Recently I’ve posted some practical articles for university students about budgeting, lifestyle, exams, assignments and even touched on that awful thing called plagiarism. All very practical and helpful.
In keeping with my love for you uni students out there, I think it might be time for me to break my silence on where it all begins… The multi-billion pound entity that’s often described as ‘the last true chance you’ll get to not have a care in the world.’ The week that allows you to meet people, forget the people you just met, get to know your flatmates, party, get to know your town/city and generally settle in.
Fresher’s Week means different things to different people. Some people see it as an escape from the previous 18 years of their life, others see it as a way of starting a new life. There are even some who see it as an extension of some aspects of their current lifestyle.
Your University will likely have sent you a list of any welcome talks that you need to attend. There will likely be a talk to welcome you into your school/faculty, followed by one for your course. In my case, I had an extra one added because my course had the option of studying a foreign language and the implications of that had to be discussed too.
Your Student Union will have several get-togethers for people to sit down casually and meet people. You’ll find that this’ll take place in your SU bar or something. I found it a pretty good event to go to – it was a chance to have a sit down with my new flatmates and meet some people from all across the university of all ages.
Of course, all of this pales into relative insignificance compared to the partying. Your SU will likely have a club or venue where concerts, parties and the like will be held. Be prepared to be going out nearly every night to some of the events that they’ll hold. It’s actually a hot act for artists and bands to get in on at the moment, and you’ll see people like Zane Lowe going on big student tours around the country.
Bearing all this in mind, I think it would be safe to say I have some handy tips for you on how to make the most out of Fresher’s Week…
Get to those welcome talks – As much as you are likely to wake up in the morning after a heavy night out of partying and drinking with a colossal headache/hangover, you really ought to get yourself to these talks. A faculty talk is going to give you an overview of the rules and regulations you’ll be bound by. They only last about an hour (if that) so grab a pen and paper and suffer it. You’ll thank me later when you know all about plagiarism and hand-in rules and the like.
Don’t drink too much – OK, I accept that asking Freshers to be careful when drinking is like asking the university Rugby team to stop mocking the American Football team – you can ask all you like but it’s still going to happen.
However, you’ve got to be careful. There’ll be outrageous drinks offers (since when did anyone think offering £1.50 shots of tequila would end well?) and plenty of parties to get to. I’ll be honest, you’ll spend a scary proportion of your Fresher’s Week partying and in clubs and bars. However, I think it’s safe to say that, if you can’t remember where you were the night before, you probably had a bit too much.
At best you might have done something embarrassing… at worst, you ended up in A&E getting your stomach pumped and missing more of Fresher’s Week.
If nothing else, it isn’t cool to have the honour of being remembered as the one who couldn’t enjoy Fresher’s Week without being truly battered.
Have a quiet(er) night at some point – Don’t feel obliged to spend every night of your week out at the parties. Some Fresher’s Week events might not appeal to you (especially if it’s the same act for the third year running… Take note Lincoln…) so take the opportunity to have a night at the pub or in the flat. Your liver will take relatively little damage and you’ll get some nice bonding time with mates and flatmates.
Just beware though: a trip for a quiet pint at the pub, regardless of how old you are, has the potential to turn into a ridiculous bar crawl. If it does, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
On a more poignant note…. Don’t forget to phone home – Your parents will be worried, that I cannot deny. During my Fresher’s Week, my parents spoke to me on Skype a good three or four times – a mixture of missing me and wanting to see if I was coping alright myself.
Take the opportunity a couple of times during the week to go on Skype or phone home. Obviously I concede that if you’re prone to feeling really homesick it might not help much, but at least your parents will know you’re safe and doing OK.
Pack Paracetamol and Berocca – That’s self-explanatory. You’ll be amazed what these do for you.
Have you got any other tips for us? Feel free to comment and let us know – if we’ve got enough we’ll do a follow-up with even more suggestions!