Vision’s guide to Halls: The best tips you’ll get all year

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It’s tough but true – you have no idea how to live with other Freshers in halls this Freshers’ Week.

Okay you may know, but for those of you joining our ranks, here are a few tips to get you through your first year of university.

You can thank me by getting me a tequila shot in Willow…

1. Make Friends, Fast

You didn’t choose to live with the guy who never comes out of his room. True. You find yourself saying things like: “Omg, that girl has a super weird crush on the guy from the rugby team…”, “Eurgh, he’s like… so… WEIRD. Why do I even live here?”.  I’ve even heard: “I just can’t wait to go home this weekend to see my cat”. Okaaay…

Okay, it may not always be like that but there’s one thing you will hear too many times – friends dismissively advising, “you don’t have to live with these people for three years; you don’t even have to really be friends with them six months down the line.”

Yes, you’ll probably fall out with half of your flatmates a million times over, whilst simultaneously thinking about how lucky you are to be living with such cool people – but it takes too much effort and will stress you out too much. They’re probably adjusting, just like you.

Right now, they’re your flatmates. Love them and listen to their every problem. You’ll be enjoying an entire (life-changing) year with them after all. You’ll thank me when they’re holding back your hair or getting you into a taxi with the best kebab in York.

2. Powerful Porter Pals

The porters will take in your packages, replace your lost key, and change your light bulbs. They are the most important best friends to make when you live in halls – if they like you, they can make your life a lot easier! If you’re feeling down, or homesick, have a chat to these people – it’s not always in their job description, but they’re always up for a chat!

3. Operation Cash Point

Unplanned taxis home, spontaneous fast food ordering… There are some very good reasons to suddenly need a cash point. Make it a priority to know where your nearest hole in the wall is.

Conversely, don’t take your card out with you every night. You will spend about £500. I’m not even joking.

4. Food Filching

The rules of a communal fridge? There are no rules. It’s a fact.

It may not be great etiquette, but hungry mouths will roam, and your leftovers might be their prey. Just remember this – no matter how angry it makes you, there is no excuse for a passive aggressive note stuck on the fridge.

5. Log Out, Log Out, Log Out.

Oh please, log out of Social Media. Your Facebook and Twitter is now fair game. If you leave your door open, and your account open on your laptop, get ready for a very public coming out party, some awkward photo ‘liking’, or an admission of sexual infections…

6. Fire Drill Fashion?

Fire drills are your college administration’s way of  keeping you safe. They can strike at any time. From now on, you are like a soldier on constant alert. Always have clothes at the ready, because you just don’t want to be caught out in a towel. You don’t want you mum to see that on Facebook…

7. Don’t Be Alarmed

As if making you evacuate at six o’clock in the morning after a heavy night isn’t enough, your college will also hold regular fire alarm ‘tests’. The alarm will sound for a few seconds without needing you to react. But be warned – it’ll be early, it’ll be loud, you’ll still be in bed and, the first few times, you will jump out of your skin and start pulling on your clothes. Six weeks in? You might even be able to sleep through it.

8. Under Lock and Key

Trailing down to the porters’ lodge with wet hair and no shoes because you’ve locked yourself out will get old very quickly, and by the third time it’s happened in a week you will wish there was a way to fuse your key to your own skin. In fact, that might be worth looking into…

9. Save, Store and Stockpile

From now on, don’t throw clothes away. The skull and crossbones T-shirt from your Goth phase is given a whole new lease of life for the pirate-themed fancy dress night. The misguided metallic gold belt is perfect over a bed-sheet toga. Sounds crazy? You’ll start to think this way too soon.

10. Learn the Rules of the Laundry Room.

If you forget about that washing load you put in the dryer, and run down to the laundry room three hours later, your clothes will be dumped in the corner with the Coke cans and the lint balls. You may even have lost that treasured ‘going-to-uni’ sweater you got from your nan and loved so much. Hey, it’s tough, but true.

How did you find Fresher’s Week? Give us a tweet @YorkVision or comment below to let us know how you get on.