Five Final Top Tips for Freshers

At the start of the week, we brought you an article on how to make the most of Welcome Week. Now that you’ve registered, made new friends and nursed one too many hangovers, Ellen Smithies is giving us a hand to give Five Final Top Tips for Freshers. So without delay….

  1. Go to your classes! This might sound like a bit of a no-brainer, but you’re paying £9k a year to attend University – make the most of it! Lectures and seminars are the core of your course, and more often than not first year is teaching you a lot of the basic knowledge of your subject – your second/third years will just build on that knowledge. Besides, the last thing you want is to get the all-dreaded email about attendance. (And, if you’re really from the scholarly breed, why not attend some of your friends’ lectures, to embarrass them and get even more out of that 9 grand!)
  1. Study! It’s true that you only need 40% in first year to get through to second, but it’s better to take first year as a dry-run rather than a doss – if you learn how to approach coursework and exams in your first year then you’re all the more prepared for second year when it actually counts! Plus, it always helps to get a name for yourself as a good student; you don’t want to get a name for yourself as a problem student who doesn’t do any work.

    “It’s better to take first year as a dry-run rather than a doss”

  1. Find out who your personal tutor is, and meet with them. Your tutor will be your first port of call for any and all problems you have at University – extenuating circumstances, health problems, homesickness, trouble with assignments, anything! You should book a meeting with them as soon as possible, just to say “hello” and introduce yourself. And don’t worry if you don’t feel like you mesh well with the tutor assigned to you – most schools will allow you to swap tutors within the first few weeks.
  1. Pick subsidiary modules you like! If your degree comes with the opportunity to take some subsidiary (‘extra’) modules in addition to your core degree ones, be sure to pick ones that you like the look of, and ones that you think you will enjoy. Pick something that will be useful to you, or is something that you’re genuinely interested in – don’t pick something because it looks easy or like it would be minimal work. Extra bit of advice: be sure to get your module form completed and back to your course office ASAP to stick a better chance of getting onto the modules you want to.

    “Getting involved as much as you can is the best way to make friends”

  1. Try EVERYTHING! As cliché as it sounds, just try anything and everything you can during your first few weeks. If you’ve missed your chance to sign up to everything you fancy at the Freshers’ Fair, you can still sign up to UoN’s countless societies here; and you can still go to every social, every activity, every meet-and-greet, every night out that you think you can handle. Obviously don’t push yourself to the point where you feel unwell, and remember to take a break to recover, but getting involved as much as you can is the best way to make friends and really make the most of your first few weeks at Uni.


Finally, from the Features Team – if you’ve had an amazing first week and are wondering if it can really be this good all the time, it pretty much is. If you’re feeling unsure about university or thinking maybe this isn’t all for you, check out our article ‘Is it all that?’ in issue 243 of Impact magazine, available from Portland building now.

Ellen Smithies 

Featured Image IMPG9703 by Matt Buck on Flickr , taken at UoN’s Freshers’ Fair


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