I know a lot of these university posts are going up at the moment and they’re all kind of generic and offer the same sorts of advice, so I thought I’d make mine a little more University specific, for anyone who might be heading to the University of Leicester in October. There is some good general advice for anyone going to university but if you’re headed to UoL then hopefully this’ll help!
|UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER ADVICE AND TIPS…
First of all just allow me to say that going to the University of Leicester was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was kind of last minute and I didn’t actually visit the uni until after I’d applied but it all worked out well and I can honestly say I had the best, most interesting and exciting three years of my life there. SO what can you expect at Leicester?
It really doesn’t matter what halls you’re in
People make friends in all sorts of wonderful and weird ways. I was only friends with three girls in my entire block and we made it out of there just fine. Catered halls are more instantly sociable since you all go to meals together in the dining rooms but there’s a great independence that comes with being self-catered (which I was). If you’re going catered be prepared to eat your weekly allowance of carbs in one evening, because the dinners are just ridiculous, rest assured you will never go hungry. The rivalry between the halls (John Foster, Beaumont, GMS etc) provides good banter for nights out on the bus although it’s never really taken over the top and it definitely doesn’t impact any budding friendships along the way.
The bus is great at night and hideous in the morning
The free bus to the club at night time is brilliant. There’s plenty of banter and singing and general merriment as you make your way to an awesome night out. Plus it’s free! The bus the next day however, is the worst thing in the world. Firstly there will be a queue and you’ll probably be late and something will go wrong. Secondly it travels down the bumpiest road in the history of man and if you’ve had even the tiniest sip of alcohol the night before you will feel horrendously ill. But rest assured you won’t be the only one. If nothing else there is camaraderie on the bus. TOP TIP: Make sure you catch the bus from John Foster in the morning because if you’re waiting at GMS it will almost definitely be full and drive right by you.
Always lock your door
Not because things are likely to be stolen but because you’re likely to come home to all the buildings furniture crammed into your bedroom or a thousand cups of water covering the entire floor. You get the idea. Some of the blocks will have rivalries between them and while that can be fun it can also be pretty annoying if you’re woken up by a fire alarm at 5am etc.
Wednesday fire alarm tests are the worst
The fire alarm in general is the loudest most painful thing you’ve ever experienced in your ears. Once you’ve made sure it’s just some idiot who’s burnt their toast then going in the bathroom and waiting it out softens the blow a little.
Top floor rooms are hot!
It’s definitely worth investing in a little fan that you can pop on your desk because in the summer those halls get really hot, and since you’re not paying for the electricity, why not? These can also be super helpful for getting ready before a night out because I don’t know about you but I’m always rushing around getting hot and sticky which is never fun!
Buy a freshers band
I cannot begin to explain to you how glad I was that I bought a freshers wristband (I even bought one in my third year, YOLO). Yes, they’re £50 but you only get one freshers and you really need to make it count. It makes going to events so much easier because you don’t need to wrangle a ticket seller and get yourself a ticket, it makes you more sociable because it becomes a challenge to make it to all the nights included on the band (even when you think you’re dying of freshers flu) and you get free nandos!
You will be dying of freshers flu
It was about halfway through the second week when I thought I was going to die. This is gross but I’d go to a lecture a get through two packs of tissues before the end. I’d feel like poop all day then it’d get to the night time and I probably should have gone to bed but no, then it was time to go out. If you put on a can do attitude it’s easy to just get on with it. I have no regrets because I lived all my time to the maximum in my first year and that’s what freshers is all about.
Don’t be afraid to try new places
I wish I’d done this more throughout my time at university because I ended up getting so sick of the o2 Academy in my second year, but that’s because it was the only place that my friends wanted to go. Don’t get me wrong the o2 is awesome and I miss it already, but I’d definitely say to venture into town sometimes. Vodka revs does amazing cocktails and is 241 on a friday, Mosh is a good alternative to the leicester uni clubs and is open on a tuesday, friday and saturday. Basement and Sophbeck are good if you’ve been kicked out of a club at 3 but you’re not ready to go home. There are tons of cool places to go at night time in Leicester so my advice would be not to stick to all the expected places (except Republic, Republic is amazing).
Join stuff and actually take part!
The freshers fair is there to introduce you to all the clubs and societies that you can join at the university. It’s a bit overwhelming because there are so many different things all in one space but you can sign up to the mailing list of any of the clubs for free and they’ll email you all the relevant information so you can see if you’re interested in taking part further. Sports clubs do require you to have a gym membership which is kind of pricey, but worth it if you think you’ll be dedicated. There are excellent gym facilities at uni and at the halls in Oadby so you can do what’s convenient for you. I know that in my first year I joined a bunch of stuff and then ended up dropping out because I was too busy trying to make friends. I would really advise you to try and do as much as you can to keep a balance because when I got involved in my second and third years I really wished I’d been there from the start. That being said, it’s never too late to sign up, so if you get halfway through the term and you wish you’d done something you hadn’t, just message the club on facebook or drop them an email and I’m sure they’ll be super helpful in getting you started.
Don’t panic about making friends straight away
You will meet a lot of people in a very short space of time, you don’t have to find your best friends for life in the first few days there. Everyone is in the same environment and everyone just wants to do well, have fun and enjoy their first couple of weeks at uni. Like I said you will meet people in so many ways; I left uni with friends from my halls, friends from my course, friends I met on nights out, friends from my job (I worked at the Students’ Union) and friends from the societies I was part of. You are meeting people all of the time and I didn’t meet one of my best friends until the beginning of my third year and now I can’t imagine being without her crazy, haphazard but strangely calming influence.
Rushed relationships rarely work out
Now this might seem like a really odd tip but it’s something I noticed at uni. A lot of people got to uni and rushed into a semi-serious relationship with someone they’d just met. I understand that there’s an excitement to the new found independence and being able to do whatever you want whenever you want but I think pairing off with someone almost immediately is more often than not going to be a detriment to the other relationships you’re building. I can think of dozens of relationships that started in the first couple weeks of uni but I can’t think of a single one that exists to this day. It’s just an observation and a suggestion.
To go lectures and stuff…
Yes for most people your first year won’t count towards your degree classification but it might have an impact on applying for summer internships and ultimately first year is there to get you ready for second and third year. If you can do well in first year alongside all the pressures of a new environment then you’ll be fine for the rest of your degree.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There are so many brilliant services at university, whether it be for finances, accommodation, careers, welfare, education issues etc. There will be someone available who is employed to help you and you’re paying for your education, you deserve to make the most of those services. If you’re struggling in any way then the help is there and no one is going to judge you for asking.
This is my most important freshers tip. Say yes to things you wouldn’t usually do… Join the dodgeball team with your flatmate, dance on the stage on a wednesday night, get involved in volunteering, swap numbers with everyone you meet, be open to new experiences and make the most of every single one of them. You won’t get this chance again so make all the mistakes you need to make (I made plenty) but don’t ever let yourself regret not having done anything.
University is what you make it, so make it good.
|SOURCES AND RELEVANT LINKS|