I’ve been silent the past couple of days due to the fact I’ve been with my girlfriend celebrating her birthday, however, I’m starting to keep my promises of article writing so here I am to bring you an article on common misconceptions that I’ve found students going off to university genuinely believe.

Since returning to The Student Room this summer and helping all the freshers and first years a like, something has started to make itself known to me. Something I should have seen from when I start but, just didn’t think of. That is that a lot of students about to start university have many misconceptions about freshers, courses, finances, housing, halls and much more. There is a lot of things students believe that adds to the stress of starting – so I’m hoping here, I can clear some up (to the best of my knowledge).

“I have to drink during Freshers” (THE BIGGY)

No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! During Freshers week you do not have to drink in anyway shape or form. Neither should you feel pressured too. It’s not like we are the young selves we once were. When we believed we had to drink to be cool or to fit in. No. This is university and you don’t have to drink. It’s each to their own. Don’t change yourself for university. You do what makes you feel comfortable and happy. Never feel pressued into drinking during Freshers. You can have just as much fun without it. You can still go out and dance the night away. You can still go to the events and enjoy yourself. You can still enjoy Freshers without being positively spifflicated during it. (I’ve always wanted to use that word). Don’t feel pressured. Don’t let anyone make you drink. You have your morals and what makes you comfortable so stick to it. Okay?

“Freshers is all about drinking!” (Second most common)

This isn’t true! Freshers is bigged up to be this week of non stop drinking and partying and so on and so fourth and I really think that scares people away from the idea of Freshers – those who don’t like that part of it. Freshers is one massive social filled with gatherings, events and much more. A lot of it will be in bars or nightclubs but that doesn’t mean you have to drink. You can still go and enjoy yourself and have a dance here and there. There is nothing wrong with doing that? Freshers is about getting used to the campus, getting to know people and preparing for the course ahead. There is all the day time events that your university will offer and you can get so much from going to them… and I’m not just talking about the free stuff. I mean the friend making and so much more. If you are scared and nervous about Freshers because you think you have to be drunk the entire time, throw it out of your head because you don’t have to be. Spend it how you want to spend it.

“What if I don’t make any friends? / What if no one likes me?” (I hear this too much)

Now don’t get me wrong, I know these a perfectly natural worries about starting university, I’m just trying to clear the air of why they are misconceptions.

At university, you will make friends. Like I’ve said, Freshers is one massive social in itself and you will meet people during that time. Easily! Just be open and talk to people. Now I know some people suffer from anxiety and other struggles, but honestly, you need to stop panicking yourself because at university, you will find people who just help with that. You’ll find people similar to yourself and you’ll all stick in groups and just enjoy yourself! If you don’t meet anyone during Freshers which is highly unlikely, you have your course! You will meet people on your course and these people have a similar interest with you! Who knows, they may have more? Just take the opportunity to talk to people, hang around with them. It’s hard to explain and pick it apart because it just happens naturally and it takes getting to university to make you realise that you won’t be alone because EVERYBODY IS IN THE SAME BOAT AS YOU. Damn, I love that saying and I use it way to much. Though, it’s true. You won’t be alone. You will make friends. Whether you are social or not. Take a chance to see that.

“How will I make friends when moving into halls? What if I don’t?” 

When moving into halls, it’s hectic. I was nervous how it’d all go down but as you move in, you are passing each other in the corridors, everyones doors are open during that day and people are walking in and out and just popping their head in and introducing themselves and this will just happen. You’ll say “hello” to people as you pass, swap names and room number and so on and before you know it, contact has been made. Simple right? There are little tricks that you can do that I got suggest. You can take cakes or sweets or whatever you may choose and leave them either outside your door or in the common room with a note reading: “Hello, my name is *insert name here* and I live in room *insert room number here*. Please feel free to take one of these and enjoy! Also, don’t be afraid to pop in and say hi!” Understand? It’s as easy as that and free food? You’ll make friends easily. 

“What if I run out of money? What if I fail at budgeting?”

You are a student. Money is your life and budgeting comes naturally… To some that is. Now, finances are a tricky one. PLAN IN ADVANCE. That’s a big suggestion. Work out your weeky budget and what not and live by that. Struggling with how to do that? I provide some help in this article.  Another STUDENT WORRIES article I wrote. However, like I said. Budget and plan ahead. It’ll happen! Another thing I’d sugget is getting a student bank account (as I mention in that article) and get a student overdraft. These are ones with no interest. For example I’m with Lloyds and they offer a planned overdraft with no interest. Meaning if you stay within your planned overdraft, you won’t get charged and the man at the bank told me that a lot of students do it for peace of mind. It makes sense right? You are worried about running out of money therefore, give yourself that peace of mind knowing you’ll always have a fall back. Equally your parents may be able to help you out, or other family members/friends. I understand it’s different for some people. You can get a job, but please for the love of God, balance your time and only do it if you feel you can cope. If not, work your ass of during summer… A tip for next summer. Like I said, budgeting will come naturally.

“I’m a mature student. What if I don’t fit in?”

Age doesn’t matter! At university all ages get on. When you are on the course, you just make friends. It’s the same for anybody else going to university and your age doesn’t change that. You’ll go through the same process of ‘feeling alone’ and what not when starting (see previous areas) but it’ll all come naturually and you’ll fit in just as good as anybody else. I have some people on my course in their late 20’s and they are friends with everyone just the same.

For now, that is the most common misconceptions I’ve heard of whilst helping out the upcoming first year and fresher students. This may be continued in the future, I don’t know. If you have any that you think I’ve missed please feel free to comment and tell me or reach me on my Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook: JustGeorgeJ / Twitter: JustGeorgeJ_UNI

Previous Two Articles: First / Second

This may or may not have been helpful for you. I do appreciate your feedback!

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