Thursday, 17 September 2015

A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Part 4


You know those people you see on your way out getting carried home by their friends before 12am throwing up all over the floor looking like something out of 'Shaun of the Dead'? Don't let that be you.

It's tempting to try and keep up a drinking pace with your friends, but everyone processes alcohol differently, i.e., males tend to be able to drink more than females and Northerners can drink more than Southerners (I joke, but it's true really). If you start to feel sick, STOP!

If you need a glass of water, all the SU bars give it out for free. If you don't want that shot of Sambuca someone is trying to make you drink, if you can't handle it, don't have it.

There's nothing worse than going too hard on your first nights out and ruining yours, and your friend's, evening because you haven't made the wisest decision. Sure, it's happened to the best of us, but learn from your (and our) mistakes! Don't do that to yourself.

You might also end up getting kicked out of a club or bar and that's no fun at all, and you’re also putting yourself in danger by being on your own, especially in central London. If you do end up going home alone, make sure someone knows and let them know when you get back.

Our SU bars have student stewards, who are there to keep you safe. They’ve seen it all, so don’t be ashamed if you need to ask them for help if you’re having a bad night. The same with any of the student staff, we’re all here to make sure you have a good university experience.

Go steady. Or like my flatmate in first year, you'll forever be known as the guy who threw up chicken nuggets out of his nose...

**Editors Note: Many students like to socialise, and drinking can sometimes be part of that. Although we don't actively encourage our students to consume alcohol, we think it's important that they understand the potential consequences (we're definitely looking at you, Chicken Nugget guy) and how to look after themselves if they choose to do so.**


Seeing your student loan come in to your bank account is a wonderful feeling. I've never felt so rich in my entire life, and the urge to go and buy everything in Westfields is overwhelming.

Every year Freshers will make the same mistakes over and over again, they see all this money and rather than budgeting, they blow it all at once. I had a friend in first year who bought a brand new iPhone on a ridiculous contract, and spent the rest of term eating Kellogg's Cornflakes. True story.

We're all human, and like anyone would, when you get a large lump sum of money appear in your account, you feel like it's going to last forever and you keep on spending until one day you realise there's only £50 in your account to last you eight weeks.

Loan drop is just in time for Freshers, and you will end up going out and buying Jagerbombs for all your friends, then when you're poor, you'll spend the rest of the term begging for them to buy you drinks in return.

My advice is to budget. But be realistic; during Freshers you'll spend more than usual, or around Halloween, for example. What you need to do, is set a rough amount of how much you think you'll spend per week and try to stick to it as closely as you can. Take into account things like, phone bills, clothes shopping, travel, takeaways etc. Although travel in London is relatively cheap, you'll do a lot more of it and it all adds up, so try and be smart about it. One of the best things I did, was getting a railcard, and combining it on to my Oyster card. Although there are Student Oyster cards available, they only save 1/3rd on daily Travelcards, and you have to pay full price for a single/return journey.

When you're travelling round London for nights out it all adds up. For example, Student Oyster journey: £1.50. Railcard journey: £1.00. Combining your Railcard to your Oyster will mean that you save 1/3rd on ALL your journeys where you use it (as well as Travelcards), this includes buses and national rail trains (within zones 1-9), all you have to do is go to any ticket office, fill out a form, show them your card, and it's done there and then.

You may also need to cut down on luxuries here and there to make your money last, but that's not the end of the world (it just makes it all the better when you go home to your parents' and get to use the four-ply quilted loo roll rather than Tesco's own). But don't worry, no one is expecting you to live off ASDA Smart Price Baked Beans, but if you don't budget, that could happen. It may mean you have to go that little bit further to go food shopping; for anyone living in any of the Greenwich accommodations - I'd advise you to hop on the DLR and go to Crossharbour to go to the big ASDA there. Or, get the 177 or 180 buses and go to the ASDA or Sainsburys in Charlton. It's far cheaper than going to the big Waitrose or M&S and worth the journey.

McMillan Students - Although Sainsbury's is just downstairs, the Tesco over the road is bigger, cheaper and no-one cares if you’re too hungover to get changed out of your onesie. For more information about saving money as a student, there is an article which has hit the nail on the head, and I would strongly advise giving it a read here!


A Greenwich Guide to Freshers' Fortnight - Guest Blogger

Liz is a new blogger being featured here, who works in the Clearing team. She's here all week with hints and tips for getting the most out of your first few weeks at university.

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