Five ways to survive freshers' week

Moving away from home is one of the biggest steps to take. Leaving the safety of the family home, possibly where you’ve lived your whole life, can be daunting. However, the thought of moving away from your mum’s thin gravy and over cooked veg, along with gaining your independence can be exhilarating!

Living in a new city, surrounded by new people and making new friends is seriously exciting and during Freshers' Week there’s tons going on that you’ll want to be part of.

Here’s our top 5 tips for surviving and getting the most out of Freshers' Week!

1. Be Yourself

You’re moving somewhere where nobody knows you, so naturally it’s tempting to want to reinvent yourself.

This is never a good idea though. Be relaxed, smile, put yourself out there, make the first move to talk to people…

Everyone is in the same boat and you’re in the position where anything goes, so don’t worry about being judged, just be yourself and have fun!

2. Be Social

Always fancied giving a certain activity a go? Well this might be the perfect opportunity! Hit the Freshers Fair and see what the different clubs and societies have to offer. Remember, don’t pay any fees up front but go to any taster sessions that they’re offering and find out if it’s right for you. Joining a club or society is a great way to meet new people and make friends!

The Students Union is a hub for everything going on at your university. You’ll find information and buy tickets for upcoming events and there’s often 2nd and 3rd years working there who will be able to point out all the best places to go for drinks and food.

3. Eat well

This may be your first step into the world of supermarkets, recipes, colanders and flatmates pinching your milk. Don’t panic, it’s not as horrendous as it may seem at first.

There are a couple of tactics that you can try to make it a whole lot easier.

Aside from stocking up on as much of your mum’s cooking as you can, try cooking a big bolognaise or chilli at the start of the week and portioning them into storage containers for the freezer at uni. That way you know you’ve got plenty of tasty meals for when you need them.

You know that a healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is imperative to help our bodies function normally and so we can feel at our best, but it might not feel that easy in the whirlwind that is Freshers. Focus on eating the recommended 5 portions of fruit and veg, alongside complex carbohydrates like brown bread, brown pasta and rice.

Try one of these speedy and easy healthy student recipes.

4. Look After Yourself

The less-than welcome after-effects of overindulgence, are inevitably accompanied by feelings of nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

One of the most important things you can do is to drink more water, this way you are actively rehydrating yourself. This could include drinking a pint or so of water before you go to sleep and keeping a glass of water by the bed to sip if you wake up during the night.

Often, we crave sugary foods and drinks or something greasy such as a bacon buttie. These may make you feel better temporarily. However, it is worth remembering that a consequence of a poor diet, in general is feeling lethargic and lacking in energy. So reaching for the bacon butties after a heavy night out, whilst may seem appealing at the time, may not be the best solution.

A healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is imperative to help our bodies function normally so we can feel at our best, which is why it is important to eat well. For example, Vitamin B, Vitamin C and Iron help to reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue and contribute to what is known as “normal energy yielding metabolism” i.e. these vitamins help break down and release energy from your food.

If there are times when you’re not getting your recommended vitamin intake from your diet, you could consider an effervescent vitamin drink, such as VÖOST, to help fill those nutritional gaps. VOOST vitamins dissolve in water so they can also help to keep you hydrated.

It is worth noting the NHS offer a few tips for those who have had a tipple the night before.

5. Alternative Options

Freshers week has a reputation that’s hard to avoid. Drinking games and wild after parties. If sticky nightclub floors, UV paint and waking up with a cold pizza in bed with you doesn’t appeal, then there are plenty of alternatives.

Check out the student union for comedy nights, paintballing, cinema quizzes and more. There’s always plenty to get involved with that doesn’t involve alcohol!

If you do enjoy the bar crawls and abundance of cheap alcohol, take a night off. Attend another event or organise a film night with friends. You’ve got three years of fun and hard work ahead of you, don’t burn out on day four because you’ve a severe case of FOMO!

With so much going on it’s perfectly natural that at points you will feel overwhelmed, lonely and simply exhausted. Everyone will feel like this at some point. There are plenty of organisations to support you, from anonymous call centres to student support officers at your uni. Just remember that people will respect your decisions and there’s nothing more embarrassing than being known as the person who went too far in Freshers.

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