Beginning first year in a University can be seen as a daunting prospect for many. However it is also filled with opportunities. Opportunities to learn, to form new friendships, and, most importantly, to get bag loads of free stuff.

The sky really is the limit in terms of the free stuff you could receive, and if you approach the situation with the correct knowledge and tactics (and a big enough backpack), you could have hundreds of things that you didn’t have before you took them.

First, and possibly most importantly, condoms. You really can never have enough of them, especially the hideously low quality HSE ones. They’ll only let you down as much as the country’s health service does. Make sure you grab at least 100 of these.

Secondly, a relatively new addition, card holders for your phone. They really are genius, because now when you have your phone stolen, you lose your debit card too, and who would say no to that opportunity? Definitely don’t stick to just grabbing one, why not stack them so that your phone won’t even fit into your pocket anymore? At least ten is a good number.

Pens, I took at least fifty last September and I take notes on my laptop. Why not have a different pen for every week, or even day of the year? They’re there for the taking.

Leaflets, they may seem useless at first, but when the energy crisis worsens, I’ll be glad to have my thirty Arts and Humanities booklets to start a fire with. The ability to squash them into your bag means that you can take hundreds, and try to aim for some of the proper degree programmes, as the paper tends to be better quality.

The possibilities are endless really, and with the right mindset and work ethic, you could really make the most of your first week. You might not have any friends or have any reading done, but you’ll have a lot of free things.

Jack Nolnod – Avid Collector of All Things Free