Welcome to the relaunch of Queen Clo!! I am so so excited to show you all what I have been working on. First up is this post, all about my favourite week of the university calendar, fresher’s week! It is in collaboration with the wonderful UcaDO, which is the new peer-to-peer app that’s launching soon. I think it is important to only work with brands that I think will be beneficial for you, that’s why I love UcaDO, at the minute if you pre-register at ucado.co.uk/students/ , you can be in the chance to win £100 each week! If you’re about to become a fresher or are currently a university student, that £100 would be a wonderful way to start (back) at university! So, about the app, it will do more than help you find your next home and build your credit rating; it will also keep you connected to useful local knowledge, and be on hand to help you get the most out of your uni days. Do let me know in the comments if you preregister, here’s to hoping it’s one of you who wins the £100!!
Now on to the post….
So, my first tip is not to pack too much stuff to bring to university. I am the worst for being an over packer, I visited my friends for a week and took the biggest suitcase you can imagine. So, when moving into university you can only imagine the amount I bought, we have a Land Rover, which is a fairly large car and I filled it…. The worst part of it all was that I lived on the third floor of an old building with many, many, steps. On moving in day, I almost died having to do the stairs many times. In reality, I didn’t need half of the things that I had brought with me. I think in my head it was once I had moved I wouldn’t be able to bring things back again with me, and it all needed to be there NOW. When in reality, in September I didn’t need ALLLL my winter clothes and I could’ve brought them back when I visited home in October. Think practical and what you actually need. Worst comes to it you can get things you have forgotten posted to you, (thanks mum for sending me my laptop charger, opps). Also, I found shopping was an incredible way to bond with new friends, so bought more stuff, which I did not have space for in my little room. So, take this into account with how much you bring. Below is a picture of me suffocated with stuff in the car. Just know, this year only my essentials will be brought with hahaha…
Tip number two is to bring a doorstop, I actually took two… My doorstop became so handy within the first two weeks of uni. Firstly, I had it in when I was moving my stuff in which saved me the hassle of trying to hold my door open. My spare doorstep I gave to the girl opposite me (big up Sophie Mould, who I now adore. Mould, you were a dream to live opposite and I’ll miss you next year😭), and it was a great way to meet her. After moving in, I left the doorstop in to allow people to walk past and come in. Having a doorstop shows you are open to people coming in to socialise with you, I actually became friends with the people who came to visit me. When you first start out making as many friends as possible is crucial, because it allows you to see who is going to be your types of people, and after all you are with these people for potentially three years, so it is worth being sociable and meeting people at all opportunities.
When choosing what kitchenware to pick do not buy it from IKEA!!! I swear everyone buys it from them because it is cheap, but it is a nightmare to work out who’s items are who’s when they are all left on the draining board… I ended up having green glasses, pink plates and red cutlery, cause at least I knew they were mine. Another note, it might be worth investing in a mini fridge for your room! I adored the 30 girls I lived with, however annoyingly my food and drinks would sometimes go missing from the fridges…. This year, I will be taking my own mini fridge down with me, so at least I know my food is safe in my room. Plus, I am mega lazy, so if I can make breakfast in my room it may save me 10 minutes in the morning which I can have in bed…
Fresher’s flu is real and it kills you off!!! I had fresher’s flu in the second week of university, which led to a nasty throat infection! Not what you want in your first week. I had never heard of fresher’s flu, and so didn’t think to bring cold and flu tablets or Lemsip, but trust me you will need them. Even if you manage to be the lucky one who doesn’t have it, I can guarantee someone else on your floor would be very grateful for having some of your Lemsip. However, it seemed last year my WHOLE floor had fresher’s flu!! Just remember to drink plenty and to get enough sleep alongside your partying! Also get your meningitis jab, I had viral meningitis this year and it was not pretty!! Luckily because I had the jab I didn’t get bacterial meningitis, which would’ve made me a lot sicker. It does not take long to get done and could potentially save your life.
