So you’ve finally flown the nest and made it to university, and what better choice than Newcastle? Where else can you go out with £10, have a kebab at the end of the night and still find change in the morning? Getting food from Munchies on the way home is always gonna be a good decision, but every fresher makes mistakes; here’s 20 of the big ones that you will probably make in your first year at Newcastle University.
1. Buying all the books on the reading list
Many people make this mistake before they even arrive and it’s 100% not worth it. I saved £25 on a textbook just by finding a PDF of it online, and if you can’t do that there’s always abebooks.co.uk – essentially a massive online secondhand book shop.
2. Not making the most of your freshers wristband
You’re gonna have paid a fair bit of money for it so you need to make sure you get up nice and early to register for all the best activities! Bubble football, paddleboarding and laser tag are just a few of the ones I went to -sure, you could attend all of the ‘mandatory’ introductory lectures but who wants to go to a 3 hour careers talk when you could be going quad biking?
3. Staying with your partner from home
Trust me, I can tell you now that you’ll have a lot more fun being single than you would trying to slog it out long distance.
4. Blowing all your loan in one go
Eldon Square’s student shopping night might be tempting with its 20% discount but you’ll regret it when you have to eat Super Noodles until you go home for Christmas.
5. Trying too hard
Always bear in mind that it’s only first year, so there’s no point in ruining your mental health by stressing over exams that don’t even count towards your degree or the fact that one essay was 1% off a 2:1. Take advantage of first year and have fun while you can!
6. Not trying hard enough
Although this completely contradicts my last point, bear with me. Just because it doesn’t count doesn’t mean it’s not a great chance to find out what your strengths are, work on your weaknesses and get into good habits in time for second year.
7. Not embracing new things
There’s so much going on in Newcastle that there’s always something great to try, whether it’s a new cuisine or a night out you wouldn’t normally think to try, there’s no excuse to get stuck in the same old routine.
8. Missing out on societies
There’s tons of societies to get involved in so head to a taster session in Freshers week and try something new – always wanted to give fencing a go? Well now’s your chance! You’ll regret not joining one when you see everyone else’s photos of their socials. But don’t sign up to too many – just pick one or two you’ll actually go to.
9. Forgetting to sign up to a doctor when you arrive
It really doesn’t take very long to sign up and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re really ill and need to head to the walk-in GP clinic (pro tip: turn up 15 minutes before it starts, then you’ll beat the rush)
10. Scanning and scramming
Or worse, skipping the lectures altogether. It’s fine to skip a couple, but don’t let it get out of hand – although lectures are on ReCap, you will almost definitely not use it.
11. Pulling an all nighter in the library
It’s inevitable, at some point you will leave an essay to the very last minute and have to pull an all nighter. I’ve done four so far and it’s not much fun – just make sure you have plenty of snacks and (own brand) energy drinks.
12. Letting your flat get really dirty
Doing dishes is really a pain, especially if your parents have a dishwasher and you’re not used to it. But, if you let it mount up enough you’ll piss off the cleaner and, if you let it get bad enough, get landed with a fine.
13. Not making use of the resources the uni provides
There’s some great services that many students haven’t tried to help you out with all sorts; from managing your money to getting a careers adviser to check your CV or getting some help with an essay in the writing development centre, there’s some really helpful resources available if you just know where to go.
14. Leaving it til the last minute to sort out your house for second year
If you want a nice house with a dishwasher near Osborne Road you better move fast – student properties are in high demand and they go fast, so once you’ve decided who you want to live with, release your inner Kirstie Allsopp and get house hunting!
15. Ignoring your parents
They’ve looked after you for your whole life so you owe it to them to at least give them a call or a text every now and then. They miss you. Probably.
16. Being snobby about where you go out
Nobody likes a snob – don’t miss out on a hilarious night out in Flares because you want everyone to think you’re edgy – you’ll have a fantastic time.
17. Not getting food at the end of the night
The post-night out trip to Munchies or McDonalds is arguably the best part of the night; when you’re knackered from dancing all night and have to walk home because you can’t afford a taxi, some cheesy chips will sort you right out. Be sure to keep some nachos and dips in your cupboard so you’ve got them at the ready in case you can’t afford takeaway food on your way home, and don’t forget a bottle of water by the bed.
18. Forgetting to fill out the inventory form at the start of term
You’ll thank yourself later if you fill out the inventory, record any damage that wasn’t you and make sure you take pictures of it – that way you can only get charged for the holes you put in the wall yourself.
19. Not getting a job
Unless you have the luxury of having parents rich enough to bankroll you throughout your degree you’re probably going to need a job. It’s really nice to have some extra cash to pay for those jeans you just need to have, as well as the added pressure of needing to finish all your uni work in time for work at the weekend.
20. Spending too much money on a night out
To be honest, if you spend any more than about a tenner on a night out in Newcastle you’re doing it wrong – if you pre hard enough and hit your favourite trebles bar (Sinners all the way) before you get to the club, you shouldn’t need to splash the cash. My personal best is a fiver, so have a go at beating that.
Although this list is not definitive and you’ll almost certainly make a few mistakes that I haven’t thought of, first year is great; have fun, make mistakes and don’t be afraid to try new things.
What are some mistakes you made during your First Year at Newcastle University? Share in the comments below!
Featured image source: pinterest.com
20 year old English Literature and Language student and part time department store employee. In my spare time I enjoy a bit of canoeing/kayaking and climbing.