Think ‘Freshers’ Week’. What comes to mind? I’m getting a blind, endless mix of alcohol, hangovers, and club nights with stupid fancy dress themes, not to mention a healthy dose of anxiety, stress and homesickness. When I was preparing for my own Freshers’ Week this time last year I was absolutely terrified; although I enjoy drinks and parties with friends, the idea of a full week of clubbing and exhaustion was, simply, abhorrent. I understand that for many students this really is their idea of great fun, but to me it seemed like this great big hurdle I had to get over before I could actually start uni. In the end, I actually enjoyed my Freshers’ Week – and if you’re feeling like I was last September, read on to find out how you can too.

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Congratulations! You’ve got your place at university, applied for your on-campus accommodation and just been given your brand-new address. But there are still a few hurdles to overcome before move-in day: namely finding out about your new flatmates. Here’s my how-to guide for finding, chatting with and getting to know the people you’ll be sharing a kitchen with for the next year!

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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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It’s so strange to think that this time last year I was preparing to leave for university. It’s an understatement to say I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, and I wasn’t really sure how best to prepare for this major life-change. Over the next eight weeks or so I’ll be helping all you new students through the process of preparing, packing and moving away to university in my Freshers’ Guide. It’s designed so can have the best start to your uni career as possible! At the end of each post there’ll be a piece of downloadable material to help support you in your preparations, so be sure to stick around. First up, I’m breaking down the weeks between getting your results and place at university to moving into your accommodation or starting your classes, if you’re choosing to stay at home. There’s a lot to do in what is a relatively short space of time, so it’s good to have some idea in advance of what to expect, so you can best prepare.

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My first year at university is now over. Originally, I planned this post as a ‘highlights reel’ – listing off some of my favourite moments from what promised to be an extraordinary year. That isn’t what you’ll find below. Instead, following on from my recent comment piece about student mental health, I want to be entirely honest about my difficult university experience. This piece was written on the 8th May 2016, a little over a month before the end of the academic year.

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