Top Tips For Surviving Freshers’ Week

Top Tips For Surviving Freshers’ Week

If reports are to be believed the new generation of students are turning their backs on the age old tradition for alcohol fuelled freshers' events and universities across the country are making changes as a result.

Hull University has replaced Freshers’ Week with Welcome Fest, which features a range of alcohol free events and reduced opening hours in their nightclubs due to lack of demand. Others are offering quizzes and meditation classes.

There is, however, a way to go I feel before this epidemic for healthy living completely takes over the excess for which Fresher’s Week is historically renowned.

Whichever bracket your teen may fall into, Freshers' Week is a rite of passage and here are a few top tips to help them survive.

  • University facebook communities are where it all starts.  Once the results are in and their university offer has been confirmed, they can join their university's facebook community to get vital information on what is happening and order a Freshers' Week wristband to guarantee reduced price entry to the main events. As well as the general university facebook community, there are also communities for their halls of residence, the societies and their course, to enable students to get to know each other virtually before they arrive.
  • Freshers' flu  is still very much alive and kicking.  With thousands of strangers coming together in a new environment, university is by its very nature a breeding ground for bacteria.  Add to this the inevitable high octane socialising and it is not surprising that many new undergraduates are left nursing more than a heavy head at the end of the week. A freshers' first aid kit is vital to help them survive.  Include some high dosage Vitamin C or Berocca to boost their immune system as well as a few fail-safe flu remedies.  
  • A big threat to our young teens nowadays is Meningitis.  Don't let them wait until they arrive to get the jab - it maybe too late, organise it before they head off.
  • HPV is present in every sexually active person.  It's normal and not an STD but can in some rare instances develop into cervical cancer in girls and there is evidence that there is now a rise in throat and neck cancers among young men as a result of it too.  Girls are currently offered the vaccine free between the ages of 12-18 and it is, in my opinion as a mother to a teen girl and a woman affected by this cancer herself, as vital as any other vaccine offered to our teenagers.  As for the boys, it was confirmed in July this year that those between the age of 12-13 will also be offered the HPV vaccine. For those boys who have already passed this milestone, it is definitely worth looking into how they can get this jab with your local GP.
  • It's not easy adjusting to a completely new environment and meeting new people is always nerve-racking but it is not a time to be shy.  They can make it easier for themselves by propping their room door open so that people moving in on their corridor can pop their head in and say hello.  
  • There are a few essential accessories to Freshers' Week and one of them is fancy dress, so if they don't want to feel left out it's definitely worth packing a few accessories to help them look the part at whatever events they go to should they need to.  
  • It's not all about the parties. Freshers' Week generally concludes with the Fresher's Fair and is the time for students to sign up to a range of clubs and societies that interest them.  It is easy, however, to get carried away in the first week and sign up to more than is physically possible or affordable. There are some, such as the sports ones, that are more popular than others and they need to be quick to join these if it is a passion, otherwise they can easily sign up to others once the week is over.  
  • University is the first time away from home for many teenagers and there are some admin tasks that can't be avoided.  They need to make sure they have the necessary ID and documents for registering when they arrive as well as organising a TV license and insurance for their belongings.
  • Student discounts are offered by most retailers nowadays and to ignore them is foolish, all they need is proof they are a student and if they a student discount isn't offered it is always worth asking.
  • Last but not least, amidst all the madness they need to buy their books and attend their course introductory social evenings. It is important for them to make sure they are ready to study on the first day of term. After all, that's why they're there!

Top Tips For Surviving Freshers' Week

Have you been through this process in the past or recently? I would love to hear from you and if you have some more top tips please add them in the comments.

Editors' Note : This post was first published last year and has been updated with new information.  

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26 Comments

  1. September 27, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    my teen isn’t off to Uni but is venturing into the world on his own in the next few weeks and a lot of the advice/concerns apply to him/me also #tweensteensbeyond

  2. September 24, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    I am bookmarking all you guys Brill uni posts !!! So I can come back to them when the time comes !! There’s so much info here , thank you so much! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 7:40 pm

      Yah I am so glad you find it useful Kelly. You can never be too over prepared and at least you will know where to come for advice. #TweensTeensBeyond

  3. September 22, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Brilliant post Jo, loved all the advice. I have one extra tip – which was actually given to me by a police officer at my daughter’s halls of residence. It’s a good idea for students to write down their term time address on a card and keep it in a pocket. Apparently, it’s very common for first year students to have a ‘few’ too many and then completely forget where their student flat is! They also have a habit of losing their phones so there’s no point keeping it on there! The card cuts down on a lot of police time as they can take them straight back to the flat. #TweensTeensBeyond xx

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 7:42 pm

      Oh that is so pertinent and judging by my eldest’s first few days that would have been a handy tip for uber at least. Thanks Sharon. #TweensTeensBeyond

  4. September 21, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Oh my word, yours and Sharons posts this week have totally added several grey hairs to my head – my eldest is only 14 but now I’m totally fretting the decisions needing to be made re Uni! I never went myself, I took and apprentiship and experienced none of the above so this is all a totaly eye opener to me. You have thought of things that would never have crossed my mind. Excellent post and thank you! I hope your son has fun this week! #TTB

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      We are here to help Alex. It’s a learning curve for us all and the great thing about blogging is that you can access so much real life advice and information. In the meantime just chill, you have a few years to go yet. #TweensTeensBeyond

  5. September 21, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Our daughter left for uni last weekend and I think this is a really good list. My daughter is pretty independent so I left a lot of it up to her and it seems to have gone ok. I think the meningitis jab is absolutely essential – the only reason I was aware of it was through reading a BBC news article in August. She rang the GP and went down for the jab by herself the week before she left as I was working.

