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Top tips for your first week at university

By ResLifeMaddie 13 Sep 2023

So, you’ve just moved into your accommodation?

It’s a lot to take in all at once, isn’t it?

Don’t worry though, we’ve been through it and we’ve assembled a plan we think will help as you as you embark on this new adventure. Of course, we hope you love every second of your time with us at the University of Leicester, but if you don’t; don’t panic! That’s why we’re here, to welcome you with open arms and assist you in any way we can.

So welcome, here are our top tips for your first week at university:

Meeting new people

Meeting new people can be challenge, but there will be plenty of opportunities to make new friends. Consider leaving your flat door open when you’re inside, it will encourage others to come and say hello and reach out to your new flatmates. Chances are, if you’re nervous; they are too.

Make the most out of your social spaces, spend time in your kitchen and the common rooms, say hello to everyone you meet; you never know who might end up being your best friend. When you step foot onto campus for the first time, keep in mind that everyone is facing the same situation. Each person has left their home behind and is equally new to both the university and the surrounding area. Therefore, don't hesitate to greet others and never feel isolated.

Also, you’re in luck! Everyday our friendly ResLife team run free events at both of our accommodation sites; they’re a great way to socialise and meet new people. We have everything from pizza night to movie nights to cocktail making, there really is something for everyone. They’re also the perfect opportunities to share any worries you may have with the team; we’re always here for a chat and a hot drink!

Whilst you’re here, get involved with the Fresher’s timetable! Have a dance at the O2 Academy and have a look around the city, there’s so many great places to explore with your new friends. You can read more about Fresh Festival 2023.


Whilst finances aren’t the most glamorous topic to talk about, learning how to budget is so important for university, especially if it’s something you’ve never really done before. Imagine for a second that your bank account is an empty bucket and every time your student finance drops, that’s like a tap filling it up. The water inside the bucket is your income in this analogy.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to keep the bucket full. Your bucket has holes in it, and water is falling out. The leaks are caused by things such as rent and food costs, and it can be scary watching your bucket empty. It’s important to remember that as long as there’s enough water in the bucket to begin with; it doesn’t have to be a problem. It’s only a problem when the water level gets too low because that means you need to start closing the leaks. What that means in real terms is stopping unnecessary spending habits, that’s where budgeting comes in.

Budgeting helps keep the water level consistent, that way you can continue to spend on what you need and enjoy (within reason, of course). You don’t need to stop doing everything you enjoy; you just need to be a little careful.

Things you can do to help you budget include: establishing your initial income, estimate any outgoings and calculating a weekly budget.

For more advice, check out the University’s guide to budgeting.

Decorating your room

It’s your room, so don’t be afraid to make it your own!

Loving the space you’re living in is a sure way to make you feel at home, make it pretty, make it colourful; whatever you’d like. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Everyone has different tastes, but we suggest things such as putting pictures of loved ones on your notice boards, battery-operated fairy lights, blankets, etc.

Check out 5 ways to make your room more like home

Academic Planning

We hate to be the ones to remind you, but starting University means it’s time to work, after all; those degrees aren’t going to earn themselves!

Most courses will publish their reading weeks before the start of the academic year accessible via the University Library, so have a look and see if there’s anything you can get started with. This will help you feel prepared before you start, you don’t want to leave it all to the last minute. Consider setting yourself goals for the year, they will keep you motivated and on track.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your department if you need any extra guidance; everyone is here to help!

Looking after your health and wellbeing

Sometimes, in all the fun and excitement around Fresher’s week it’s easy to forget about looking after yourself, but please remember: your health always comes first!

Maintaining both your mental and physical health is imperative in having a positive Fresher’s experience. One way to look after yourself is making a routine you can follow, incorporate things like eating well, working out, sleep hygiene, meditating, etc.

Furthermore, it’s so important to remember that it’s okay not to be okay. We all struggle sometimes, especially when facing such a big transition. It’s natural to feel anxious or overwhelmed, and we all feel homesick sometimes, so on those nights when you find yourself missing your pets, go easy on yourself. Things will look up before you know it.

Find out more about dealing with homesickness.

The great thing about the University of Leicester is that there is so much support available for you if you find yourself struggling. We offer a Student Assistance Programme with Health Assured, students can access 24/7 confidential support.

Call us on: 0800 028 3766

Or visit:  (Username: wellbeing / Password: MoveMindTime1)

Or download the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app and use unique code MHA177874

Find out more about other support available at the University on our wellbeing hub

ResLifeMaddie profile picture

ResLifeMaddie Residential Adviser Team Leader for the University of Leicester. Get in touch with us on Instagram @uolreslife.
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