Next, do not feel like you have to go to every single fresher’s event. My university has two weeks of fresher’s, and realistically I cannot afford to go to every event. Some of the events are in central London, so although the entry is included in my wristband, the expensive drinks and commute are not. That’s why personally I will not go to them, as it will cost me way too much money and effort. Also, it is quite nice to have a night or two in just chilling out and getting used to your new surroundings. When you stay in, you can get to know the people you are living with so much better than you can in a club. In a club, usually you are trying to yell to each other to be heard, at least at your home you can talk about who you are and not worry about if they can hear you or the ringing noise in your ear from the music at the same time you’re trying to speak. Below is Hannah and I enjoying a face mask, during freshers week it is so nice to find time and chill out, plus my face very much needed replenishment.
Now, talking about fresher’s events, check the schedule and see which ones are themed nights. This year I know that there is Zoo Party, back to school disco and where’s Wally, to name a few, so I have pre-bought all my outfits. This saves me the stress of last minute buying the outfits. I am the worst for not having outfits ready, and I know if I don’t have a suitable outfit I will panic and throw a mini meltdown, leading me not to go out. So, do your research and now what you want to wear! If you’re short on cash, you can make yourself fit themes very easily. Below, we just ‘painted’ our faces to fit zoo parties theme!
My favourite thing about being a student is the student discount. Imagine just getting money off for being at uni, a win!! Now, my favourite discount is 30% off at Zizzi’s, meals out are a great way to get to know friends more, but they can be expensive. Having student discount makes you save a few £££ and leads you to be able to do more with your cash. Unidays is a perfect app to join, as is getting an NUS Card, but there are also many free websites you can join too which will send you the latest student deals. Get looking and joining.
Go to your fresher’s fair!! At my fresher’s fair, I got free domino’s pizza and what felt like hundreds of free Yazoo milkshakes… You get some great freebies, who doesn’t love freebies?! Also, it is the perfect way to speak to new people as there will be many people wondering around the stands. Sign up to any societies and clubs as they are also a good way to make friends who have similar interests in you. Sometimes there may be companies hiring for jobs, so give them some of your details so they can contact you about applying. Having a job at university can really help with allowing you to have fun and not live in your overdraft.
Next, STAY SAFE!! When on nights out it is easy to have a false sense of safeness, but please do not ever leave your drink anywhere unattended and watch when it is being made. Sadly, I became aware of a few different friends who had their drinks spiked and became very ill. This is not how you want to start your university experience, so do keep your eyes out. My new thing is to always have £10 note either in the back of my phone or in my purse, you never know when you need it, I am so used to getting Ubers that when my phone has died I panic because I have no money. At least with the £10 you have an alternative way to get home with a taxi. However, it can be used for more than taxis, but save it for when the emergency strikes and you need it. I think it is also incredibly important to save someone you trust as an emergency contact in your phone, while I have both my parents saved as A Mum and A Dad, and saved on speed dial, I also have my friend Abi saved too. If there was an emergency at university and my parents couldn’t get to me, at least Abi (who I lived with), may have been able to come help faster than my parents trying to send help. (Abs if you didn’t know you were my emergency contact, this is you now being aware, opps, don’t kill me….). It is also so important to register for a doctor’s surgery and to know where it and a hospital are. You never know when you may need them in an emergency so already become familiar as to where they are!
Now, the real key to surviving fresher’s is to remember that you may feel broke at the end of it and the homesickness may begin to kick in, but fresher’s week is not what normal university life is. Sometimes during fresher’s, I felt a tad lonely because everyone I lived with was so busy, but once your course starts and everyone settles down that’s where you begin to have proper meaningful friends. So, while fresher’s week is happening enjoy yourself as much as possible before the work kicks in!! Good luck!
Added Tips from people on Instagram
1. From @teganpersephone : Have your own washing up bowl and keep it in your room with your dishes in so you don’t have to touch other ppls dirty dishes you can move the gross bowl out the sink and put yours in.
2. From @stephanie_may16 : Bring a box of tissues, for freshers flu, crying of laughter (and sadness). A spare towel to mop up spilt drinks? And buy toiletries when they’re on offer as they’re so expensive
3. From @lucywheeler_ make sure you turn up to your first lectures because that’s where you meet your course friends!
All the love,
Queen Clo xx