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1) You’ll spontaneously burst into tears
Now I can hear the tough guys amongst you ‘pfft’ing at this, but believe me. Freshers’ week is often labelled as ‘the best week of your life’; which it will be. But at some point during the week – somewhere in between the drinking and sleeping – you will have a breakdown. It happened to me, my flatmates and almost everyone I spoke to. It might seem like it’s for no apparent reason – you feel fine, you’re having fun so there really is no need to start crying, right? Try telling your tear ducts that. It’s inevitably linked to homesickness, conscious or otherwise, and being generally overwhelmed by your new, exciting surroundings. Sleep deprivation presumably plays a large part also. The good news is once you’ve got it all out, it’s over. The best thing to do is lock yourself away until you’ve stopped sniffing and snorting, slap a smile back on your face and head back out to the bar.
2) You’ll forget your old friends
‘I’m gonna miss you soooo much, you have to text me every day and then we’ll Skype once a week and update me on everything, blah, blah , blah’. Sound familiar? The harsh truth is that going to University is like having two lives – your home life and your Uni life. Once you’ve started your Uni life, your home life gets forgotten (at least temporarily). Life goes at 100 miles an hour when you first arrive on campus – clubbing, joining societies, tours, inductions – and you’ll barely have time to have a shower, let alone have a one hour Skype catch-up with the bestie. In fact, by the end of the week you’ll probably forget that you even have friends from home – but don’t worry, they will all be feeling the same and running around like headless chickens too. If the friendships are built to last they will be there when you finally have time to pick up the phone, and obviously Christmas and summer reunions will always be on the cards. When you all get settled the communication picks up again – they’re not going anywhere!
3) You’ll become lazy and nocturnal
4pm is the new 9am. Literally – day turns into night and vice versa. Then there will come a point when you think ‘I’ll be good tonight and not go out, I’ll stay in and get a good night’s sleep’. Then it gets to 4am, you’re still awake and your flatmates come home – so you may as well have gone out anyway! It’s surprising how quickly your body clock adjusts to your new nocturnal lifestyle – and how tricky it is to get it back to normal. Also, you’ll find walking ten minutes across campus to your lecture is far too much effort, especially if it’s a 9am. Laziness is inevitable – just embrace it.
4) You’ll get pranked
Housemates are always a tricky area when starting University. In Freshers’ week everyone is super-duper friendly and keen to make friends (don’t be surprised if by the end of it you’ve got 50 new contacts who you don’t remember meeting) and this applies to your housemates too. Fingers crossed you’ll get along like a house on fire – in fact, they may even feel so comfortable with you that you’ll get back from the shop one day and find all your belongings covered in tin foil. Or garden gnomes all over your room. Or all your belongings turned upside down. Or your underwear hanging out the window. Don’t worry, pranks are honestly more funny than spiteful, and you’ll find you naturally settle into a group of friends with similar senses of humour as you anyway.
5) You’ll forget where you are
True, this can happen anywhere – sometimes I’ll wake up in my own bed, just upside down (for some reason) and be completely disorientated. When you move into halls or your University house it’s fun making your new room your own. Putting up pictures and posters and unpacking your things – giving it that ‘homely’ touch. Then, on the first night you go out, have one too many bevvies with your new best friends, stumble back across campus and completely forget where you live. It’s flat 4a right? No, maybe it’s 56C? The trick here is to go out with flatmates – the chances are, one of you will remember your location. Or, drop a pin on your smartphone map. Then in the morning when you wake up, for a good five seconds you won’t have the foggiest idea where you are – but don’t worry, you’ll get used to your new surrounding eventually.
Written by Anna Pitts, student at The University of Sussex and Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau.