The Fresher Feeling

IT’S THE start of a new year and for those returning to Aberystwyth, it’s a big readjustment. For those starting afresh, it can be an overwhelming experience. Detached from the comforts of home in search of a shiny new degree, it can make even the most independent ones amongst us uneasy at times. Don’t panic, we’re here to help!
Here is an idea of what to expect and a few pointers to try and avoid any unnecessary stress in your first few weeks at university.

How to deal with homesickness: Get involved!

One of the main issues that effects most freshers is adjusting to being away from family and friends. It can be daunting to begin with and the unfamiliar surroundings may leave you feeling lost. The key to overcoming these home-sickness blues is to remember everyone around you is feeling the same.
The best thing you can do is to chuck yourself into as many activities and social events as possible. Get out there and start making some friends so that you have people to talk to when your feeling a bit low. Even if you only attend the taster sessions during Sports Week and Freshers’ Week, joining a society or sports team will create a new pool of friends and it’ll give you something to look forward to on a Wednesday afternoon.
Remember, even though your friends and family may seem out of touch, they never really are. The messaging service Skype, along with instant messaging on smart phones, means that they are only a phone call away. Even if it seems silly to call after a few days, you will always feel better after a reassuring chat from Mum or Dad. Anyway, there are always things to do in Aberystwyth to distract you! Check out this issue’s feature article on the A-Z of Aberystwyth and start exploring the town and its surroundings. Get some friends together and make a day of it.

‘Down it, Fresher!’: How to prepare yourself for an intense couple of weeks

Taking part in as many activities in Fresher’s Week as you can is great! But after a while, you may feel the euphoria replaced by flu like symptoms. This is the illness commonly called ‘Fresher’s Flu’ and it plagues the university every year. It is not uncommon to begin coughing and spluttering in your first month here, so the best thing you can do is prepare yourself for it.
In between the alcoholic beverages, try to re-fuel your body with hot drinks like honey and lemon, Lemsip or some fruit teas such as Twinning’s lemon and ginger tea, to help soothe your throat and settle your stomach. You can also keep your immune system in working order by taking some multivitamins. Also, don’t forget to eat a decent meal once in a while. Pizza or instant noodles may seem like easy, quick fixes for a hungry stomach but your body needs fruit and vegetables.

Don’t Forget Your Future Health: Remember to sign up to a GP in town!

It is highly recommended by the university that you should sign up to one of the local GP’s. Do this in your first week so that when you actually get ill you don’t have to faff around signing up to a practice. They are happy to help, so if you’re feeling apprehensive about the dreaded ‘Fresher’s flu’ then give them a visit and you’ll be right as rain in no time!
Speaking of rain, the seasonal change may leave you feeling a little ‘under the weather’ so to speak… As Aberystwyth faces the Irish sea, weather patterns will fluctuate wildly, so be ready to wrap up warm at the slightest notice. Also, the University bus can even save you the pain of walking back home from lectures in a drizzle.
So all in all, if you are feeling apprehensive about the new year, even if you’ve done it before, there are so many ways to make you feel better than sitting under the covers with a cold, eating chocolate and watching Sex and the City. Tag along to everything you can, safe in the knowledge that everyone in your halls is probably as confused as you are. Just wash your hands after a heavy night and keep the orange juice flowing- it will be the first great friend you make in the weeks to come.