Most students are 1-2 weeks into their course. The stereotype of the fresher is one of hard drinking and partying, missing lectures and general excess. It often takes a few months to settle down. According to various surveys of new students over the years, these are the biggest mistakes new students make without fail every year.
Getting Too Involved
Your welcome meeting and Guild events want you to get involved. They want you to get the most out of uni including social groups and events. But there is nothing to say you should attend every social event or sign up for more groups than you could possibly commit to attending. Some students have blown all their spare cash in the first two weeks going to socials and joining groups which they then do not attend. Commit to a handful of societies.
Failing to Budget
Money is tight and will be for the next three years. Your food bill will rack up quickly. It may seem boring and a waste of time, but if you take the time to find the best deals around on everything, you can save yourself tonnes of cash. Stop buying brand goods; getting generic and own brand items can sometimes cost half of bit name labels. Skimp on textbooks; despite lecturer’s claims, you don’t need copies of everything, nor do you need brand new editions.
Taking/Leaving the Wrong Stuff
No doubt you have already identified personal belongings you should never have taken, and personal belongings you could do with but are hundreds of miles away at your parents’ place. Every student does this. You’re unlikely to need your A-Level textbooks as they won’t be advanced enough for your degree. You might be surprised at the “unneeded” personal items when you realise you can’t do without them.
Not Getting Familiar with Amenities
The university campus is not a bubble; you live in a city or a town with transport links, lots of things to do, and a local community. Some students say their biggest regret was not fully engaging in activities outside of their university bubble, social and seasonal events, and fully integrating into the local area. Wherever you are, people live and work there. A more rounded university experience comes with a “When In Rome” attitude.
Not Learning to use the Washing Machine
Unless you are well-versed with a washing machine, this point is not aimed at you. Most students have ruined clothing by putting dark items (washed at low temperatures) in with white/bright clothing (washed at high temperatures) and turned white bras and t-shirts much darker. Always check the label and wash by temperature. These days, most clothes will wash at either 30 or 40, with whites slightly higher.