Monday, 25 September 2017

#University Life | A Fresher's Guide


For me personally, my three years at uni were the greatest and most triumphant days of my life. I had a frigging blast, made some great memories and learned a lot about myself in my time there. But it's not all like floating in a drunken student bubble powered by beans & super noodles - as well as all the highs that life at uni brings, there are also some inevitable lows

Hopefully, if you're new to or just starting out at university, this no bullsh*t guide will give you a few ideas of what to expect. Obviously there's plenty more I could tell you - and plenty more to I'd love to talk about, so if you wanna hear more, let me know and I'll get writing!

Lovelaughslipstick Blog Freshers Guide to University Life

Fresher's Week
Everyone raves about Fresher's Week like it's the best thing ever and omg if you miss it, you're proper missing out and will die alone. But it's not the best thing ever. I thought that mine, personally, was sh*t. And a lot of other people I've asked have agreed; that it is in reality, a pile of wank

So honestly, don't worry if you're still a bit homesick or perhaps feel you haven't made life long friends - because give it a few weeks, and it'll all change again. You'll first start to meet people in halls & in Fresher's events etc - and there's loads of pressure to like MAKE ALL THE NEW FRIENDS NOW. But then when you start your course, things change again - and you'll meet more new people. You'll start to recognise faces in halls over the coming weeks and strike up conversations smashed off cheap cider in the common room / washing your pants / taking the kitchen bin that STINKS of eggs out. The following few weeks after were, for me, WAY better than Fresher's ever was - I think it's waaaayyyy over-hyped. So don't worry if it leaves you feeling distinctly underwhelmed.

The Laundrette
Make sure you always have coins [and a few spare] for the laundrette - those b*stard machines eat up your change right in front of your eyes. And there's always that one bad crank of a washer that WILL NOT accept your 20p, no matter how many times you scrape it on the edge. 

I recommend visiting the laundrette pretty early, on a day when you know most people will be hungover; so you can just slide right in there and get your pants washed nice 'n' early. Otherwise, it can be a mare fighting over the washers - especially the dryers - during busy times. 

Also, another important tip - always arrive about 5 minutes before your load is about to end. During busy times, other students WILL open the dryer, take out your washing and just dump it on the side so they can use the machine. So your pants, bras, embarrassing pjs and unicorn onesie will be just all laid out nicely for all to see. I say laid out nicely - chucked somewhere for you to find, in a fit of rage. And don't go when the facilities are about to close either; or you'll end up naked, with your clothes held hostage overnight.

Lovelaughslipstick Blog Freshers Guide to University Life

Love & Bangin'
No matter what your relationship status, sexuality or experience level you go to uni with - never ever feel pressured to do, conform or explain it to anyone. They can all sh*t off, k? 

You can go to uni in a happy, committed relationship and make it work. You can go single, club neck the living sh*t out of life and be happy. You can go comfortable in your sexuality, ready to explore it, as a virgin or a sexual goddess - just know that no matter what your status, there's HUNDREDS of other students just like you & you're never alone in what you're feeling. 

Don't feel pressured by that whole 'you'll meet the one true love of your life at university' bullsh*t. Fair enough, you might... but when I look back through all the wrong'uns and downright weird b*stards I met during my time there, I don't think I did. If you don't wanna go out and get smashed, don't. If you wanna neck on like a demon possessed - you do you, gal! Or if you're looking for love, you may well find it. Just be aware that during Fresher's Week, emotions run very high - in fact, for the first few months. So you might feel confused about your feelings - or meet a boy / gal you think you're falling for, only to find out they have no intent on getting in a relationship so soon after going to uni. But you'll move on.

No matter what, ALWAYS BE SAFE AND CONSENSUAL, K? There WILL be awkward sex talks and slide shows of STDs during your first few days on campus. And they will haunt you years to come. Although when you're sat in a room of people you've known for about a minute this can be awkward AF [especially when that one guy faints hahaha] it's important shiz.

