Take It From Me: A Freshers’ Guide to University

By Catherine Deighan

Congratulations! You’ve survived freshers’ week and should now be settling into your new life as a student here at the University of Strathclyde (hopefully freshers’ flu hasn’t hit you too hard). You’ll now be getting to know the campus, your new classmates, the Andersonian Library, and maybe most importantly, Yippon on George Street.

There can be a lot of pressure when you start University for many different reasons. One being that you can feel like you should have found lots of new friends upon arrival, and it can be disappointing if you find this hasn’t been the case. It’s easy to second guess yourself if you find that you haven’t met your type of people yet. But my advice is to go easy on yourself and remember that everyone else is just as apprehensive about starting university as you are. Being a socialite isn’t as easy as it seems!

One thing that helps many people meet new friends is to get involved with clubs. At Strathclyde, there is such a wide variety of clubs and societies to get involved in, and sporting clubs can be a great way to integrate yourself with other students.

Don’t fret! No one is expecting you to be an Olympic athlete, so don’t be shy or worry that you aren’t qualified to join, for the most part it’s about having fun anyway! If you join a sports team, you get to attend the mega-famous (or infamous) Wednesday night sports socials. Typically, these nights are themed, and I remember these were some of the best student nights for many people when I was in my first year.

Now, let’s talk SAAS. If you’re taking out SAAS then this is a huge adjustment to the lives of most students and comes with a big responsibility of handling your own finances. If there was one piece of advice I could give myself back in my first year, it would be to better budget my SAAS.

Like many people, I treated the 7th day of the month like Christmas. I would buy unnecessary clothes or spend way too much money in Firewater on a Thursday night, and it was always a regret. Make a budget plan so that you can look back on your month and feel good about sticking to a plan that has helped you use or save your money wisely. It will help to make student life a little bit less stressful.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to remember to enjoy university as much as you can and not to freak out if you aren’t enjoying every moment. Everybody has a different experience at uni, but remember that you have the freedom to shape this experience into whatever you want it to be. Good luck!