of your drink is a straightforward way to prevent any potential incidents of spiking however unlikely/likely. It is also sensible to not accept drinks from strangers or drinks you have not witnessed being made at the bar.
Know how you’re getting home
Have a look into what transport is available in your new city. Some universities offer ‘safety buses,’ a volunteer-run service that will scoop you up and take you home, usually at a lower cost of £1. This is a great service if you’re out of money, you don’t really know where you are, and could use a friendly face. However, this shouldn’t be used as a cheap taxi service – this should only be used when you’re in real need of assistance. Alternatively, save some taxi numbers to your phone, or find a bus timetable so you can plan your route home before you even set foot out the door. Finally don’t forget to make a note of your new address before you head on your night out, it’ll make your life a lot easier later on.
Stick with friends
Whilst you’re acclimatising to your new surroundings, it’s a good idea to travel with your friendship group. Not only is it a great way to get to know your new flatmates, but you can all look out for each other as you explore new areas. An extra pair of eyes on your drink, a few extra people to remember the route home, as well as a cheaper taxi fare at the end of the night, are just a few of the many reasons to travel in groups.
Make sure your phone is fully charged
There’s no doubt you’ll be taking your phone with you on a night out, so if you need to use it by 2AM/3AM to make sure it has enough battery life when you leave the house. It’s also worth making sure you have suitable student insurance in place in case the unexpected does happen and your phone is accidentally damaged or stolen. Read more about gadget insurance here