What do you get when you stick a bunch of students together, throw in some fancy dress and add a whole load of alcohol to the mix? That’s right everyone, we’re talking about Fresher’s Week.
For thousands of young people across the country, it’s not just the extra studying that will take some getting used to – going to uni also means making friends during the first few weeks and setting a good first impression.
To help you along the way, read our handy Fresher’s Week survival guide below for top tips about how to get by as well as advice on how to look and feel your best.
Alright, so let’s be honest – unless you plan to hibernate in your room for the duration of Fresher’s Week, chances are you’ll be going out and surrounded by a lot of booze.
When you go out drinking, it’s important to know your limits and take care of your body when you do. While you’re out, sipping water in between your tipple won’t stop you feeling drunk but it’ll help your sore head in the morning and keep your skin looking healthy.
Remember to drink plenty of water during the day too – ideally eight glasses. Rehydration is great for easing a hangover. However, don’t ever feel pressured to drink – if you can’t face another night of booze you’re not alone. And what’s more, many pubs and bars offer tasty mocktail alternatives to wine and beer.
During Fresher’s Week, there will be lots of parties to choose from and a great chance to mingle and make new friends. Remember to stay safe while you’re out and about, get party-ready with your friends and arrive together. Avoid travelling around on your own late at night, cabs can be ordered at a click of a button so don’t forget your mobile.
You’re going out to have fun so the last thing on your mind is worrying about where your bag, jacket or drink is. Stay savvy, stay aware and use a bottle stopper if you ever get worried.
If a cute guy or girl catches your eye try to be careful not to take things too fast too soon. If one thing does lead to another and you decide to go home with someone, remember to practice safe sex. Carry around some condoms to protect yourself from STIs and pregnancy. There are many different methods to choose from when it comes to contraception, so if you’re unsure about which is best for you then speak to your local doctor or pharmacist.
Always remember to remove your makeup after a night out to stop your pores from clogging up as this will cause unwanted breakouts. If your skin is feeling dry and unhealthy, hydrating creams and face masks are a great way of replenishing any lost moisture from a long night of dancing.
Oh, and invest in an eye mask and a good pair of ear plugs – you might be ready to end the party but if you’re living in shared accommodation and your flatmates are a noisy bunch these items will be essential to getting some rest.
Although it might be tempting to live on a diet of takeaways and junk food now that you’re living away from home and your parents aren’t around to keep you in check, maintaining healthy nutrition at uni is crucial to giving you the energy you’ll need to get through all those lectures and exams.
It’s okay to treat yourself and order in foods like burgers and chips every now and again, but remember to maintain a healthy balance by getting your five-a-day. Snack on fresh fruit and vegetables such as apples, carrots and grapes – they’ll keep you full without making you feel bloated and sluggish.
If you eat healthily your body should get all the nutrients that it needs to function effectively and keep you going during Fresher’s Week, but if you’re starting to feel run-down from all that partying or have a vitamin deficiency then consider taking supplements or herbal products such as Echinacea to help get your body back on track again. Speak to your local doctor or pharmacist as they’ll be able to recommend the right supplements for you.
And finally, never underestimate how vital a good breakfast is to getting you set up for the day. Uni schedules can often be long, so before you head out take some time to fill up. Poached eggs, toast, fresh fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice are all quick and easy options to get you through Fresher’s Week and keep you feeling healthy and happy.
Aside from enjoying yourself and making new mates during fresher's week, ultimately you’ve signed up to study and learn something new.
Make sure you keep this in mind at all times and don’t leave your essays and coursework until the very last minute – this could lead to stress and worry (Not to mention poor grades.) Your mental wellbeing is extremely important, so try to stay organised with your work and give yourself plenty of time to complete any assignments.
If you are starting to feel the pressure though, exercising is a fantastic stress-buster and naturally boosts endorphins to improve your mood and help you stay focused. Take a long walk, go to the gym, do some gentle exercise at home, sign up to a dance class or consider getting involved with your uni sports teams.