A few weeks into first year, a strange feeling began to creep up on me. ‘Abandoned’ is a bit strong; ‘lost’ perhaps more accurately describes it. ‘Left to get on with it’, certainly. After the bustle of Freshers’ Week, and another week or two getting stuck into the swing of classes and assignments, the golden haze that surrounded university began to lift, and it dawned on me that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I still feel as though all the support offered to freshers in those early weeks tends to dwindle, or at least become less overt, as time goes on – but many need it throughout their first year, and beyond. So here’s the second part of my top tips for freshers, in case you’re feeling a little forgotten or lost like I was this time two years ago.

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I’m moving back to York this weekend for my final year at university. Many of my friends are already committing to Masters’ applications, looking to continue their academic careers, but that’s not the path I’ve chosen to take for now; although I anticipate I may return to education at some point in the future, this will be my final ‘back to school’ season for some time. I’m still working out how to feel about that, but I know I can’t wait to be back in York and beginning this last academic year – a huge contrast to this time two years ago, ahead of my very first term at York, where I knew exactly how I was feeling: utterly petrified. I know that plenty of freshers out there will be feeling the same, so I’ve put together not one but two posts of my top tips for freshers.

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There’s no doubt that university teaches you a huge amount, and not just in terms of your academic studies. Even if you live at home, being thrown into a totally unknown environment with hundreds of new people to get to know along practically guarantees some personal development. However, there are some key life skills that will be particularly helpful to know before you go, particularly (though not exclusively) if you’re moving away into student accommodation or a shared house.

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