The 2 Week Slump
You start the first few weeks of uni life on a high. You've got your loan [HELLO TOPSHOP], you've got your own place, you've made new friends and you're getting to go out & experience this whole new world. But there will be a slump that hits you like a stack of [sh*tty] bricks at some point - and that's okay

I found mine hit me about 2-3 weeks in. After all the initial excitement, my flatmates were being dead immature / petty and I found myself getting really p*ssed off with how sly & cliquey girls can be sometimes. I'd never felt remotely homesick in my life, but I started to [just a bit, like.] I was confused, annoyed, felt a bit isolated and used to slam textbooks on the wall to stop them from sitting in the other room whispering to each other late at night. But it went away. I made even more friends, started to get close to some of the people on my course & then all the coursework started - and all my happiness and new found freedom came back, and I started to feel like myself again. Just stronger

You can always talk to someone if you're feeling a bit like this - chances are, pretty much everyone will be feeling similar at some point. And there's people on campus specially trained that you can chat to. Or knobheads online, like me. 

Try and have a few home comforts in your room to ease your sense of dread / anxiety during moments like this. I had an Ambi Pur plug in that used to make me feel calm and relaxed when I was raging like a rabid badger inside; it's funny how different scents and aromas can arouse different feelings within us. 

Oils, diffusers and candles are perfect for uni digs - perhaps if you're a lecturer, student welfare department or part of the community support team who live in halls to check in on your student reading this [alternative angle that, hey!] you might want to invest in some wholesale essential oils to fragrance halls and communal areas. Little touches make even the most clinical and uniform of places a million times more comforting to homesick students #JustSayin. Rather that than than the rancid poo smell coming from the communal bin that noone wants to empty, yeno.

Lovelaughslipstick Blog Freshers Guide to University Life

Fresher's Flu
Unfortunately, the majority of us will come down with this mysterious lurgy during the first few weeks of uni life. Whereas a lot of people will tell you it's because you've been kissing too many boys / girls [and this is definitely one way to get it faster!] it's not purely down to that. If you think about it, you've moved away from the comfort of your own home, you're getting less sleep vs more junk food and meeting new people all the time; each of them bringing in their own germs from different regions of the country / world that your body just ain't used to. So that's why you get sick. But this too, passes.

Sh*t Housemates / Flatmates
It's not the end of the world if you get put in with a group of wrong'uns. Though it can feel it at the time - one girl I knew was put into a shared flat with five people who didn't speak a word of english, and she felt so lonely. You can always request to move, if it's that bad... and just remember. Once you meet mates and other people, you barely spend any time in your room anyway. You're out, meeting people in the canteen, pre-drinking in the common room, getting ready in ya gal's room with her; as you listen to the Spice Girls and drink lambrini with glowsticks. Your student accomodation becomes more of a base than a home - somewhere to wash and sleep. Plus give it time, you never know... you might even grow to like the knobheads.

Money
You're not gonna be as poor as you think, don't worry. My student days were personally some of the richest of my life; I used to stroll into Asda like a badass pimp each week and burn through £80 a pop on sh*te DVDs and cans of coke. Like it was nothing.

There's always ways to save money, though - for example, buying your textbooks second hand off Amazon or eBay, making the most of that student discount [literally, everyone will be your best mate ever for a slice of that ASOS code] and if you get on well with your new roomies, sharing the cost of the weekly food shop with them. Little things like getting student shuttle buses and other forms of low-cost transport help cut back on costs too, and introduce you to new friends. And liberating the odd loo roll / temporarily moving into the library during times of poverty never hurt anyone.

Lovelaughslipstick Blog Freshers Guide to University Life

I hope this post was useful as a [really brief and obv swear filled] introduction to some of the obstacles starting life as a new student can throw at you. It can be tough, it can be daunting and uni life definitely comes with its own [unique] highs and lows - but stay safe, true to yourself & [a bit] sassy and you'll be abso-frigging-lutely FINE. 

Pinky promise xo
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