As ‘Welcome Week’ draws nearer, it is understandable for new students to feel nervous and unsure about starting university. With everything that has been going on over the last few months, now more than ever, we need to look out for each other and work together. Keep reading for a list of the top ten most important tips for starting university, getting through freshers and navigating this strange and interesting new virtual style of university.

Don’t be afraid to try out societies

Joining and taking part in societies is not only a brilliant opportunity to meet new people, but also for many, becomes a defining feature of your university experience. There’s something for everyone; whether your thing is music, politics, sport, tech. Societies are sure to become your university family.

Go to events if you can, especially the fair

There are so many events which are going on during Freshers Week, lots of them really worthwhile attending. This year is a little different with so many events held online or through Zoom, but it is still important to go to those you are able. One of the best events available is the Fresher’s Fair, where you’re introduced to all the societies and can chat with them about how to get involved.

 Don’t worry about messing up

You’re new at this! The change to university brings many new challenges, and everyone is bound to slip up every now and again. Lecturers, tutors and peers all are far more understanding than you imagine they are and are all there to help you.

Hunt out bargains

The temptation to spend when student finance comes in can be great sometimes, but it is very important to be able to budget once you start university. Luckily, moving to Edinburgh gives you some of the best charity shops in the country as well as that, make sure to look out on platforms like Meadows Share for bargains and services like ‘Too Good To Go’ for the best deals.

Drink, or don’t!

Freshers week has become synonymous with hard partying and heavy drinking. If that is your thing, then great! There are people who are more than down to club till dawn and explore the pubs and bars of the city. If not, that’s great too! There are lots of events of all kinds where drinking isn’t the main point of interests. Try out tours of Edinburgh, cafe crawls or even a ceilidh!

 It’s okay to struggle

You’re only human, it’s absolutely fine to have a few down days when you start uni. The whole experience of starting at university, especially in a new city is nerve-wracking, and there are many others in the same boat. Everyone gets a little homesick from time to time and has days that aren’t so good. The good thing is that there are people and services out there to help, so remember that even on days when it feels hard, you aren’t alone.

Remember essentials

This isn’t just for packing! If you are studying away from home, make sure you set aside some time to register with the local GP. It isn’t exciting nor is it going to be the highlight of the week but you’ll thank yourself once freshers flu comes around.

Learn a couple of basic recipes

Unless you’re lucky enough to be living in catered halls, it’s likely you’re gonna have to cook for yourself at some point over the next year. Having a few recipes and tricks up your sleeve really will come in handy when you’re sick of dominos or can’t afford another Deliveroo. Pasta will most likely become your saviour, but there’s plenty of other cheap basics out there for you to try out. 

Make sure you know how the library works

You’re here first and foremost to study, and in order to study effectively, you’ll probably need to make use of the library. In Edinburgh, our library is huge-five floors huge. Though at times it feels a bit like a maze, with a little bit of guidance and practice you’ll be checking books out like a seasoned pro in no time.

 Getting your laptop insured

The vast majority of lectures this year are taking place online, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you keep your laptop safe. There are lots of cheap covers available, and though it may seem a little overly cautious, it’ll be worthwhile if you have a crash at 2 am the night before a deadline.


-DO always back up your work

-DON’T forget to ring home every so often

-DO make sure you’ve always got enough loo roll

-DON’T shop when you’re hungry

-DO unpack early

-DON’T skip lectures

-DO make use of all student services

-DON’T leave things to the last minute

-DO invest in a laptop which will last