As the UK's leading student review site, the BBC news team invited us (gasps) to share our top tips, on live television, for freshers starting university this autumn. We sent the lovely Bea to the studios in London, to give all you first-year students some handy advice, and what the next steps are now A-level Results Day is finally over.

 

From packing and preparing to kettles and cheese graters (#RememberYourCheeseGrater) here was what Bea had to say.

But wait, there are more TIPS...

As we’re yet to get Bea on Loose Women or in for a few meet and greets, at Pryzm, we thought we’d ask her a few extra questions and give you all some information on how you can get your voice heard via our  Student Hut panel.

First things first. If you could give one piece of advice to a student starting university this year, what would it be?

Don’t worry about getting everything perfect from day one! The entirety of university is a total balancing act, and most people won’t even have it totally figured out by the time they graduate, so don’t go into Freshers’ week expecting to have friends, studying, eating well, sleeping, exercising, extracurriculars, and everything else figured out from day one. Just take your time and do what you can! Don’t worry about missing that one night out if you need sleep, there are millions more. Put yourself out there as much as you can, but don’t panic if you don’t join 20 societies and attend 10 socials all in the first month - we’re all only human.

You got it, thumbs up girl

Source: Giphy

What is your top tip for surviving Freshers week?

The number one most important thing about Freshers’ week is probably making friends, but I think the real top tip here is to look out for one another. Drinking games and housemate-bonding is so much fun, but Freshers’ week is also super anxiety-inducing. You have to look after yourself, but we sometimes forget that we also really need to look after each other. Whether it’s knocking on someone’s door who hasn’t come out to say hi yet, offering to try a different activity if it looks like a new friend isn’t that into drinking, or asking if a housemate with freshers’ flu needs you to pop out and grab them some paracetamol, these are the kinds of things that help create real, lasting friendships (not that drinking games don’t do that too).

After looking at the insights from the Student Hut Panel, what are the most common things first-year students will be thinking and feeling?

Generally, finding accommodation seems to be one of the scariest things, particularly for those going through Clearing. Students are also worried about budgeting, and applying for student loans, but they really shouldn’t be, as so much info on all of these things can be found online, and never underestimate the value of reviews from past students! Other general concerns tend to be about forgetting things, making friends, and those first few weeks away from home, but luckily most students tend to feel more excited than nervous, and it’s really great to think positively about this great new experience.

Hustling, make it rain money

Source: Giphy

Why should students sign up to the Student Hut Panel?

Students should sign up to the panel to have a voice in society, and to feel confident that their voice is being heard by those who are marketing to them. Our surveys never take long, and we even like to think that they’re quite fun to fill in. They only ever take a couple of minutes out of your day, and might even get you thinking more critically about a topic you hadn’t really considered before. Also, surveys are great because you automatically know 100% of the answers simply by being yourself. Participants are compensated in Amazon vouchers, which they can collect over time, and then used on anything, from textbooks to beer! (Probably beer…).

How important is it for students to have a voice in society?

We think it’s super important for students to have a voice in society. In an ideal world, anything created for students would be created by students, but as you’re so busy getting those shiny new degrees, this seems to be the next best thing. If you think of every article you’ve ever read, or advert you’ve ever seen, that’s aimed at young people, but comes across like those who wrote it have never actually met a young person in their life (e.g. ad campaigns which still use the word “lit” all the time), that’s what we’re trying to avoid. And of course, on a more serious level, we need to know what students think, and how opinions are changing over time, as this is one of the best possible ways of understanding society.

What would you say to a student who is concerned about sharing their data when being part of the Student Hut Panel?

First up, I’d say “I don’t blame you.” The amount of data that companies collect about us is terrifying, and we’re all pretty sure they’re out to take over the world. However, market research is totally different. We’re not looking to pass on your data, rather we’re looking to collect info on an entire group’s opinions, and gain insights from this. We want to know your stance on student accommodation or politics, but we don’t need your name to be connected to that opinion, as it will be collected with hundreds of others so we can create an average, and see what the majority are thinking.

Most importantly, we’re always super upfront about what happens with your data, and who gets to see it. We’re never out to trick you, as we don’t have anything to hide, and if you ever have any questions at all, the team is only ever an email away.

We want to make sure student opinions are always heard, and that Higher Education institutions, and society, in general, remain up to date with what students are thinking. Click here for more information on joining the Student Hut panel.

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