Freshers, your first month at college is about new beginnings, new experiences and making friends. Here are a couple of Dos and Don’ts to help make sure that you’re the one everyone in your class is talking about. (In a good way of course!)
 
With freshers’ week just around the corner, you’re bound to be experiencing a heady rush of excitement and nerves.
 
For many, orientation week marks the first time students will have lived away from home, and with that comes a sense of new-found freedom. Between parties, budgeting and making new friends, it can all get a bit much. 
 
So, with that in mind, Campus.ie brings you some of the most important dos and don’ts of freshers’ week.
 
Don’t suddenly become a spend thrift
One of the biggest mistakes students make during freshers’ week is forgetting to budget for all the costly jelly shots and takeaways they’ll likely be paying for. 
 
This is not the Wolf of Wall Street and you do not have infinite funds, so stop buying rounds, especially for people you don’t even know. Your liver and wallet will thank you for it, we promise!
 
Do balance your budget
To ensure you keep on having a good time, figure out a budget, set aside money for groceries, bills, rent and transport before deciding how many freshers’ week events you can realistically afford to attend. 
 
A helpful way of saving and managing your money during the first few weeks of college is by opening a student bank account. Shop around and you’ll find that many banks offer handy little perks. 
 
AIB’s Student Plus Account for example, offers students 20% off Justeat.ie for the college year, as well as interest free student overdrafts. Handy for when you’re waiting on the next student grant instalment and you’re short on cash for little essentials like toilet paper and pizza! 
 
For further information, just click here.
 
Don’t burn yourself out
Fresher’s week is often a baptism of fire in terms of how alcohol-fuelled and messy it can get, so it’s important you learn how to pace yourself.
 
Aside from the financial risk of running yourself ragged before you even register for classes, a week of non-stop partying can take a real toll on your physical and mental health.  
 
Nobody wants to wake up with the ‘fear’ the morning after a night out, or have to live down a mortifying incident for the rest of their college days, so drink responsibly.
 
Do learn to pace yourself
If you do decide to pre-drink before heading out on the town, swap out every second beverage with a mineral water or a soft-drink and never leave your drink unattended. 
 
Additionally, take advantage of all the free goodie bags you’ll be bombarded with. Inside you’ll invariably find condoms and some kind of instant Hot Pot noodles that someday, somehow you’ll get desperate enough to eat (we are poor, starving students after all!) 
 
Don’t stress too much about making friends
TV lies to us, of that we can be sure and American films about preppy college kids and pep rallies (fill in the stereotype here), are no exception. It’s certainly rare to see an accurate depiction of university life in Ireland on the telly. 
 
The expectation that students will meet their ‘tribe’ or friends for life during their first few weeks at college puts an inordinate amount of pressure on everyone involved. Maybe you will and if you do that’s great, but if you don’t, do not worry. 
 
Do know that some friendships are slow burners
Some of the best friendships are borne out of copious amounts of caffeine-fuelled group work and a mutual appreciation of Netflix Originals shows. Start freshers’ week with an open mind and a warm and friendly attitude, and you’ll do just fine. 
 
Remember, one of the scariest things you’ll face during the first week of college is your own insecurities and everyone else is in the same boat. If you’re very shy, look out for your university’s freshers’ week Facebook page. 
 
This will help you figure out what’s going on around campus, as well as giving you the opportunity to get to know your fellow freshers. 
 
Don’t succumb to stress or live like a slob 
Living out of home for the first time can, I think it goes without saying, be a bit of an adjustment.
 
Home cooked dinners and freshly laundered sheets can swiftly become a thing of the past when you’re grappling with timetables, registration and how to work a washing machine (yes, really). 
 
All that stress, coupled with sharing your new living space with strangers can be a recipe for disaster if you let it.
 
Do personalise your bedroom and get to know your roomies
First off, get your bedroom sorted and I don’t just mean the functional stuff. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in that space over the next year, so make it feel like home with a few cheap and cheerful cushions, throws, candles, posters etc. 
 
Like Netflix? Ask your housemates if they want to go halves on a monthly subscription and you can all look forward to cosy nights in catching up on Stranger Things while sipping on your umpteenth cup of tea. 
 
Arranging a cooking rota whereby one student cooks dinner for the entire house one night, another housemate does it the following night etc., is another great idea for anyone missing the comforts of home.
 
So make the most of your freshers’ week and don’t forget to use the time you have (before the madness of the semester descends upon you) to adjust to life at college. 
 
And if all else fails? Just breath, it’ll all come right in the end.
 
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