All the mistakes Freshers make - and how to avoid making them

There’s a lot to get your head around when you start University: entering your bank account is suddenly more money than you’ve seen before, you’re in a new, unfamiliar place and the level of studying is unlike A-Levels or College. No patronising, here – we made many mistakes in our time, too, that we’d like to warn Freshers from making. So, here’s every mistake you may make as a Fresher – and how to avoid making them at UWE Bristol!

There’s a lot to get your head around when you start University: entering your bank account is suddenly more money than you’ve seen before, you’re in a new, unfamiliar place and the level of studying is unlike A-Levels or College. No patronising, here – we made many mistakes in our time, too, that we’d like to warn Freshers from making. So, here’s every mistake you may make as a Fresher – and how to avoid making them at UWE Bristol:

Moving in with everything but the kitchen sink 

You’re moving your life to a new city; you need the things that make you feel at home. However, do you really need the Rubik’s Cube you haven’t completed, three bottle openers purchased on different Spanish islands, or your entire, already bulging wardrobe?! We didn’t think so. Avoid risking overcrowding in your calming University space.

Joining too many societies - or avoiding them altogether 

It can go two ways. You check out the Freshers’ Fair (which is virtual this year, by the way) and you find six societies you’d be interested in joining. Either excitement gets the better of you, and you sign up to all six before you remember you’ve actually got a degree to study for, or you’re too nervous to ask around for the lowdown on each society’s commitments, so you just don’t sign up to any. Joining a society or sports club, or even a couple, is so beneficial in your time at University – just don’t go overboard.

Doing the food shop when you're starving 

And you’ll come out with a receipt as long as your arm, and a month’s worth of snacks you convinced yourself you needed for the week. Pick a prime time for your food shop: whether that’s early in the morning before seminars after breakfast, or after you’ve eaten your lunch. That way, you’ll be able to budget and save your stomach the pain.

Setting the fire alarm off at an ungodly hour 

That burnt piece of toast might not feel so worth it once you’re stood outside, freezing in your pjs with the rest of the flat block bleary-eyed and angry. Don’t worry, though, students are very forgiving – every single flat manages to set the alarm off at some point, so they’ll forget about it quicker than you can shout “it’s all a hoax!”.

Not signing up with your local GP 

This is paramount in 2020. Don’t leave this as a chore – get signed up as soon as you move in. You’ll thank past you for it later.

Forgetting to clean the kitchen... Conveniently, for two months 

Not so convenient when you realise the mould build-up takes industrial strength to remove. This is a classic Fresher rookie error – don’t be the one to make it this year. Wash your dishes, pronto!

Running out of toilet roll, mid-toilet-usage 

Surprisingly, many of us have been in this exact situation – it’s just we often don’t want to admit to it. Freshers’ error 101: always buy slightly more loo roll in than you need (just don’t stockpile, folks!).

Pretending you're not missing home - when you really are 

We only see each other’s highlight reels on social media, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that everyone has low points during their first year of University. Moving away from home is actually understandably hard, and we forget that we shouldn’t just be living our best lives 24/7. It’s okay to miss home. Chat to your friends and you’ll realise they feel the same, too. A problem shared is a problem halved; don’t keep it bottled inside. Remember, our Advice Centre is always on hand for an impartial chat and support.

Purchasing reading lists brand-new 

A lot of perfectly good textbooks can be bought second-hand for half the price. Many reading lists are quite the length. So, it makes perfect sense to grab pre-used books – and if you’re lucky, you’ll find some helpful pre-loved notes inside to aid your understanding of the theories and topics you’re learning. It’s like having a personal lecturer pre-lecture.

Counting referencing as an after-thought 

You will make your life 100x harder if you do not reference as you go along. Otherwise, you’ll have a bibliography of question marks, some non-existent sources and you’ll spend three hours sifting through your laptop’s history to hunt down the pesky quotes.

Forgetting to become your own Chancellor and doing a budget 

Make like the Chancellor of the Exchequer and budget every single penny that comes into your bank. Giving yourself a weekly allowance will ensure you stick to your financial goals, and it’ll help the crazy figure that enters your bank in the first week of University feel a little less overwhelming.

Treating your overdraft as your new best friend

Your overdraft is there if you really need it, but it’s not the best friend you should hit up for every coffee date. It’s good to build healthy habits within first term, so you’re not hitting an overdraft black hole come January.

Not taking advantage of your parents enough when they come to visit 

Parents, what are they for? Besides love, family bonds and general nurturing of your character and well-being, they’re there for a mammoth food shop. Rinse them of their disposable income when they come to visit – after all, they’re the ones with jobs.

Deciding it's a good dietary choice to eat only beige food 

Chicken nuggets, chips and sweetcorn. Pasta, cheese sauce - added cheese on top. All beige food staples and perhaps ones you should avoid basing your daily meals on, no matter how great the temptation is.

Forgetting to sign up for a second year house quick enough 

Student housing is popular. Goodness knows why most of us forget that, with there being just 28,678 other students at UWE Bristol. When it comes to picking your second year house, make sure you shop around, but in good time to find the right place for you – before all the good homes have gone to more organised students.

Want more tips and tricks on how to excel in your first year? Check out our other Welcome content now!