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A freshers’ essential guide to university

Written by on 24th September 2018

Reporter Kathinka Mumme talks university, and how to survive those first few steps.


Fresher’s week is over and now the serious part of uni is starting.

So, while you might be lying in bed with the worst hangover of your life, scranning your third takeaway of the week or are still on track with your resolutions of cooking and eating healthy: here is the ultimate guide to uni life with everything you need to know about the upcoming year.


We all know that cooking is a hassle. Or for me, it was rather doing the dishes afterwards. But since takeaways can be quite expensive and there is no app for mum to quickly send her Sunday roast over, it is unavoidable.

Here are three cooking tips every student should and can master:

  1. The freezer is your friend. Whether it is chicken, chopped vegetables, bread or leftovers. Basically everything is freezable and (if you remember) easily thawed the morning before. If you forget, just boil water, pop the frozen goods in a bowl and pour the water over them. Let sit for 30 minutes and it should be ready for cooking.
  2. Plan your meals and do a weekly shop. Look up recipes that you would like to try during the week and make a list. Try to use the same ingredients for multiple recipes per week to save money and time. Things you should always have in your cupboard: Salt, pepper, vegetable oil, canned tomatoes, pasta, pesto, cereal.
  3. Do. Not. Skip. Breakfast. I am quite bad with that rule as well but let me tell you, it makes all the difference. Starting your day off with a good meal or at least a snack makes you go until lunch without your tummy making a whale’s mating sound in class. And it also makes you less likely to snack during the day.

Bonus tip: Eat your five a day. It will help you especially in winter.


Fresher’s Flu

Being ill sucks. Especially when you are not at home for mum to take care of you and make her homemade chicken noodle soup. To prevent lying in bed, feeling miserable, try to have enough vitamin C. This sounds like a motherly tip no one wants to hear but I have actually started getting less sick once I regularly started drinking orange juice and taking chewable vitamin C.

Once you caught it there is only one thing to do: Drink ginger tea with honey, eat soup, don’t talk and stay in bed with Netflix. Oh, or call mum.

Halls and Flatmates

Living in halls can be fun. Or hell. While the first few weeks of living on your own with other uni newbies can be fun, you will soon find out that not all of you will have the same interests. And that is okay as long as you still keep it respectful with each other. Whether it is loud music, flat parties or taking out the bins: Communication is key and in person is always the best.

In my first year I ended up falling out with my flatmates because of passive-aggressive texts and snapchats over something that could have been solved in a face to face conversation within five minutes.



Let’s be realistic: all that fancy stationary that you bought months in advance won’t be used. By the end of first term you will find yourself with one pen and a notepad that you got for free from a stall at Fresher’s Fayre. The rest will lie at home on your desk and collect dust. And let me tell you: you do not need it.

There are three staple items that helped me through first year: A good notepad, a collection of pens and a calendar. Especially a diary will help you keep track of deadlines, nights outs and holidays. Or even using your phone calendar can save you a lot of stress. If you own an iPhone, you can sync your personalised timetable with it under this link.


And that is it. All you need to know to get started at GCU. Any questions feel free to email us or comment on the post and we will do our best to help you. But bear in mind I am only in second year as well.


Kathinka Mumme

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