I started writing this (and many other) posts in the beginning of my second year, when I really began to evaluate whether my university years, which I have often been told would be the best of my life, were actually all they’d been promised to be. ( I am also such a shoddy blogger that I only just realised that this post was still sitting in my drafts, but please feel free to enjoy – maybe it will be useful for re-freshers week?).
Week One, as it is known at my university is a huge, HUGE deal. Like, more massive than your nan’s 100th birthday rave and your guinea pigs anniversary. Exclusive wristbands which mark you out as a ‘fresher’ are distributed on the first day, and there are plethoras of second and third years dying to get their hands on them, in order to be allowed into the Week One parties.
In honour of the super secret events that they are, my Week One reps had us up at the ass-crack of dawn in order to buy the tickets, which were distributed in limited numbers to each hall. The faster we sold out, the more tickets would become available to us – it was a vicious circle and if you hadn’t arranged for a friend to buy your ticket for the next party while you lay with your head in a bucket recovering from the previous nights shenanigans, then you risked spending a night alone on your corridor while others partied Fresh style. While obtaining entry to these exclusive events may seem like a priority, there is much more that occurs during ‘the best week of your Uni life’.
Freshers, unbeknownst to many, is not just a week-long piss up. If you’re staying in catered accommodation like many at Nottingham do in their first year, then Freshers week is an opportunity to get to know your neighbours, before you inevitably befriend course mates, fellow society members and drunk toilet mates (you’ll make at least one of those).
You’ll also need to sober up enough to register for your classes, as well as attend Freshers Fayre, which is the highlight of every students freebie acquisition diary. You will be given, amongst many other things: pens, highlighters, pens, fridge magnets, pens, posters, pens, notepads, pens, menus, pencils, free pizza and probably a pen or three. Take all the pens and paper you can get, because later in the year when faced with the choice of stationery or new clothes/shoes/a night out, I promise you, pens won’t win.
Another great part of Freshers Fayre is getting a chance to see how what there is to get involved with outside of your academic studies. Nottingham, for example, has *** societies and clubs for you to sink your teeth into! From Cake Soc and Knit Soc to Pole Soc and Cock Soc (get your mind out of the gutter!) there is something for everyone and I would highly recommend taking this opportunity to try something you’ve never even dreamt about. Societies are a great way to make a varied group of friends who are interested in the same things you are, or even with whom you share a common culture. So far into my Uni career I’ve been a member of the African and Caribbean Society, Art Soc, the Caribbean society (disambiguation required?), Musicality (the university’s musical theatre society), History Soc (did I mention there are course related societies?), Brazilian and Portuguese Society and the Pole Dancing Society, to name a few! All have opened doors to new and fun experiences, cultures and events – I’ve even learned a skill or two ;).
With all that fun going on, it can be difficult to make time for the boring, admin bits of becoming a student. Living away from home, it’s important that you register with a local surgery for when you inevitably develop Fresher’s flu (or worse!); the dentists, and not to mention finding out when those lectures you’re paying for are meant to happen!
All in all, I do believe my Fresher’s Week was one of the best of my university life. I met some of my greatest friends, tried a million new things, survived an extreme vodka allergy (true story) and stomached canteen meals. It was a foundation of fun for a few years of hard work, and you definitely get out what you put in.
So, take a deep breath and nose dive into the fun, if you do, I promise it’ll be the best week of your life.