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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Uni is rarely what we expect. You might start out absolutely petrified but by Christmas you’re the happiest you’ve ever been – or you may have headed off to halls thinking you’re embarking on the best three years of your life, but by the end of first term you’re wishing you’d never bothered in the first place. If you fall into that latter category and are already starting to dread spring term, I’m here to help you work out your options in a few easy steps.

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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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