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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Top tips for freshers

The Senior Members and I have put together our combined experience of some 35 years in higher education to bring you these top tips for freshers. Take a look! They're all tweet-sized or smaller, so really easy to digest. Thanks to Benny for comiling these into one list!


Money
 
  • Always ask if there is a student discount (Marianne)

  • Get a Student Oyster card for discounted travel (Marianne)

  • Register your Young Person's railcard with your oyster to get discounted day rates (Marianne)

  • London charity shops are great - check out the rich areas (Marianne)

  • Keep a bank/building society at home AND a separate one at uni.  Then you can prove you live at both addresses and order stuff to both. (Benny)

  • Carry cash around with you instead of paying for everything by credit/debit card.  You'll get a better sense of how much you're spending (Benny)

  • If you like reading for pleasure, why not save money buying books by borrowing from uni libraries? (Benny)

  • London's an expensive place. Don't beat yourself up if your wallet/purse takes a dent. It's collateral of living in a great city. (Benny)

  • If you withdraw cash every Monday to last the whole week and only spend that amount all week, you may find it easier to control your spending (Adrian)



Living in Halls

  • Everyone feels homesick, no matter what they say (Marianne)

  • Don't let friends back home rule your life at college. Catch up with them sometimes, but meet new people and get involved in new things in London. (Adrian)

  • Talk to your neighbours in Hall. If you're friends - or at least acquiantaces - then it's much easier to ask them to shut up when their TV is too loud at 3am (Adrian)

  • However strict we might try to be, there will always be some occasional noise at night. Ear plugs are cheap and useful. (Adrian)

  •  The walls and floors are thin; we are all living close together. Try not to disturb others: we often don’t realise how much noise we can make just chatting (Adrian)

  • Investing in a nice pair of headphones will improve the sound on your laptop for music/films, but your neighbours will also thank you for it when you're deep into a late night session. (Benny)

  • Get some indoors "flip-flops" to wear in the shower if you are worried about hygiene (Adrian)

  • Freshers is fun, but you don't actually have to go out and get totally drunk every night to enjoy it. The same applies for social events the rest of the year. (Adrian)

  • Sharing food is a good way to make new friends or to start a conversation with someone you don't know too well (Benny)

  • Make the most of having the advantage of living in such a fantastic central location. (Benny)

  • Bored at Connaught looking for something to do?  Do your linen/laundry/washing up/food shopping.  Kills time + it's productive. (Benny)


Work
  •  
  • Talk to second and third year students about getting your work/life balance right. They won't think you're a nerd: they will be flattered that you asked them (Adrian)

  • Register with more libraries that just your univsersity's own one – there are loads you can sign up to (Bill)

  • If there's a piece of uni work you're dreading, try doing it for just 5 minutes.  It doesn't seem so bad once you get down to it. (Benny)

  • Work in the library then return to Hall to relax, eat and have a drink.  Working too much in your room can make it a negative, instead of relaxing, space (Benny)


Wellbeing
 
  • At Connaught, at least 8 people in your immediate hall/college life are actually paid to help you with any problems you may come across at uni. Use them! (Adrian)

  • Wear a condom (Zack) (blunt but, frankly, good advice.  RUBBER UP! Don't be silly, wrap your willy, etc)

  • Check your university email addresses daily in order to avoid such calamities as not realising a lecture has been cancelled at short notice (Benny)

  • Universities have really good counselling services that they put a lot of money into, but not a lot of people know about them (Benny)

  • Caffeine seems like a good idea to stay awake in lectures but when you crash, it's worse than when you started.  Try an apple!


Uni Life
 
  • Don't bother joining random groups at your SU that you will give up after a weekget involved with ones that interest you enough to maintain your commitment (Adrian/Bill)

  • Start learning a new language or take up a new hobby – 3 years at uni (minimum), a lot of spare time – make the most of it! (Bill)

  • Be yourself. There's never been a better time to stop worrying about what other people think of you. (Zack)

  • Strive to be excellent at what you do. You've chosen the course you're on, you're paying through the nose for it - now go be amazing. (Zack/KJ)

  • Bring lots of passport-sized photos with you.  You'd be surprised how many application forms require them (Benny)


London
 
  • Familiarise yourself with another culture.  London is a diverse place.  Broaden your horizons! (Bill)

  • Travel: London has some of the cheapest budget airlines in the world.  Plan ahead with friends for the best deals. (Bill)

  • If you're walking around, and you see someone giving out free samples, tell your friends where to find them too (Benny)

  • ART GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS ARE FREE AND AND THERE ARE LOTS OF THEM AND SOME OF THEM ARE REALLY GOOD (Benny)


Visit our web page for more support and wellbeing information: http://connaught-hall.org.uk/pages/welfare/welfare.html