A place at your chosen university means your parents have no choice but to let you off your leash and allow you to chase your dreams. For most, freedom never felt so good and the prospect of escaping the nest seems more thrilling than scary. Let’s face it, university is the first place where your parents lose all jurisdiction over how you occupy the days and nights. There’s no one to give you a slap on the wrist when you bunk a lecture, flunk an exam or stay out all night (no one ever has to know). First year is a real learning curve and it’s your chance to still goof around whilst learning to adult (whatever that is). So, let’s have a look at the most common mistakes every Loughborough University freshman makes and maybe I can save some of you from doing the same.
1. Going on more nights out than attending lectures.
As a fresher, there is a constant urge to party and knowing that the year doesn’t count, often contributes to your inability to say no. But what you don’t realise is that although this year may be a free pass into second year, it’s still building the foundation for your upcoming years on the course. So, next time you’re pushing your coursework to one side in order to have a boozy night out, think will this inhabit my studies further down the line. There will always be chances to go on nights out but you can only retake so many times before it become a bit of a joke.
2. Drinking in excess to the extent where you’re unknowingly escorted out of the club.
Go hard or go home, they said and as a fresher you often do both hahaha. Alcohol is often the reason why a night out is wild and out of control but not knowing your limits, especially as a newbie at uni, is a real problem for many of us. The general rules of a night out include pre-drinking hard with the intention of feeling buzzed whilst saving money on the night ahead. But temptation often sets in when the drink prices are more than attractive. Before you know it, you’ve had ten jagerbombs, four VK, and three shots and that’s not even including the hard-core drinking you did before you left your halls for the club. Binge drinking makes for a messy evening and many end up slumped in the toilet throwing up the entire contents of their stomach or in the arms of a security guard being roughly escorted off the premises. Although drinking lots to impress your mates is fun at the time, the after effects make you feel like death. Remember, alcohol maybe fun on the way in but is never fun on the way out.
3. Mixing alcohol
Everyone makes this dangerous mistake and suffers the repercussions the following morning. You’re often left with no control over your body, vomiting, passed out or even chucked out of the club. Drink responsibly guys!
4. Not making it out after pres.
A standard situation for any fresher who loves playing drinking games but doesn’t prepare their stomach for the explosion of acid which will enter. In the 2 hours of pre-drinking you go from glamorous to an obscene mess and the only place for you is your bed. My advice, pace yourself and drink water in-between to avoid a massive hangover the next morning because that’s never pretty.
5. Revealing too much about your past in drinking games.
Fitting in with people you’ve just met can be difficult and often we feel the need to make a show of ourselves to get noticed or to be liked. But realistically, if you overshare about particularly private and potentially embarrassing events in your life, people will only judge you and think of you a certain way before they even get to know you. So be yourself and tell funny stories but don’t tell stuff which you will probably regret in the morning.
6. Having a daily hangover.
Being hungover all the time is tiring and leaves you with no energy to work. But ultimately, nights out in the union and in town is where you create the best memories which you’ll reminisce about for years to come. Therefore, you need to find a happy medium where you enjoy nights out on the town but also continue to succeed in your degree. That said, every fresher should go out as much as possible because you learn in second year that there is rarely any time for fun.
7. One night stand/s
Do whatever floats your boat but be sure not to wake up seriously regretting the events of the night before.
8. Kissing any boy that shows you attention.
Alcohol can make everything a bit hazy and what seems naughty when you’re sober is all the more appealing when you’re drunk. It’s ok to make a few mistakes, just don’t make a habit of it.
9. Blowing your whole student loan before uni even begins.
With this new wad of cash in your bank account, you feel like you can buy the world. It’s so easy to get carried away and not account for the expenses which really matter, ummm like food. Try to budget what you spend on treats and what you spend on the essentials. I guarantee this will be your saviour.
10. Over Packing
I can’t help myself when it comes to packing. I bring stuff which I don’t even use at home, but you never know when you might need it right? WRONG. The worst thing you can do is over pack for uni because half the time there isn’t enough space in your room to fit it all in. I warn you now only bring the clothes, stationery and beauty products you will actually use because trust me a room in halls is like a shoe closet- there will be limited space to even move. So be wise about what you bring.
