So the obligatory Ikea trip was done, the finance was sorted, the Cookbook For Students was packed alongside the pot noodles, and with a car padded out with bedding and along with a meandering convoy of other new recruits, we arrived at university.
Yes, we thought we'd covered it all ... but ... we hadn't prepared for Fresher's Week!
Officially Fresher's Week marks the start of the academic year when the new students are welcomed into university life. We learn to navigate our way around campus, we join societies, we socialise and form new friendships. We find out that it's not a good idea to wash mixed colours with white clothes, that pizzas easily burn and that we don't need six kettles in one flat - so with the memory of unexpected experiences in mind these are a few things I wish I'd known before Fresher's Week began.
Looking the part
Had I been aware of the demand for different fancy dress outfits I could have arrived more prepared. By the end of the first year you will, without doubt, have acquired an entire second wardrobe including ludicrous and bizarre costumes such as a bush or a highlighter.
It is extremely likely that at some point within your first week at University you will contract what has been named as Fresher's Flu. Hangovers and tiredness aside it is likely you will become bed bound without a voice, an extremely chesty cough and sinus problems. Stock up on vitamin C and plenty of Berocca before arrival! Oh ... and I wouldn't risk calling your mum as she may well turn up with a bottle of Calpol.
Walking, cheer leading, martial arts, battle reinactments, sports, chess, dance, French are just a few examples of the societies that will be actively trying to encourage you to sign up - complete with freebee pens and sweets - during Fresher's Fair. There really is something for everyone. Societies are the best way to make new friends and try something new whatever your standard or past experience. Go wild and sign up to anything you fancy. You may find you're exceptionally talented at something unusual like Quidditch...well you never know!
Settling in can be difficult, but Fresher's Week can make it easier - it is whatever you want to make of it - and you are only a Fresher once. So throw yourself in, make loads of new friends and be aware that it's not wise to have your grandmother on speed dial - she might not appreciate the beat of drum n'bass music at 2 am oh, and also, remember that a student loan does not last forever even if your bank account seems rather more in credit than is the norm.