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Dear Fresher, Enclosed is Some Advice, Love From the Students of Plymouth University

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Fresher's week, starting university and leaving all your home comforts behind is all that applicant students will be thinking about this summer. Whilst there is a lot of excited adrenaline coursing through veins, there will also be a lot of trepidation and nervousness.

A handful of students from Plymouth University, who are not-only veterans of Fresher's week but a source of information and advice, have given tips to the newbies joining us on campus in September:

Dear Fresher,

There is an abundance of opportunity outside your degree that you shouldn't hesitate to involve yourself with, not only to make your years more rewarding and exciting but also to prepare you for life after higher education. University is more than just obtaining a degree: it is a chance to broaden your horizons in countless ways that will benefit you when you graduate.

Love from

Thomas Riggs | Graduating, English Literature and Creative Writing

Dear Fresher,

Don't compare it to other people's experiences. You may be best friends with the people you are placed with and live with them for the rest of your time at uni, or you may be the other end of the spectrum and tolerate them, counting down the days until you get to move out. Either way, treat it as a learning experience; you learn a lot about other people, but also about your own habits, likes and dislikes.

Love from

Rhi Squire | 4th Year, Primary Teaching

Dear Fresher,

Make the most of all events at Freshers (not just Societies and Sports and clubbing). Talk to course leaders, advisors and business representatives. These give you an insight into your course, potential work experience and options post-univeristy.

Love from

Lauren Chivers | 3rd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

Open your minds to new possibilities... don't get stuck in a rut. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, and do new things as often as you can.

Love from

Phil Ives | 2nd Year, Music

Dear Fresher,

Do not panic if you are not enjoying your first week. You will be surprised to find out later down the road, that actually most people didn't having 'the time of their lives'. Stick with it and don't be a recluse, join at least one society to meet people with similar interests. The first social will be awkward as hell, but after that you will have found a couple friends outside your flatmates which you will inevitably hate and coursemates that you tolerate.

Love from

Madison Taylor | 3rd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

During Freshers say yes to everything. I didn't and I missed out on the initial meeting of everyone. Make sure you attend as many seminars and lectures as you can because it will help your exams and coursework. Most importantly, enjoy university; don't be afraid to put yourself out there.

Love from

Ellen-Daisy Gunter | 2nd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

You have three years at uni and at some point you are basically gonna get fresher's flu whether you like it or not. Stay in bed, drink lots of water, and don't go to Oceana when you're ill. Seriously I don't know what I was thinking.

Love from

Cathy Bowyer | 3rd Year, Adult Nursing

Dear Fresher,

Try not to miss out on anything, by doing this, you get to meet so many people, join societies and also get to know Plymouth a bit more. Try your best to keep on top of your coursework as it can pile up quickly.

Love from

Ashton Oliver | 2nd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

Don't presume that your housemates are supposed to be your closest friends at uni, so don't freak out if you don't click, and if you spread your wings and make more friends, you're more likely to find the right housemates for 2nd year. First year should be about societies and meeting people, leave endless nights in the library for 2nd and 3rd year.

Love from

Jodie Rigden | 3rd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

Do not miss the freshers fair. If you play your cards right you should have enough pens, notebooks, bottle openers and vouchers to get you through the year. If you're lucky you may even get a free Nando's out of it!

Love from

Joshua Vaughan | 3rd Year, LLB Law

Dear Fresher,

Meet as many people as you can. Everyone in Plymouth is up for a chat. This includes your housemates; make sure you really get to know them, before they start to become too chummy with each other and you miss out. Fill up your Facebook with coursemates, promoters or mutuals. By Christmas, you'll be choosing your favourite people to live with.

Love from

Dan Cooper | Graduating, English Literature and Creative Writing

Dear Fresher,

When you arrive, explore Plymouth, but don't just stay in Plymouth. If you've got a car, use it! If not, Plymouth has great public transport to the rest of Devon and Cornwall. Dartmoor basically starts where Plymouth ends to the north, and is great all year round for hiking and camping. On the south coast to the east you have some amazing beaches like Wembury and Bantham, and they're good for surfing too. And to the west, well you have all of Cornwall. One of the best things about Plymouth is its location, so make the most of it.

Love from

Matthew Thomson | 3rd Year, Economics

Dear Fresher,

It has become a Plymouth urban legend that by Christmas you should have your housing sorted. Do you really want to be stuck with someone you've known for two months? There are plenty of lovely houses: take your time, choose your housemates wisely. Also know your rights when it comes to housing, and don't settle for anything below your standards.

Love from

Samantha Lees | 2nd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

Enjoy the time available in first year outside of academic study by being lazy, but remember that time does fly and you should think about what you want to have achieved by the time you graduate. Get to know your flatmates and coursemates, and talk to the committee members of any society you like, they may be valuable contacts in the future.

Love from

Thomas Pashby | Graduating, Environmental Science

Dear Fresher,

From my time at university, I've learnt that societies are perhaps the most rewarding thing you can do, and in my opinion more enjoyable than your course. Network with people, get to know your flatmates as soon as you move in. Freshers week will probably be one of the most memorable weeks of your life, I know it was for me!

Love from

Simon Stone | 3rd Year, English Literature

Dear Fresher,

University gives you a fresh start so you can revamp yourself by becoming the most confident and out-going person or the laziest hermit. Whatever you chose to do you will be recognised a couple of years later by people who saw you dress up as Where's Wally only to have forgotten the glasses, so if you are going to join in with the fun and game - commit and don't give it a second thought. The memories, photos and stories will be worth it!

Love from

Christina Boston | 4th Year, Primary Teaching

We hope you enjoy freshers and the coming year, but tread with caution - your first year shapes who you are and how your university experience will pan out.

Madison Taylor

This was originally published on The Knowledge.

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