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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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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