    My daughter is in self catering accomodation – at the beginning of the summer she started cooking meals for the family so that she could learn how to cook her favourite ones! She turned out to be a pretty goof cook which is now going down well with her flatmates.

    #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      Lynne I love that we can all share top tips in this forum. There is nothing like hands on advice and it is so easy to think you know it all and then someone else comes up with a tip you have never heard of before.

  6. September 20, 2017 / 3:52 pm

    After the course was sorted, paperwork done, and jabs jabbed, my main attitude to Freshers’ Week was ‘don’t tell me’. What happens during Freshers’ Week, stays on Freshers’ week and mum, of all people, doesn’t need to know! It’s maybe worth warning new students about newspapers and photographers though. It’s not as if students are normally targets for the paparazzi, but the year my youngest went to uni some papers decided to run articles on freshers having TOO good a time – preferably with photos of them drunk in the street, or off to parties dressed ‘weirdly’. My daughter wasn’t caught by the press but I know someone on Twitter whose son was! He managed to explain away the photos, saying he’d been caught unawares by a cameraman, and to some extent the photos looked rigged, but I still guess he wasn’t best pleased by it, and neither was his mum!

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      Mary it’s like the motto re a sports tour…what happens on tour stays on tour. The sad thing is everyone expects Freshers Week to be a nightmare and there is a group that is feeds off everyone’s misfortune. Thanks for sharing that horrific story, it is a harsh reminder of the negative parts of Fresher’s. #TweensTeensBeyond

  7. September 20, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    This will be us this time next year. There is some really helpful info in here, so I have saved it to my favourites along with Sharon’s from the other week. Thank you ladies for sharing your experiences and advice 🙂 TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      You have a year to prepare and you know where to come for the best advice! #TweensTeensBeyond

  8. September 19, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    I think the meningitis tip is a big one!

    As an American, we don’t have Freshers week and the same type of University/College experience. That said, I studied abroad in Sydney for a year when I was a junior. The kids in the College I lived in totally wanted me to go through Freshers week because I was new, even though I was third year, but as I was older (and taller) than most of them I put my foot down, LOL.

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      I have a few friends who decided to leave the jab until their teens were in situ, I bit my tongue but I couldn’t really understand why as the first week is a bacteria breeding ground or at least it seems to be. #TweensTeensBeyond

  9. September 19, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Hi Jo! Freshers week! URGH! Well, my Uni Boy is going back to year 3 and I must admit, he still lives by the work hard, play even harder rule that he adopted from his freshers week. Though he really has to buckle down big time this year as it’s so important! I agree re the meningitis jab – essential and also, whether it’s more of a placebo or not, I gave my boy some multivitamins as was sure his cooking skills were definitely going to leave him depleted of essential vitamins and minerals! For those whose kids are going beyond halls into their own rented digs with friends, can I also just put it out there that so many of my son’s friends (and him) came down with awful chesty coughs at one point or another and I believe the damp in some of their accommodation was a contributing factor. So, be aware and check that any damp is dealt with by the landlord before they move in. Good luck to all of us whose kids are flying the nest for exciting adventures beyond the family home 🙂 Hope it all goes well Jo! #TweensTeensBeyond Lisa xx

  10. September 19, 2017 / 1:18 pm

    This is a really useful post and one that I shall dig out next year. Good luck to your son (and you!). Xx #tweensteensbeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Glad you found it useful. He seems to have taken to it a like a duck to water but I feel a repercussion post in the making! #TweensTeensBeyond

  11. September 19, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    A little way off for us as you know but I’ve been hearing a lot about this. Forewarned and all that!! I shall pop on to my Facebook page as this will be of interest to others doing the same thing.

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Thanks for the share Nicky. Greatly appreciated. x

  12. September 19, 2017 / 11:03 am

    This takes me back, although it seems a lot more full on than I remember. Connection online is a big step forward and a great way to give information, but did he find all the information a bit of an overload? Great advice about smiling, and I like the idea of taking a door stop too. I hope he is having a great time and settling in. #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 9:43 pm

      Cheryl I think he is having a too good a time settling in. That is good I think and actually bizarrely rather than worrying about the cleanliness of his room, his eating habits etc it’s more a case of out of sight out of mind – after all I don’t have to deal with it! #TweensTeensBeyond

  13. September 19, 2017 / 10:59 am

    Good luck to your son. Must be a big leap of faith leaving them at uni for the first time to totally fend for themselves. Hope he has a great time. Sad thing is, it doesn’t seem that long ago I had my own freshers week, but it really is! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      September 24, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      If you can remember your freshers’ week that is a result. I can remember drop off and the first night and lots of cheap, warm wine but nothing else more than that. I think it’s a bit more advanced now – that will be the 21st century then! #TweensTeensBeyond

  14. NR
    September 19, 2017 / 7:49 am

    You mention Freshers Flu but it’s also vital new students get their Meningitis vaccination before they go. One boy in my son’s Hall contracted Meningitis during Freshers last year- happily recovered- but possibly preventable.

    • Jo
      Author
      September 19, 2017 / 10:23 am

      Yes you are absolutely right. Thank you so much for adding that. I made sure my teen had his before he went but many I know didn’t. It is a dreadful threat to our teens. I will amend my post. Thanks again.

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