UCLAN may not be a well know university but once you’re here you will never want to leave. Soon you will be going to every Monday Mayhem, Source karaoke on a Tuesday and complaining about people talking on the second floor of the library. So here are some tips to help you get through the beginning.
You will probably have seen many top tips for university; the obvious ones, the “trying to be” funny ones and the ones that only talk about working hard for your degree. This is not ones of those lists, yes it may give some of the same advice but that just means it really is good advice and you should probably listen to it. So let’s start with some of the obvious ones just to get you comfortable.
1. Go to everything (it really is a good tip).
You would not believe the amount of free stuff and discounts that you get just by being in the right place at the right time. My golden rule is, if it’s free then take it. You never know when that neon plastic pizza slice will come in handy.
2. Spend your first day with your flatmates.
Try and get to know the people who you live with, yes you can go all year without seeing your flatmates (trust me I know someone who did). However, life will be so much better if you speak to them.
3. Missing home is normal.
You may want to be the big guy on campus but everyone does miss home, so yes it will happen to you! However, just because you are missing home, try and not go home before Christmas because it just makes it harder to come back.
Now for the tips that are slightly more UCLAN specific, let’s start with lecture related ones (because it is a firstly a place of learning… apparently).
4. Timetables are not as scary as they look.
Most courses will give you engagement week, which is basically half term. So don’t worry when it says you are in everyday when the other person in your flat is only in two days a week, it probably just means you have less 9am which you will be thankful for.
5. Don’t buy the books on your reading list.
Most courses don’t require you to buy the books on the reading list as there will be more than enough copies in the library. If you do need to buy the books, your lecturers will let you know and at that point, Amazon will be your best friend.
6. Check your emails daily.
This may sound obviously simple but this is the main way lecturers will contact you. So in the morning check them, just to be sure you are not the only one who didn’t get the memo about that 9am lecture being cancelled.
7. Try not to leave assignments to the night before.
This is easier said than done, and yes the library is open 24/7 so you can do all-nighter but there is nothing worse than looking for references at 1am in the morning. So if it does start to look like you are going to pull that all-nighter, get references before-hand (and if you’re lucky, a Red Bull guy might be there giving out free Red Bulls).
8. Follow library rules.
Security will call you out on the loud speaker if you try and sneak in hot food. However, that will be the least of your problems if you talk on a quiet floor, so unless you want the whole of floor and possibly Yik Yak to hate you then make your way to the third floor (yes there are lifts).
9. Hope your lectures are on campus.
Some of you unfortunate people will have lectures in buildings like Liverty House, (once you have done the walk you will understand) it’s not that far but you can’t just roll out of bed so give yourself enough time to get there.
Now the tips about freshers. UCLAN is not like most universities, they realise that freshers is what sets the rest of year so it lasts two weeks. Here are a few tip to help you survive.
10. Freshers events will be packed.
Be warned there will be long ques to get in and they will not let you in after half 10 with your wristband, even if you have been waiting in the queue, so you will have to pay an entrance fee. So my advice, pre drink early to get there early, even if it means it’s quiet to begin with, trust me it will pick up.
11. Freshers flu is REAL.
If you do suffer from fresher flu, drinking won’t help and taking a night off won’t kill you either. So instead pop into town, where you have your choice of places you can get something to help you shift your fresher’s flu.
12. Fancy dress is mandatory.
Yes, you will look ridiculous but everyone does! Fancy dress is a good way to get to really know people, looking to see what superhero’s people dress up as really says a lot about their personality. Bring every costume you own or anything that could be used as one.
13. Keep all the photos you take during fresher’s.
Even if you think you look like something that people dress up as for Halloween, keep the photos. There will be some absolute treasures in there and there is nothing better than looking back at them in years to come when you are like family with the then random dude in the photos.
Freshers will be over faster than you can ever imagine and then real life begins so here are a few tips to survive life away from home in Preston.
14. Keep loose change for laundry (This is for people in UCLAN halls).
There is nothing worse than running out of clothes, generally after two weeks, three if you brought a lot of clothes or if you do the sniff test one too many times. The machines DO NOT give change back so you do need the correct change.
15. Foster cash machine is BAE.
Towards the end of semester one at UCLAN, when a loan starts to disappear as quickly as it appeared. Foster cash point can be a life saver for those moments when you have less than a tenner, Foster will allow you to take out £5, which yes, is enough for a night out.
16. Have a walk around campus.
There are hundreds of different ways to get around UCLAN, so try different routes. Walk through Foster to get to the gym. To get to Ribble from Roeburn, try walking around the SU, not past the library though. To get to IQ from Ribble, just hope that the gate is open (when you start you will see the gate).
17. Then explore Preston.
No, I don’t mean walk to Cameo and back to campus. Take a walk to Avenham Park, visit the docklands for a nice view with a McDonald’s just down the road. If you’re more adventurous, then there is always the Trampolining Park.
18. Learn your address.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but not always obvious. If you find it hard to learn, then at least have it on the notes part of your phone. At 2am, you will thank me when you want to order takeaway to keep you going, while you finish the assignment that you promised yourself you would not leave to the last minute, that is now due tomorrow at noon.
19. Taxis will save your life!
Google taxis in Preston and save the number on your phone (AAA is a trusted one in town and they are pretty cheap). After freshers, you will probably get taxis to town for nights out so you will need that number as soon as it hits 11pm and you start to get kicked out of halls.
20. You are not alone!
There may be moments where you feel like you are the only one who has no idea what they are doing but you’re not, seriously everyone kinda feels like a fish out of water at one point or another. So relax and enjoy!
Have any other tips for freshers at UCLAN? Feel free to comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: mapio.net