There will be people who constantly post pictures on social media of their flatmates, who they’ve known for approximately 48 hours, with the word “squad” in the caption. You will not be one of those people. You will not have a “squad” in your first week and you will only have a picture of your room to post on Instagram (this will get more likes than any of your selfies have ever got, but you understand). These same people will be whining about the scaly legless reptiles they have to live with by the end of Term 1. Finding your hashtag squad will take more than a week.
You will meet a lot of people, most of them drunk. You will meet someone who will surf down two flights of stairs on someone else’s ironing board before getting stuck trying to climb out of a window. You will meet someone who will end up rolling around in raw spaghetti on your kitchen floor. You will not see many of these people again. On the contrary, you will barely see half of your flatmates, the ones you think you might have something in common with, but you will be holding back their hair in club toilets and watching David Attenborough documentaries together by the end of the year. Give things time.
You won’t end up using any of the tickets for Freshers Week events you felt obliged to buy over the summer because you saw that everyone else in the freshers Facebook group had felt obliged to buy them too. Save your money. No one wants to get covered in foam while House Every Weekend thuds away in the background, anyway. (This is what you assume happens during Freshers Week events based on the barrage of club photos on your newsfeed. You will peruse these photos on a Friday night, in bed, with a packet of chocolate biscuits and The X Files.) (Lesson 3.5: do this kind of thing more often. Seriously, please. I know there are nine seasons but can you at least TRY to finish The X Files sometime during this decade.)
You will be homesick. Other people will say they aren’t. Maybe they’re lying, maybe they’re not. Either way, calling your parents or FaceTiming your friends will help. Also chocolate biscuits.
You will have multiple “Oh God Have I Made the Right Choice What If I Haven’t Made the Right Choice Bloody Hell What if I Haven’t” moments. Eventually you will realise there are no definitive “right choices” in life, but you have made a choice and it’s right for you. That’s enough. (Your bedroom floor in halls will be a good place to have personal epiphanies. Make sure you hoover it regularly.)
Colanders can melt. How? Who knows; you’re a humanities student. But try not to let your brand new colander melt into your brand new saucepan. You’re on a budget here.
Freshers Flu comes for everyone. You can run from Freshers Flu, but you cannot hide. Those vitamin C supplements you take and the 87 mugs of green tea you drink every day as a ritual to the god of immunity won’t mean shit when the dreaded Freshers Flu comes for you. Your white blood cells will look at your vitamin C supplements and they will laugh, so stock up on tissues and medicine and Lemsip and other such things before you move into halls. Dragging your sneezing, germ ridden flesh vessel down the High Street to Boots isn’t fun. For you, or for the other, healthier residents of your university city.
For the first few weeks you will try to be a Proper Student™ and drink vodka. After a while you will give up and embrace the joy of £3 Co-Op wine instead. Vodka has its time and its place and that is usually after a bottle and a half of £3 Co-Op wine.
Make your room feel like its yours. Fairy lights, photos, stuff to go on the walls, whatever. This fun-sized space is going to be where you spend most of your time over the next year (what? You think you’ll be spending most of your time on campus? You’re doing an English degree, not a value-for-money degree, don’t be silly) so it may as well look like it.
Freshers Week is overhyped, overpriced, and underwhelming. It certainly won’t be the worst week of your life, but the best times, the times when you won’t use cider as a mixer ever again, those times are without a doubt still to come.