Starting a whole new academic year is always a bit of a drag. The semester hasn’t even started yet and already everything is moving at 100mph with no sign of letting up any time soon. Those of us here at Quench understand the feeling – so many dates, deadlines and work to prepare. However, over the years, we have managed to get the act of beginning a new semester down to an art.
One of the most exciting and important things about starting a new year is catching up with all the friends that you missed during in the summer. The first lecture of the year is always chaos and as lectures are probably your first point of contact for socialising, they are also the first point of contact for study. Although tempting, avoid frustrating the lecturers on the first day and missing out on all the important info; have a catch up with friends before the semester starts – even if it is 15 minutes before the lecture at Hoffi Coffi.
Do you remember that massive stash of pens and stationery that you started off with in first year? Me too! I now only have three pens and a few notebooks left. Unless you’re gonna be that guy that writes all of his lecture notes in a tiny A6 sized notebook, it’s probably best to stock up on the stationery. The pen supply is essential and if you don’t have a folder, are you even student?! A diary is a must have and keeps you on track; week to page views are usually the best for on-the-go students. Having said that, don’t go crazy on the stationery part. You don’t want to be the person who takes 10 minutes to unload all of their stationery onto the desk at the beginning of a lecture.
Societies are an essential part of university life and can make the stress of deadlines disappear momentarily. With societies from Surfing to Yoga, it’s always great to try something new. However, it is all too tempting to sign up to every society you see at the societies fair. Juggling more than two societies is hard work and creates more clashes and dates to organise. Not to mention the waste of money if you don’t commit to them. Quench recommends joining no more than two. Or, if you really want to dedicate yourself, stick to one and you might stand a chance of being a committee member next year.
The Student Union offers some of the best nights out at the beginning of the semester as part of the fresher’s events. Whether you’re a first year or a third year, freshers is always a great chance to meet and socialise with new people. Even when fresher’s is over, the club nights remain great all through the year. It’s always a good choice to go out when the stress of the new year gets too much.
Having said that, be aware of the fresher’s flu. Yes, first years, it is a thing. And no, it is not a myth (unfortunately). A week or two after fresher’s week, everyone seems to come down with a cold. The combination of nights out and everyone moving in to the same house and mingling their germs leads to an illness heaven. Or should we say, hell! The best way to beat the fresher’s flu is to stay as healthy as possible. And your parents were actually right when they said to eat your vegetables. Sadly Dominos and super noodles won’t do you any favours for your immune system, but will we ever learn? Probably not. So when all else fails, you can always rely on a Berocca, a bowl of chicken soup and some snuggly Netflix nights to get you on the mend.
As strange as it is to read, freshers, if you experience any of these within your first few weeks at uni, you’re doing freshers right. And we’d be lying if we said you probably won’t experience more than one of these things at once too. So when you’re sat in your first week of lectures, nursing your fresher’s flu with a flask of Lemsip in one hand, and the old pen from the bottom of your bag in the other, know that you have aced your first few weeks of uni… well, sort of.