Unsure of what to expect from your first term at university? Alex Jones at Endsleigh student insurance reveals all in emoji

As of midnight on 23 August, Ucas data shows a total of 481,570 people have, so far, been placed in full-time UK higher education – an increase of three per cent on the same point last year. That’s a lot of new starts.

For those who will be moving out, as you pack your life into boxes, wave goodbye to the folks, and look forward to starting a new chapter in your life, you may be nervous and wondering what on Earth to expect as you pull up to your new university.

So, what better way to let you know what you’ll be letting yourself in for than to let you see for yourself – in emoji – courtesy of the team at Endsleigh?

Moving day


The greatest achievement of packing is finding those elusive boxes. Finding surplus cardboard during a Morrisons delivery feels like actual gold and you’ve managed to pack your lifetime into neat(ish) square containers.

Choose your moving companions wisely. You’ll need someone with a cool head and plenty of stamina when lugging your possessions across the country. Whether moving into halls of residence or a student house, your university town will be your oyster for the next few years, with so many people to meet and places to explore.

Once your belongings have been expertly piled in to a corner for you to procrastinate over later, use your evening to meet your new housemates and enjoy a well-deserved beer – or three – before moving on to the student union so your housemates can check out your killer dance moves. At the end of the night, it’s time for a cheeky burger and to catch some sleep before the mayhem of Freshers’ Week begins.

Freshers’ Week


Who knew you’d have such a penchant for am-dram, ju-jitsu and book clubs? The Freshers’ Fair is the land of opportunity, and over-enthusiasm can have you signing up for every society under the sun.

Some can come with a fee attached so sage advice for this week is to leave the card at home so you have visibility on your spending. You’ll soon feel the repetitive strain of reaching into your pocket and end up calling it a night.

Remember to keep your (non-alcoholic) fluid intake at an all-time high to refuel after dancing the night away, and to keep the freshers’ flu monster at bay too.

Starting lectures and your first assignment


Soon reality kicks in and Freshers’ Week seems a distant and blurry memory as lectures begin and your first assignment deadline looms.

Firstly, who knew textbooks were so expensive? A great way to give your purse strings and eco-warrior some love is to keep an eye out for pre-owned textbooks – they may even have lecture scrawls containing small pearls of wisdom from all the students who have come before you.

You begin to take notes like a boss. Weeknight drinking and greasy takeaways may become commonplace and you’ll realise ‘student night’ falls between Sunday to Thursday, so an impromptu party can happen at any time. Afternoon naps are key for re-charging post-lectures and pre-partying.

The week before your student loan comes in


Your alarm clock was never your friend but if your classes fall into the later part of the day, then sleeping in until the PM can easily become the norm.

You’ve become addicted to the vintage arcade game where you and your new pals will play endless tournaments during a post-lecture lull. Surely this is an acceptable pastime because it’s vintage, yah?

While you’re in the student union, you may find yourself occasionally nipping to the bar for a pint and a plate of chips to munch on during a gaming sesh. You avoid looking at your bank balance like the plague only for your card to be declined when ordering in a round. You plead for a care package from close relatives which happens to include a ‘temporary’ loan and you vow never to become swipe-happy with your debit card ever again. Cue celebrations from your new temporary fortune until your next maintenance instalment lands.