I don’t know about you but when I was due to start University one of the things which particularly scared me was the thought of Fresher’s Week. I have never been a particularly boppy-music-party-clubber person, on the rare occasion I do go clubbing I tend to spend 90% of it uncomfortable and in need of a sit down!
Call me boring but during my Fresher’s Week I only went to a handful of events, a ‘Masquerade Boat Ball’, a ’90’s Themed Club night’ and one or two events arranged at the university bar. For context, I have not set foot in a club in London since… There is nothing wrong with clubbing, it’s just not for me and I hope by sharing some other students experiences, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable going in knowing it’s not all about the club nights.
Are you ready, for the good, the bad and the ugly as it were?
Lauren’s Fresher’s Week Experience:
“My Fresher’s Week was not the typical one you see in media. No heavy drinking, clubbing or loud parties. If I’m honest, the first couple of days I was quite sad. I worried so much if people were going to like me, if I was going to fit in and have any fun. When all my flatmates went out without me to a club, I sat in my room and cried.
However, they all came back within the hour, saying it wasn’t for them. After that, I gelled with 2 of my flatmates, Robb and Izzy, instantly. We went out to comedy nights, ate chips together, played internet games in the kitchen and overall just explored this new city we’d all found ourselves in. I think fresher’s is all about connecting with new people, not seeing how wasted you can get in one week!”
Some people might label this fresher’s as “boring”, but to me it’s some of my most treasured uni memories so far.
Emily’s Fresher’s Week Experience:
That’s me – recently 18, very uncomfortable, and heading to my first Fresher’s event.
“I remember little of my Freshers experience, I remember breaking the kitchen table, a blur of introductions, drinking games, and trying desperately to make new friends. Also, I remember suppressing my excitement in a bid not to seem too eager. And I remember vomiting. A lot.
I’d thrown myself into the idea that Freshers is drink, vomit, repeat. And though I realised it wasn’t for me, I continued to do it, because I didn’t think there was another way to make friends. The irony of it is, that 98% of the people that I worriedly introduced myself to – I can’t remember their names. The friendships that I now have were born out of (soberly) bonding over things that I was really passionate about.
You DO NOT NEED TO DRINK if you don’t want to (even if you want to, please have rest days). Have a good time, of course, but be entirely yourself; don’t be influenced by unnecessary pressures, and the idea that you have to drink to meet people and have fun.
Enjoy it your way, on your terms, and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time.
Brooke’s Fresher’s Week Experience:
“Freshers Week. A week you’re told about. The wild nights out, drinking until you can’t drink anymore and crazy themed nights. Everyone tells you Freshers Week will make you or break you! But, what if you don’t drink? Well here is my experience a non-drinker of how to survive Freshers Week.
Me and my boyfriend weren’t interested in the nights out, we only attended one, a paint party and that put us off. The paint party turned out to be an overcrowded small nightclub full of drunks who wanted to be covered in paint. We ended up leaving a couple of hours into the party as ambulances were called due to injuries caused by people trying to get to the front of the stage to have some paint (I mean more like coloured water) splashed on them.
This one event put me off all Freshers Week nights out. For me the highlight of Freshers was the freebie fair. I love a good freebie so this was right up my ally, I ended up walking away with glass cups, food and stationary. During freshers week I learnt it is what you make of it! If you like to get drunk and party then there is loads for you or if you’re like me and prefer a quieter option then theres loads of events like freebie fairs to get involved in. Also, make sure you stay on top of your health!
Hand sanitiser is your best friend! Once you catch Freshers Flu it stays with you for the rest of your life!”
Freshers Week isn’t all partying until you can’t anymore, there is loads of events that don’t include partying or drinking.
Harry’s Fresher’s Week Experience:
(Newcastle is beautiful at 1am)
“Going to Newcastle University when you don’t enjoy going out is interesting, but I tried to ‘fit in’ during Freshers Week. I tried my best to take part in night time activities, so I went to the SU with my flatmates the first night. By 1am, I had decided to go home (P.S walking 3 miles in Newcastle at night on your first night is a bad idea). I learned the hard way that forcing yourself to fit in isn’t fun,and isn’t necessary.
The rest of the week I spent finding different ways to socialise. I realised that, apart from drinking,
places have a lot of fun activities. Cinema, sports, bowling, sightseeing. I loved the rest of the week, and it showed that, even in a stereotypical ‘party city’ like Newcastle, going out is not the be all and end all.”
I learned the hard way that forcing yourself to fit in isn’t fun, and isn’t necessary.
Lucy’s Fresher’s Week Experience:
“My fresher’s week was good as far as I can remember. I’m 99% sure there was a trip to Beamish where we all had a really good time with our fellow course pals. I started university on my own and friendless, I wasn’t looking forward to Fresher’s week. But now, I’m in second year and surrounded by some of the most beautiful people inside and out.
Just remember, the friends you make in fresher’s week may not be the ones you have throughout uni. It’s different for everyone but don’t worry if you drift away from people. You’ll make new friends! And don’t feel pressured into drinking every single night of the week. If you don’t want to, don’t do it. I didn’t and I have no regrets. Also, try getting involved in some university sorority’s in your fresher’s week. It’s a daunting task but you’ll make loads of new friends that way so try not to shy away from it.”
Don’t panic if Fresher’s week isn’t the biggest party of your life, just enjoy your time as much as you can. Soon, you’ll get busy and wonder where all the time went!
Find out more about Lucy through her Blog.
That’s that then!
Five different experiences and advice for you to take on board before Fresher’s Week next month. Just remember, as long as you stay true to yourself and don’t get pressured into anything then you’ll be sure to have the best time.
Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see more content like this too!
Make sure you check out the other posts in the series and in relation to university:
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part One)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Two)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Three)
University: What I Wish I’d Known (Part Four)
University, 9 Years Ago; An Interview
University, 13 Years Ago; An Interview
University Alternative, MOOC; An Interview
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part One
University Saving Tips and Tricks, Part Two
University Bookshelf Tour
My University Experience So Far