You are away from the comforts that you have at home and facing a new and different world alone. Avoid making the following mistakes most freshers make...
1. Always staying in your room
You first move into a new place and you're surrounded by people that you don’t know. To escape from meeting new people and you always hide in your room…never to see the light of the day. This is in fact a great time to make some new friends – you need to live with these people for an entire year.
2. Throwing out all your storage boxes
Please don’t throw all the boxes out! You may feel stupid at the end of your academic year if you need to move again. If you throw out the boxes, what are you going to put all your stuff in? Avoid paying for new ones and keep the ones you have.
3. Signing up for a lot of societies
Going to university is all about trying something new but it doesn’t mean you should sign up for everything. You may have been attracted during the freshers' fair and signed up for quite a number of societies. You've paid all the joining fees but haven't attended a single activity from each society. Once you're signed up, make the most it and try to some of the activities. Pick the societies that really interest you and select a few you think you would be committed to attending.
4. Leaving everything until the day before
Last-minute work?! Avoid staying up working all night, you'll be the walking death the next morning. It is a common mistake that university students always leave it to the last minute. It is much better if you can plan your schedule once you receive the guideline of your assignment/date of the test. Planning can help improve your work and decrease your stress levels, so the quality of your work will be higher than the one finished at the last minute.
5. Not backing up your work
I can tell you this is the worst situation for a student. You never know what will happen to your computer or online system. It can turn into a very stressful situation. Backing up your work at university is really IMPORTANT. I always back up my work on a hard drive or some free online storage sites like GoogleDrive or Dropbox.
6. Leaving your referencing until the end
Having a good-quality reference list can increase your grade. I always write my reference list as I go along. It is quite easy to miss out some of the references when you do it at the end of your work. There are a lot of platforms that can create a bibliography for you. Microsoft Word or Refme (which you can access from ARU) are some examples.
7. Putting your colours clothing with your whites to wash
It is what our Mum always asked us to do: separate the whites and the colours. Also, take notice of the recommended washing temperatures.
8. Buying books from your reading list
You will often find the books you need in the university library or online. If you really can't find it, do check out second-hand book stores or ask the Year 2/3 students.
9. Not checking the use-by-date on food
Best before and use before are different. If the product is dairy, fish or meat, make sure your use it before the date mentioned on the packing. Some meat can turn bad before the expiry date. If you don’t think you will use it within 3 days after you buy it, you can squirrel it away in the freezer for storage. You can even do it for bread.
10. Leaving dishes until they are mouldy
No one likes washing up but it doesn’t mean you can leave the dishes in the sick for nearly a week. Be nice and respect to your neighbours and yourself, soak the dishes after use and wash them before you sleep.