Starting Uni: Some Advice

Written by Edward Parsons |


Wagwan Freshies, allo allo aloha. You’re probably absolutely gassed and bricking it at the same time this Freshers Week. So, whether you’re Exeter or Falmouth, Falmouth or Exeter (if you prefer), here’s some class and perhaps harsh advice to making the most of your Freshers and first term,  from yours truly.


1) Try lots of new things (seriously!)


Make an effort to actually go and try new things – newsflash – societies or sports, and you’ll meet people and make friends along the way. The world is not coming to you; for the last seven years, you’ve been coasting on the comfortable familiarity of secondary school and sixth form. You might have left school a boneheaded chiselled chad or a silent sweaty geek. Deep down, there might be an astute game-changing activist or champion wind-swept kayaker waiting to blossom.  But if you just sit around in your room – you’ll never find out.

No one is saying you have to be an athlete, either. But if you attend training regularly and take care of yourself, you could be by the time you finish the year – if that’s what you want to do.

What about aspiring artists out there? Maybe you did English Lit at school but want to try your hand at illustration. Well, now is the time to get practicing and get out there.

At the end of the day, if all you do is sit in your flat kitchen, you’ll be stuck with the same people in your flat for better or worse. Instead of relying on your first-year flatmates to make or break your first year uni experience, setting yourself up for fuzzy nostalgia or misery depending on your fortune, go and make some luck of your own.

That way, you’ll actually have a life to escape to if and when s*** hits the fan, and something other than your kitchen to look forward to when you come back after Christmas (which is closer than you think).


2) The Freshers Vibe: What the f*** is going on?


Rule Number 1: You’re all in the same boat


Whether the thought of being social makes you at best excited, or at worse quite uneasy, now is the time to feel nervous- and challenge/enjoy yourself.  Freshers Week is the best time of year to meet new people and try new things. It’s pretty damn normal to feel excited/nervous/buzzed all the while.

Everyone is new, and nobody knows anyone except for the odd folks who managed to haul a token pal from home all the way to Cornwall with them. Take advantage of this window of opportunity to meet as many people as you can because I’d wager good money that in about three months time most people will be starting to feel settled.

Another thing: some shy and/or awkward people will say this time of year feels ‘fake’. In a way, this is actually true – but only if meeting new people is somehow wrong to you. Don’t you remember your first day at secondary school?  Or a distant family member’s wedding/birthday? (N.B Freshers should definitely be more fun!).

The reality is everyone is putting out feelers, trying to gauge who is who, who they like and don’t like, and who they want to spend more time with.  Yes, there is a degree of superficiality – pseudo-amiability – but at the end of the day, people are just making conversation so that they can figure out who they actually want to have more conversations with. It’s how you get to know people.  Conversation= connection. Your vibe attracts your tribe.

REMEMBER: If you’re unhappy with a particular group or feeling isolated, it is not too late to change. However, it will be when you graduate in three years time. Sorry!


3) Don’t be a pr**k


Like the guy who just moved in a few floors above me with a f**ing tambourine and wanted to let everyone know, or the bassist that used to live under me who played at 3am so that I could literally feel the rhythm through the metal coils of my ancient Glasney Parc mattress (reppin’).

Or the d***head who smiles insincerely before turning away en pose to their mates when a new society member tries to make conversation.

Or the person who drunkenly staggers up to people, insults them and their appearance, demands to bed with them, pukes on them, etc. etc.

You get the picture.


In short- be nice to each other, relax, and try to have fun   😉



*they did eventually turn it down. Much love and rock on <3