Our first Campus Correspondent, Joshua Rom, who will be reporting on culture & entertainment from Nottingham University, gives us 10 top tips for surviving Freshers year – for parents too!
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Jewish children up and down the country are soon off to university – it’s an upsetting time for Jewish mothers.
I remember the week running up to moving day – my mum came into my room crying virtually every morning. It’s a stressful time for both parents and children; but don’t worry, I have 10 top tips to get you through it.
1. Don’t panic!
If you are a parent, your child will be fine! If you are a new student, you will be fine!
This is the time where you can really let your hair down – you can stay out till 4am every night if you want to!
Parents: this is the time where children really start to grow up. It may be daunting at first but it does get easier. In Fresher’s Week, there will be reps there to look out for your child and if they do for whatever reason get a bit out of control, the reps are there to ensure safety.
2. Students, Stay Safe!
I am not going to say don’t go clubbing – by all means have fun – but be responsible. Try to stay with friends, flat mates and people you know.
Socialize and make new friends but make sure you can get home safely. Having fun is important but safety is the number 1 priority.
3. Get ready for the big move
There are a lot of items on the agenda to sort out before moving day, accommodation, registration, buying course books, student loans and much more. It may seem like a long way before university starts but time goes quickly and you need to be fully prepared.
Stay calm so everything can get done efficiently and effectively. Do your research so you know exactly where you are going on your first day, you don’t want to be stressed!
4. Keep organized
Jewish Mothers probably know this already but I suggest keeping all your university items together in one designated area of the house, so they will be easier to pack on moving day.
For students moving to self catered accommodation, I suggest that you sort your items into piles for different rooms like kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. If it all gets mixed up, it will take extra time organizing when you get to Uni.
5. Make yourself at home!
This is the fun part! Interior design! Do whatever you can to make your room homely! You are going to be living in it for the majority of the year. There is nothing worse than living in a cold room.
You need to feel settled in order to get the best experience and having a homely room is just as vital as being organised.
Printing out pictures of friends to stick on the wall with blue-tack is a great option. I also recommend going for a colour scheme in the bedding with a lot of matching cushions. Never underestimate the power of a cool cushion! They feel homely and can serve as a good talking point if you invite new friends into your room.
It is definitely worth buying extra lamps or fairy lights (for the ladies) for extra brightness. A brighter room has a cozier, warmer and more at home feel. BE CREATIVE!
The same goes for kitchen items, keep to a color scheme for crockery and cutlery to keep items easily identifiable.
6. Don’t feel pressured
We all know that the Jewish parents can be a tad pushy (understatement of the century). But don’t feel pressured by your parents to do anything you don’t want to do. This is your experience, not theirs.
Don’t go to university with loads of expectations from what your mother’s best friends older son/daughter said because university from 6 years ago is different from university now.
Go with the flow and relax. The same goes for parents, don’t pressure your children with pushy pre-conceived ideas. They are going through enough stress and are feeling nervous and anxious too.
7. Get involved!!
Try out different societies! Obviously join J-Soc. As Nottingham J-Soc publicity officer I am obviously going to say that it is the best but the truth is, it is. Societies are THE best way to make friends.
Yes your flatmates might be unbelievably cool but in Fresher’s Week I noticed that some people (not always) are fake in order to make loads of friends. With a society, you are all united by a common interest.
Also don’t presume your friends in Fresher’s Week will continue to be your friends throughout the year. Some will be, but others lose interest. I became friends with my group mostly after Fresher’s. Don’t feel pressured to be fake just to make friends – join societies and partake in other activities!
8. Work hard
Although this is the time to let your hair down and have fun, keep on top of your work and fulfill all the requirements for your course. I have been told that there is nothing worse than all your friends sunning it in Marbella and Spain in the summer holidays whilst you are revising for re-takes.
Parents: don’t pressure your children that “you must get 1st or a 2:1 this year.” IT IS FRESHERS YEAR!
It is not the end of the world if your son/daughter gets a 2:2 this year, because often this year doesn’t count just as long as they get there in the end in the second and third year. University is a big step up in terms of academic work, so just try to keep up. Get ready to start referencing!
9. Go to the introductory talks
When you get to university, listen to the library and introductory talks.
Yes, they are long, boring and often tedious, but there is nothing worse than being behind on an important last minute essay and then hyperventilating in the library because you cannot work the system/discover the crucial book is on short loan and you don’t know what that is. (We have all been there don’t worry).
Avoid this problem by listening to the talks and getting used to the academic systems before the course picks up.
10. Final Tip: Have fun!
It may be a cringey tip but it really is as simple as it sounds!