11. Locking yourself off from the rest of the world.
The most daunting thing about uni is the concept of not knowing anyone and no longer having your parents to support you every step of the way. But don’t let the fear hold you back from having fun and mingling. Keep your door open when you’re in your room and encourage other hall members to come in for a chat. A closed door represents a closed person and makes you seem unapproachable. I guarantee they won’t bite, well they shouldn’t haha. So, get out there during fresher’s week and throw yourself into everything on offer, that’s the only way to make lots of friends. Let your hair down and celebrate your success in gaining a place at Loughborough. That being said, don’t forget your parents’ existence, after all they’re the reason you’re here. Go and visit occasionally and give them a call every week at least. It will be comforting for them to know you’re doing ok.
12. Assuming that your flatmates are automatically your friends for life.
Everything may seem rosy when you move into halls but get back to me 3 months down the line when everyone is getting on your nerves. Living in such close proximity to people you barely know is both daunting and challenging. You learn all their gross habits and are forced to endure them to maintain the peace. You will learn very early on which friendships to cherish and which ones to disown but keep an open mind when you move in. You may be seriously lucky and absolutely love all your flatmates but in many cases, there is always someone that will get your goat. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
13. Signing up for a new house with friends you’ve known for all of two minutes.
Let me tell you a lot can change in the space of a year and although you may thing you’ve met your match, friendships at uni can crash and burn in the space of a day. Focus on settling in before you think about where you’re going to live next year because you might absolutely hate your friends by the end of the week. You’ll always be making new friends so keep your options open for as long as possible. Remember you’ll be living with these people day in day out and you need to know that you can trust them. This isn’t a decision to make lightly so wait till January to make any final decisions. There’s no rush, Loughborough won’t run out of house and you won’t be homeless, so chill out!
14. Forgetting to clean up after yourself (or just being lazy).
Mummy may have done this at home but at uni it’s a different ballgame. You’re responsible for keeping your possession in the right place and being clean. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink for days, not washing your clothes or your bed sheets will create an unpleasant smell which no one wants. It’s important to remember that you’re not the only one forced to live in your own filth so grow up and clean up!
15. Forgetting to document every special moment you experience in first year.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and forget to take photographs of your nights out in the union or in town. Stop the photographer and ask him to take a few group pics even if you are feeling a bit too tipsy to give your best smile. Always take time to step back and find a way of remembering a day which you won’t ever want to forget!
16. Not taking care of your health.
All these boozy nights out aren’t good for your liver, let alone your immune system. Make sure to stock up on vitamins to prevent all those nasty infections from catching you when you’re down. Also, sign up to the medical centre on campus, so when you do get really sick there is someone on hand to help!
17. Leaving no time for extra curriculars.
First year feels like it’s just one big party but when at Loughborough University it’s important to take advantage of everything on offer because this experience doesn’t last forever. You can throw yourself in the deep end by simply signing up to a society which takes your fancy or you can dip your toe in the water by getting involved in Give it a Go week. There are endless, fulfilling opportunities, don’t miss out!
18. Or being extreme and signing up to every society in existence.
Free time in first year seems like the perfect opportunity to binge watch Netflix but really you should be using this time to study and to develop your hobbies. But don’t get too carried away and take on too much because although you simply need to pass first year, the information you are learning will still be integral to the following years of your degree.
19. Living on takeaways.
Being away from home and fending for yourself means deciding every night what you want to eat for dinner and with deals like Dominos ‘Two for Tuesday’ cooking seems unnecessary. It’s sad to say that for most of us, healthy habits go out the window, fresh meals become a thing of the past and alcohol turns into our new best friend.
20. Leaving work till the last minute
This is the ultimate mistake which every fresher makes at some point and will probably still make in second and third year! The process of giving yourself enough time to meet a deadline is something which we all have to learn on our own as we juggle all our other responsibilities. If im honest, once you feel the horrific stress of having to complete work so close to a deadline, you’ll never want to do it again. But you probably will LOL…