Dear Freshers of 2020: Here's What You Need To Know | Student September Guest Post by Natasha Evans

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Happy Saturday, friends!

I hope you have all had a bright and fun-filled week.

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

If you didn't know, this month we are celebrating Student September here on Sara Louisa by featuring a whole month of student-centered content written by some of the best guest bloggers out there! Last week we had the lovely Amber Page write a post detailing her favourite student bloggers, and we have many more great guest posts lined up! 

Today, I’m very pleased to introduce you to Natasha Evans from ‘A Girl With A View’, who will be telling us her top nuggets of advice for this year’s freshers!

Starting university any year is daunting - it’s a big step to take in life and will undoubtedly leave you feeling anxious about starting something completely new. However, this year, in particular, will be even more unnerving for freshers due to COVID-19. Although university life will be different from how it has been in previous years as we all adapt to a new normal there are still some fundamental tips and tricks that will definitely help you throughout your first year!

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Sign up for the Doctors

Although you may not get ill very often or feel the need to register at a doctors, it is so important that you do, especially now! When I first joined university I didn’t think I would need to register as I’m rarely ill, however, I ended up needing an emergency appointment for something which could’ve been avoided if I’d registered initially. It can be frustrating constantly switching your GP practice but it’s a small price to pay for access to appointments and prescriptions should you need them suddenly. It’s often the last thing on a freshers mind when they first join university but it’s one of those mundane, life-admin tasks that doesn’t take long and will always be useful should you ever need it.

Learn how to Reference Quickly

Referencing will soon become one of the most annoying things in your life, particularly if you study a subject that focuses heavily on essay writing. Most subject areas will ask you to use a particular referencing system, whether that be Harvard, MHRA, MLA or something else that they require you to use in your essays. It’s important to get to grips with this quickly as it’s a skill that you will need throughout your university days and if you manage to understand and use it well during your first year then you will thank yourself later on, particularly when you start to write your dissertation! A bonus tip is to never leave your referencing until the end of your essay as it will always take longer than you think and it makes life so much easier if you reference as you go along!

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Take Pics of any Faults in your flat/room

Walking into your university room for the first time can be an overwhelming and exciting experience as this is where you’re going to spend the next year of your life! It’s natural to want to put your own stamp on your room to make it feel like you’re own but before you do so, take pictures of any faults in your room! University rooms can look a little tatty with cracks, bits of peeling paint or marks on the walls. Take a picture of anything wrong with your room, regardless of how major or minor these faults are. When you leave at the end of your first year and are looking to get your deposit back, your halls will not be able to keep your money if you can show that the marks were there when you arrive and not caused by you! It’s such a simple thing to forget to do but can really help in the long run!

Back up your work

A lot of my university lecturers made it quite clear during my first year that losing work/ your laptop dying/ your work not being saved are not valid reasons for not turning in work. Thankfully I’ve used Google Docs for years which automatically backs up and saves my work for me whilst also being accessible on any device so I don’t have to worry about losing work or my laptop failing. If you can’t use Google Docs I would highly recommend buying an external hard drive or memory stick that you regularly import your work too so that you never end up in the boat of having to start your work all over again the night before due to technical issues!

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Don’t Think you need to be friends with the first person you meet

During your first few weeks, you will most likely come into contact with so many different people. However, you do not have to talk to, see these people again or become friends with them! Everyone is in the same boat and will be more than willing to talk to you but you don’t need to feel obliged to suddenly become best friends with this person. There are so many other ways to meet people at university whether that be through your course, society, flat or out and about. You do not need to become stuck or latch onto the person you met on your first night at university and it’s important to remember that everyone will be feeling the same and you will always have the opportunity to meet more people!

Keep in touch

Although you’re somewhere new and meeting an abundance of new people, don’t forget the ones at home or those that have gone on to another university. It’s natural that you will most likely grow apart from some people in your life and that is more than okay, I did exactly that! However, it’s important not to lose everyone you once knew and those that want to be friends will make the effort. Try as much as possible to keep in contact with those friends as you’ll be grateful for it one day!

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

Those are my top tips for helping out freshers during their first year at university! It can be an intimidating time but it’s key to remember that you are not alone and everyone you meet will be in the same boat. University will have its ups and downs but these tips will help you survive those first few months in a new chapter of your life!

About the Author

Tash is a UK based blogger and English student who blogs all about travel, books and university life (amongst a whole host of other topics)! She loves talking to new people so feel free to reach out to her via social media!




1 comment:

  1. Such useful and important advice. It can be quite nerve inducing sometimes to have to think of/remember or maybe even tackle things that are a bit new so all of these tips are so great!


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