Starting uni brings a whole range of crazy emotions and new experiences. It's really exciting, but it can also be quite overwhelming and possibly even difficult to deal with at first as there is so much change. But fear not, we’ve put together a short list of things every fresher should know to help out.
1. It’s normal (and totally ok) to feel homesick
Moving away to uni is probably the first time you have lived alone, and although that can be quite daunting, there are plenty of positives. That being said, nearly everyone will feel homesick at some point, so remember a lot of people are in the same boat and to talk to friends and family for comfort.
2. Get into some sort of routine
Once the craziness of Fresher's Fortnight has calmed down a little, try and create some kind of routine so you can form healthy habits when it comes to studying. Keeping a balance of work hard, play hard is key to making the most of your time at Essex.
3. Remember the boring admin stuff
This sounds stupid, but amongst all the excitement of your life changing so quickly, don’t forget to do the important life admin things…like enrolling and paying bills on time!
4. Think ahead: find a place to live next year
It’s not going to be the first thing you think of, but scouting around the local area and having an idea of where you are going to live (and who you are going to live with) next year by Christmas will give you a huge head start. We've got our own letting agency, SU Homes on campus off Square 3. Unlike other agencies they don't charge fees so pop down and see them.
5. Budgeting: know your bank balance
Learning how to budget is a crucial part of being a student. Keep an eye on the pennies and always ask about discount! There are always discounts and offers on campus across different venues and events, and if you get a part time job with the SU you also receive various discounts across all the venues.
6. Attend as many mixers/events as you can
People are very open and friendly at Essex, especially during Fresher's Fortnight, so try to socialise and get to know your community. You never know what doors it could open…
7. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or asking for help
A lot of first year is about learning how to juggle your responsibilities and adapt to changes, and we'll be honest, things might not always go perfectly to plan. The good news? That doesn't matter.
A natural part of life is making mistakes, so don’t worry, everyone does it - just learn from it. There is so much support available while you're here, so don't be afraid to ask for help! Whether you need directions to The Store or advice on sexual health, we've got you covered.
8. Lectures are important
Get in to a good routine of following your timetable and turning up to lectures early on so you are less tempted to stray later on in the year. First year is really important for learning how to organise yourself, and remember the main reason you're at uni (to get an amazing degree, in case you weren't sure).
9. Try something new
Essex is the perfect place to step outside of your shell and try something new, so why not take up a brand new sport, join a sports society, perform at an open mic night, volunteer at a local school or even study part time abroad...the possibilities are endless!
10. Make the most of your freshers experience
Although you’ll probably go through at least three freshers weeks during your time at Essex, uni flashes by in the blink of an eye, so make the most of your first year. Don’t forget to pick up your heirloom from the Heirloom House behind the sports centre after registration, so you can start to leave a legacy at Essex from day 1.