Freshers week is what all upcoming students nervously await for. Two weeks of little sleep, 3am kebabs and making temporary best friends in the toilets (it’s a girls thing). Honestly, the weeks after freshers you will see many ‘fresher friends’ around campus and will nervously hold off the smile as your unsure if they even remember you. So many awkward moments, you’ve just got to hope you didn’t embarrass yourself too much.
So your about to meet the people your going to live with for a whole year, no biggie. I remember getting ready for my moving in day and picking my outfit trying to make myself look ‘normal’. So, I had arrived and collected my keys then it was just the matter of my family and I (along with some uni helpers) transporting my 6 carts full of belongings to my room, luckily I was on the bottom floor! Words of advice is don’t overpack, you think you need everything from home but you really don’t and it just means you have to take more back in the holidays.
When applying for halls I went for the cheapest option out there which was monte halls with communal toilets and a shared water basin. For me, I thought living in a big halls would be sociable, the location was great and of course cheap (we’re students after all). I was really happy with my room, nice size, good storage space and I had a wash basin right outside of my room only shared with one other person. The University of Southampton have developed some great new halls and everyone I meet seems to love their halls so there is plenty of good options out there when applying.
Throughout my move in day most of my flat moved in, 7 boys and not a sight of a girl in my flat, I was getting nervous! So on our first night out it was just me and the boys and after a few rounds of drinks I could not keep up!! It was such an amazing first night and we all stayed together the whole time which was great, fortunately one of my flat mates is about 6 foot 4 so that helped. The following day our flat was complete and there was even another girl who soon became one of my best uni friends! Being a gap year student I was worried I was going to be the ‘old one’ but everyone in my flat also took a gap year so we were all in the same boat which was great.
Halls is one of the most amazing experiences and was one of the best years of my life. A year full of corridor chats, pranks, nights in and out and memories that will last a life time. We really did become one big family and I’ve made friends for life.
So, advice for future freshers would be to be yourself, make the most of every opportunity, enjoy every moment and prepare yourself for freshers flu!
I’ve made a top ten best buys in preparation for uni:
1. Coloured cutlery, with ikea being the main supplier of uni students kitchen closets everyone ends up with plain ikea silver cutlery and are forever getting lost. A coloured cutlery set will hopefully mean no more mystery disappearances.
2. Mattress topper will be your biggest saviour. Let’s face it memory foam mattresses are not on the top of the Uni’s list. I ended up with a bed full of springs in halls but was luckily enough to get given a new one. But now I’m living in a house and landlords aren’t quite as understanding so a mattress topper may be a necessity!
3. Photos are an essential for a uni room. Placed in a room with four plain white walls can be quite depressing so having a few photos of your family and friends can make your room feel more like yours. Photo box and snap fish are great websites to order your prints from and you get 50 free prints when you register.
4. Drawing pins and blue tac. In halls most rooms have a drawing board so pins are a necessity to add all these photos and memorabilia to your room and well blue tac is just used everywhere. Buy in bulk!
5. Jesters shoes (Southampton students only) So jesters is the country’s worst nightclub and we are lucky enough to be the host, all freshers prepare yourself! It’s the kind of place that you love but hate and your night will be sure to hold some great memories. The walls are falling apart, toilets flood and the floor is about as dirty as a sewage. This is where the famous ‘jesters shoes’ come in, everyone owns a pair and make sure they are nothing special as you will not be able to wear them anywhere else!
6. Slippers are a necessity for the dirty sticky kitchen and bathroom floors in halls. Living with 8 boys last year I never left my room without my slippers, who would want food smashed into their feet and socks? Even so that the boys tried so hard to hide them from me and once they even threw them out my window! Honestly though don’t risk the floors you will regret it.
7. A Dressing gown helps you forget how cold your uni house really is (well at least slightly). I live in my dressing gown 24/7 when I’m in the house and I find it hard to be without it when it’s in the wash!!
8. A Drying rack will turn into your new best friend particularly when living in a house. Some of my house mates end up hanging washing anywhere possible in their rooms but a drying rack will solve all these problems. My sport at university is rowing so it means I end up with soggy rowing kit in the winter so a drying rack is essential in trying to dry my kit off before I next need it. My housemate has a heated drying rack which is great as we all know how cold uni houses can be so it means your clothes can dry overnight, perfect!
9. Coat hooks are so useful in creating much needed extra storage. Whether it’s hanging over the back of the door, wardrobe or anywhere possible its somewhere you can hang towels, coats, bags and declutters your room at the same time.
10. Colour catchers makes your washing just that bit easier. Prior to coming to university many people haven’t even used a washing machine before so being able to put in multiple colours into a wash saves the stress of separating out your clothes to avoid pink boxers.