At the heart of the beautiful welsh capital is the wonderful Cardiff University. Home to thousands of students from all over the UK and abroad, Cardiff Uni is certainly a diverse and energetic city to live in as a student. But it can be scary starting out as a new fresher, so here are the 20 Things No One Tells You About First Year At Cardiff University.
1. Moving in day is a nightmare
Whether you’ll be living in Talybont South or Gordon Hall, your moving in day to Cardiff uni halls of residents will be manic! All halls will be crowed with new students, parents and their huge, badly parked cars. So make sure to collect your keys as early as possible to avoid the crowds and have an easier time hauling your bags into your room.
2. They’re lying when they tell you that halls is “just a short walk away” from campus
You’ll see advertised a million times over that your “halls of residence is just a short walk away from campus”, but do not be fooled. It is most likely that you will be living in one of the Talybont accommodations, meaning your walk to campus will not be short and will in fact require you to leave up to half an hour early for lectures! If you hate the idea of leaving the house before 9 am to get to uni then travelling by bike is a much quicker option- just be careful trying to master the task of cycling through rush hour traffic!
3. You will not make it through the full 2 weeks of freshers
Freshers at Cardiff University is a 2 week event with every night having a different theme, at a different club.
But do not be fooled into thinking that you will be able to handle the full 2 weeks. It is very likely that after your first night partying too hard in Pryzm you will be feeling it the next morning and the idea of heading to Glam that night for their Toga Party will go completely out of the window.
Instead, try to plan with your flatmates a few events that you really want to make it to, that way you won’t miss out on your favourite nights and you’ll still have a great freshers.
4. If you go to Cardiff University you WILL spend every Wednesday night in the SU
Student Union Wednesdays are a massive weekly event at Cardiff Uni. If you’re part of a sports club or society you will spend every Wednesday night in the SU, dancing in some ridiculous fancy dress costume that the social secs thought would be hilarious for the freshers to be dressed in.
5. Talybont South is the best halls to stay in
Fact: Taly South is and always will be the best halls to stay in during freshers!
It’s the biggest, liveliest and all round best accommodation to be at Cardiff Uni. If you don’t put down Talybont South as your first choice for halls you will envy everyone who lives there and probably moan that your accommodation is too quiet and boring.
6. The silverfish problem is real!
All the horror stories you read online about silverfish infesting the accommodation at Cardiff are true and unfortunately you won’t be able to escape them.
Having personally experienced silverfish in my bed and on my body I can tell you these little bugs are horrible. I would definitely suggest stocking up on all the silverfish prevention goodies you can buy before you move in!
7. “Compulsory” induction sessions are never compulsory
All I’ll say is you absolutely DO NOT need to attend that “compulsory” library session for 2 hours on the Wednesday morning of induction week.
8. Fattoush is the only take away restaurant you will ever need
Whether you’re stumbling back through Cathays or getting a Dragon Taxi back after a night out, you will end up in Fattoush. Being the only option close to most first year accommodations, this place will be your life saver at 4 am after a night in Glam and you will become addicted.
9. You will not stick to your weekly budget
Try as hard as you like, it is guaranteed that every week you will try to budget your money for food and nights out and you will fail!
10. No matter how hard to try, you will visit home more often than you think
Uni can be a very lonely place from time to time and no matter how hard you try to resist you will go home more often than you think. It’s true that nothing really will beat Mum’s home cooking and Dad’s rubbish jokes, you just won’t realise until you leave.
11. Your kitchen will be your worst enemy
If there’s one thing that I could tell myself before moving to uni it would be to learn how to effectively do the washing up!
Your kitchen in halls will be hated by you, your flatmates and your passive aggressive cleaner that visits weekly and you try to avoid. There’s nothing worse than receiving the weekly fine threats from the uni, so keep that kitchen clean!
12. Your lectures are unlikely to be in your school’s building
I myself study Journalism at Cardiff and my home school is located in Bute building, so you’d think all my lectures would be there, right?
Most of the time your lectures will be in completely different buildings, dotted around all over Cardiff. So learn your timetable and memorise what your lecture buildings look like as the first few weeks can be a real struggle moving from place to place.
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13. Do not wear heels to the SU
No matter when you decide to spend the night at the SU it is never a good idea to turn up in heels!
The SU is always packed, meaning you will be pushed around and you are likely to fall over and hit the deck.
Top Tip: Bring a pair of trainers that are comfy, you cn dance in and you don’t mind being covered in everyone’s VKs
14. You should 100% join a Cardiff uni society or sports team
Societies and sports teams are the best way to make new friends in Cardiff! Don’t be scared about joining a team, trying something new or being part of a society that you’re interested in. Not only do they put on great nights out but they make your social life at Cardiff 10x better and you’ll regret not joining one in your first year.
15. You will argue with your flatmates
Flat arguments happen, all the time. Over bins, washing up or boys, you will fall out and argue with your flatmates.
But fear not you’ll be sure to make up again the next day.
16. Go and explore Bute Park
Bute park is gorgeous and right on your doorstep if you stay in any of the Talybont accommodations. It’s the perfect place to hang out during the summer, so grab some drinks, get your football ready and head down for a lovely day out or just a little explore.
17. Going to the cinema? Head to premiere cinema
Premiere cinema is the cheapest of all the cinemas in Cardiff city centre. At only £3 for a student ticket you really can’t beat the price!
Top Tip: Book tickets in advance and online as films can sometimes be sold out and cues can go out the doors.
18. You can catch up on all your lectures from your bed
What the uni won’t tell you is that if you really don’t want to go to your 9 am lecture on a Monday morning then you don’t have to! Most of (if not all) of Cardiff Uni lectures are recorded and uploaded to the online student work platform, Learning Central. So if you’ve had one too many double vodkas in Tiger the night before then worry not, you can still make your English lecture, just this week it just happens to be from the comfort of your own bed.
19. Welsh Varsity is a go to event
Every year Welsh Varsity is held between Cardiff University and Swansea University. It’s a day jam packed full of sporting events between the two uni’s, finished off with the mens Rugby match. Everyone heads to Varsity and most courses get given the day off too.
So get your ciders at the ready, your face paint on and go support the Cardiff boys and girls as we thrash Swansea once again.
It really is the event of the year!
20. Even if you’re not welsh, you will fall in love with Cardiff in your first year!
No matter where you come from or how far you have travelled to get to Cardiff, you will love it! I promise you that within your first year at Cardiff University you will fallen in love with all the uni and city have to offer.
It really will be your new home away from home!