Freshers’ Tips 101

Welcome!

Hello everyone! I am an international student from Brazil currently in my second year at the University of York studying Film and Television Production. Freshers’ Week was an incredible experience for me so here are a few tips on how you can make the best out of Freshers’!

Get organised

Firstly, if you are an international student like myself, I highly recommend sorting out all the paperwork beforehand. If you need to open a UK bank account, it would be wise to arrive a few days before the scheduled beginning of term in order to do things with ease.

I also recommend creating a weekly schedule so you can keep track of all the events you want to go to. Freshers’ Week is a very busy time with multiple events going on, including college, department, and international showcases.

Friendships

The first contact you will have with people your own age at university will be with your flatmates. These are people that you will be sharing a kitchen and sometimes a bathroom with for the next year. The odds are you won’t become super ‘bffs’ with all of your flatmates, you will probably find very nice friends among them, so make sure to be nice, friendly and open to everyone.

Keep in mind that everyone is in a new environment, where people don’t yet know each other’s behaviours. This means you might need to slightly increase your tolerance with noises and schedules that are you not normally used to.

Help is there if you need it

During Freshers’ Week, your flat will be assigned STYCs (Second and Third Year Contacts). These people are students like yourself, who have gone through the exact same experience the previous year or two.

If there is only one thing you take away from reading this post, let it be this: your STYCs are there to help you!

They are friendly and very willing to answer any questions you may have. If they are your type of friend crowd, make sure to keep in touch with them. However, if they aren’t what you were expecting, don’t be taken aback because they are only two/three people out of thousands in the university, you will certainly find someone you click with here.

Societies and sports: be open and try new things

Most societies and sports will allow you to try a few sessions before you commit to them for the rest of the term/year. Make an effort to go to these trial sessions as you will get a better understanding of what you will potentially be a part of.

I would recommend not signing up for 5 different societies in the first day, as you will probably not attend them all. Instead, try out a few different things and create a balance between excitement and practicality, and then commit to those you are passionate about.

Get involved with your college

Lastly, I would highly recommend getting involved with your college. York is a very privileged university to have a collegiate system so make sure to take advantage of that!

    • Be nice to your college porters: you will probably see their friendly faces throughout the year.
    • Get involved with your college events: these are smaller spaces where it will be easier to meet interesting people if big social crowds aren’t your cup of tea.
    • Make yourself aware of your college support team: they are there to help you with anything you need, from day one.

“Survival”

Also known as: food and transportation, two very important yet highly overlooked topics.

Food

Supplying food for myself was one of the most challenging tasks during Freshers’ Week. If you have been accepted as part of a catered college, your concerns towards preparing your own meals will obviously be significantly lowered.

However, if you are like me, a student who has never cooked before and is now dependent on it. Here are a few tips:

    • First, get to know your campus supermarket
      For the first few days, shop at your local Nisa supermarket to get essentials, maybe some sandwiches and cereal. Nisa is relatively more expensive than other supermarkets so plan to only get your absolute essentials there.
    • Then, shop online
      Once you have settled in, I recommend shopping for groceries online. Tesco is a viable option, seeing that they have the lowest minimal required for delivery (£40). Make sure you are available to receive your order on the scheduled time of delivery; so, plan ahead, especially during Fresher’s Week with a lot of events.
    • Plan ahead
      Evaluate how much you consume during the first few weeks. Then make a goal for yourself of how much you wish to spend on groceries.

Transportation

Don’t be concerned if you don’t fully understand the routes of the buses or where your seminars and lectures are, everyone is in the same boat.

Buses

    • The 66 and 66a buses cost £2 for a return and £1.60 for a single to town. However, it is completely free if you hop on and hop off within campus grounds.
    • The UB1 campus shuttle is a viable option if your college is Halifax. Take good care while reading the timetables and be sure to treat the driver nicely. You will probably be seeing a lot more from them.

Cycling

    • If you’re not used to the Northern British weather, don’t get overly excited and buy a bicycle straight away. Considering that term starts in late September, it will be winter soon. Odds are you will much rather take a warm bus than confront those cold winds. There are plenty of YUSU bike sales around spring and summer, so watch your email for those.

All in all, make sure you have a great time!

Freshers’ Week is a frantic time where everybody is experiencing a new environment. Take this as an opportunity to have a fresh start and enjoy yourself! And don’t be afraid of asking questions.

Published by

Maria

Maria

I am a second year Film and TV Production student from Brazil. My college is Halifax, go lions! In my spare time I enjoy reading, writing, drawing, and cooking!