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Nick Potter
Freshers’ week is a daunting prospect for any new student. It changes you. It takes a miracle to not become a potato-shaped wreck, given the intense diet. Here’s a list for up and coming fresher:
Arrive in good time
You don’t want to be stressed out by leaving things to the last minute. I was the last mystery flatmate. One thing I did right was to unpack immediately, since halls of residence are a bit cosy to say the least. Having a floordrobe is just not an option. It’s a good idea to make a packing list too: utensils, clothes, toiletries etc. You can also bring a doorstop with you, since people are usually apprehensive about knocking on closed doors. It’s a great way to advertise that you want to meet other people.
Decorate your room
If you want to bring some colour to your walls, then raiding the Primark ‘Home’ section is good way to do it. The rooms are a bit Orwellian without personal touches. I regret not getting more things like plants, lights and posters. I think it’s worthwhile to decorate because you need an untainted space to retreat to. This is because your kitchen will probably look like a bombsite after pre-drinks. Expect cigarettes in the sink, a minefield of empty beverages and stacks of unwashed plates. The fridge will soon turn into a breeding ground for previously undiscovered bacteria – nobody will ever own up to that mouldy sandwich at the back.
Attend university
There’s a temptation to be quite laissez-faire about the whole going to university thing in the first weeks. A lot of people say induction is a waste of time. But from missing this, I lost the chance to find out quite a bit of stuff: information about clubs and societies, room locations, set texts, lectures, seminars and essays. What I was actually doing was spending my time as a bed-bound sunlight-fearing hermit. Don’t do this – it’s better to get stuck in at the start. I’ve heard that sports societies are a great way to find a circle of friends (be wary of initiations though). But I’m probably not the best authority on this, given that I’m not too familiar with sports and whatnot. I’m like a ninja at the gym: you’ll never see me there.
Have basic domestic skills
Man cannot live by Pot Noodle alone. It helps to know how to throw together a simple stir fry: the supermarket basics ranges are a good place to start for getting the necessities. I also remember bringing a student cookbook, although it just remained in the corner gathering dust. My first week (and practically all of first year) was full of the greasiest late-night chicken banquets from Tottenham Court Road. Let’s just say it wasn’t easy on the old bowels. —Target jobs