Advice for freshers: ditch the sweetheart and go out and drink

September 18, 2015, 9:00 AM GMT+0

British people who've been to university tend to say freshers should go out and drink a lot and break up with their boy or girlfriend – but their advice is mainly responsible

Record numbers of A level students have been accepted on to university courses this year, and over 409,000 will be heading to universities this weekend as freshers gets underway. Those who've already been will know what they now miss and what they'd perhaps rather forget. Here's our guide from the people who know, so mistakes are kept to a minimum.

University is renowned for casual sex, but the vast majority of people who've been to university and lived around campus do not recommend sleeping with as many people as possible. 75% say only have sex with people you really like and only 10% – although the figure is unsurprisingly higher for men – say having a lot of no-strings sex is the better approach.

Experimenting with drugs is also not seen as a good plan (71% say don't take any and 13% say experiment), but going out and drinking a lot is favoured over staying in and not drinking (41% to 34% respectively).

The chances of staying with a boyfriend or girlfriend throughout the first year are slim, and ex-students tend to say it's a better idea to break up before term starts (31% say break up, 28% say stick at it).

There's also some interesting advice on friendship: don't try and make friends with everyone you meet (62% say it's better to befriend a 'core group') and try to stay at university rather than frequently going home (41% say prioritise uni friendships, 35% say see home friends and family).

The 2015 world university ranking have four of the top ten in the UK – Cambridge, Oxford, UCL and Imperial – while five are from the US (MIT topping the list) and one is from Switzerland. Seven out of the UK's top ten universities are in the south, with Edinburgh, Manchester and Warwick representing the north.

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See the full poll results