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Fresher's Survival Guide

Fresher's survival guide:

Freshers week is an exciting time for students in Edinburgh with plenty of events and parties to go to as you meet your new flat mates and others from your class. It can also be a bit daunting as it is likely the first time you have lived away from home and therefore must take on new responsibilities like bill paying and keeping yourself fed and watered. With that in mind, we have created a guide below to help you get through the first few weeks of the semester and having fun while doing it.

New names and faces

Freshers week can be a source of great social pressure as you meet many new people in a short space of time, some of which you may be living with for the next year, but it is important to remember that everyone else is in the exact same boat as you and by being yourself you will likely find that you have much more in common with others than you think. A great way to make friends with similar interests is to join one of the countless student societies in Edinburgh and you can find this through your respective university’s website.

Plan ahead

It can be tempting to go to as many events as possible but remember that the human body and mind needs to rest every once and a while. The timeline of everything happening in Freshers week is likely already out there so we recommend taking a look, talking to your friends and planning which events are the most important to you and making sure you get tickets for those. This way you guarantee getting to do the events that suit you best without overstretching yourself and your bank balance. It’s also important to remember that Edinburgh’s nightlife is year-round so missing out on a night out every once and a while is no big deal.

Second-hand knowledge

Once at university you may find that some study resources are a bit more costly than you might have expected. Textbooks specifically have been known to put many students straight into their overdrafts right at the start of the semester which can be quite demoralizing. However, such textbooks have likely been used by others from previous years and so second hand copies with student-friendly price tags are quite easy to come by. While several shops and websites such as Blackwells, EBay, Gumtree and even some university libraries are a good place to start, it is also worth taking a look in charity shops near your campus as this is where the real bargains can found. It is also often the case that previous editions of the course text are more than up to the job, but it is recommended that you check with your course organiser which editions are suitable first to avoid disappointment.

Filling the fridge

In Edinburgh you are never far from a Tesco Express or a Sainsburys. While they are great for late night snacks and emergency milk and bread, they can become quite costly if you rely on them for your main shop. Also dotted around Edinburgh are budget rivals, ALDI and LIDL, which although they may be an extra five to ten-minute walk from your flat but will likely save you a considerable amount of money in the long run so are worth searching out.

Go at your own pace

It can be easy to be swept up in the excitement of freshers week and drink a little bit more than you can handle but remember that everyone has their own limits and it is important to know yours. You may meet people who want to drink and party every other night, but you are under no obligation to join them and feel confident to say 'no' to anything you don’t want to do. If you feel that you are being pressured in a way that you are not comfortable with then you should look elsewhere for friends who understand and respect you. If the social pressure of university does become too much for you remember that there are plenty of great advice centers in the city that can point you in the right direction or simply provide an empathetic ear to get you through.


For a full list of all the freshers week activities at your university this year, check out the pages below:

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Napier University

Heriot Watt University

Queen Margaret University


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