Published on 16th July 2019 by laurenwade

A group of university students sit in a communal area and socialise

The first week at university can be pretty daunting for any new student, particularly if no one in your family has been to university before, and so you might be looking for tips to help you prepare for freshers’ week.

These top tips should help you to be as prepared as possible for your first week away from home – leaving you with more time for fun, friends and exploration!

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1. Make sure you have booked a ‘move in’ slot

Most universities operate a booking system for move in weekends, meaning you have to book a slot in advance. It’s normally only an hour or two, so I’d recommend checking with your university how they organise move in weekends, and if needed, book a slot.

You will need to decide what day you want to arrive. For some people arriving early suits them best, because they’d like to meet their flatmates as soon as possible, or just choose the largest kitchen cupboard first!

For others, arriving later on the Sunday afternoon might work better, because they don’t want to risk spending the night in an empty flat.

Work out what suits you best or try reaching out to your flatmates online and arranging when you’ll all arrive. This is one of the most important tips to prepare for freshers’ week.

Read 5 Tips for Preparing for Med School Over the Summer

2. Check whether your Medical School has set you any preparation work

Some Medical Schools will request that you prepare in advance for teaching during Freshers’ week. It won’t be much work, but might involve some pre-reading and planning.

If your university has sent you some, get it done sooner rather than later. That way there will be one less thing to stress about come Freshers’ week.

Read 7 Tips for Keeping on Top of Your Workload in Med School

3. Unpack fully the day you arrive

Freshers’ week can get really busy, really fast. If you don’t unpack everything the day you arrive, there’s a good chance there will still be unopened boxes under your desk in November.

Make the most of your parents dropping you off and ask them to help you unpack everything. Similarly, hang up your photos and decorations as soon as you arrive. This is a great way to instantly make your new room feel more homely.

Putting up photos will make you feel less lonely when the homesickness kicks in. If you put it off until later, you risk reaching the Christmas holidays with no photos on your walls.

Read 5 Key Things to Take to Med School

4. Plan your meals

If you’re staying in self-catered halls, plan some easy meals for you to eat during Freshers’ week, and make sure you buy all the right ingredients.

I would recommend doing a big food shop the day you move in, or even ordering the food online and having it delivered the day you arrive. However, you choose to shop, ensure you have some quick and easy meals planned that you can make.

If you have catered halls, check when the food service starts. At my halls in first year, no food was served until the Monday of Freshers’ week, and I only realised that when I arrived on Saturday afternoon!

Read 5 Dos and Don’t for First Year of Med School

5. Choose events you want to attend

Freshers’ week really does have an event to suit everyone. From nights out until the early hours of the morning, to movie nights and sporting activities – there will be something to suit you and your personality.

Check out your Students’ Union website, as well as having a look to see if your university’s MedSoc has organised any events for Freshers’ week. Pick some events that stand out to you and book your tickets.

A word of warning: be wary of the ‘club night packages’ you’ll see advertised on social media.

Only buy packages from your Students’ Union, as those will be the ‘real’ Freshers’ events for students from your university.

Don’t feel pressured to buy expensive packages before you arrive, you will be able to buy tickets when you get there and have had a chance to see what other people are planning to attend.

Good luck, and enjoy Freshers’ week!

Words: Kirsty Morrison

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