The hangovers from hell, the memories of whatever ridiculous bet you and the person from your course made or the silly arguments you got into with the person studying a Film degree about whether or not Han or Greedo shot first (by the way, it was Greedo, you were right, George Lucas just messed the film up, it's not your fault).
Regardless of what your experience of freshers week is, you'll need to know all the tips for staying sane during freshers week!
Firstly, what is freshers week?
Freshers week is the welcome period for new students starting at a UK university. All freshers are different, but the aim is always the same, to introduce you to university life, offer you a chance to make friends and get to know your housemates as well as learn more about your course, campus and clubs.
It could be anything. From organised club nights, society fairs, fairgrounds or more, the possibilities are endless. This is a chance to get to know your home for the next few years.
When is freshers week?
Freshers week is typically the first week of your first term at university. This tends to be towards the end of September, though it may be closer to the middle of the month (especially in Scotland, or for unis who run it for two weeks rather than one). Check your university timetable for the exact dates, you won’t want to miss this!
You choose how much to spend at freshers week, so be careful not to blow your entire term’s maintenance loan in seven days.
What happens in freshers week?
Your university will have several activities. These typically include workshops, taster sessions and things to do for you to meet new people, try out new things and to generally get to know the area a bit more.
It isn’t just the university that makes an effort for fresher’s week. Plenty of the local nightclubs, bars and restaurants in the local area will have freshers events on, if people want to attend them as well.
Which university has the best freshers week?
No matter the university you choose, they will offer you a great welcome to campus! Which uni offers the best freshers will differ depend on who you talk to and what you’re looking for.
You’re the best judge of this! Get involved and have a good time to make your freshers week the best.
How much money do you need for freshers week?
This is down to you. You choose how much to spend at freshers week, so be careful not to blow your entire term’s maintenance loan in seven days - don’t worry, we know that it can be tempting! But you’ll thank yourself later in the term when you’re able to eat more than just bland Tesco Value pasta.
Many unis offer a wristband service to include entry to all the different parties and events on offer. A pass can cost anywhere between £15 and £150, including varying levels of entry and perks to clubs and parties. Your university will no doubt share more information about freshers as part of their welcome pack.
If you’re worried you might overspend in all the excitement, try setting yourself physical barriers to blowing your budget. Keep most of your money in a savings account and transfer just enough for the night out into your debit card account before you head out the door. Our how to budget at uni article may offer you some helpful tips too!
How to stay healthy in freshers week
The best thing to do in fresher’s week is to do everything in moderation. Make sure you’re offsetting the night of drinking with a day of healthy eating and plenty of exercise. A pint of water on the night stand is a God-send - your future hungover self will thank you.
You can also get active! Freshers week may even give you the chance to visit the on-campus gym facilities, which means that you’d be well-prepared for the days ahead if you can get a quick session in.
Staying healthy during freshers week is no different to living a healthy life at university in general. Just make sure you look after yourself, know your limits and don’t do anything in excess.
Making friends in Freshers week
It can inevitably feel a little awkward when situations like this happen. But one thing that’s always helpful to remember is that everyone at freshers is in exactly the same position as you. None of them have any special university inside experience that makes them cooler or more confident than you. Everyone wants to make a friend, so go and break the ice!
If you’re living in student accommodation, bring crisps, teabags and biscuits to share on move-in day. A doorstop is also your best friend - keep your door propped open and say hey as people arrive. Ask people where they’ve come from and what they’re studying. Laugh about how none of you have ever operated a dishwasher before.
The best advice anyone can give you is to be yourself. Let your personality shine through and you’ll easily find some people that you gravitate towards.
Freshers week for non-drinkers
It’s fair to say that much of student culture - and freshers week especially - revolves around boozing. There’s a perfect storm of factors for freshers to get whipped up about drinking: you’ve all just turned 18; student loans have just dropped into everyone’s bank accounts; and no parents are watching. Oh, boy.
But this can be boring, frustrating and excluding for students who don’t drink. If much of the campus is at a huge party one night, then everyone else you meet at that time (in the campus coffee shops, launderettes, library, or halls of residence) is - like you - not too fussed about going out. So don’t hide away in your room: go out for a walk, get a coffee and do some washing while the big events are happening, and you’ll meet like-minded folk.
If you don’t mind being around noisy drunks, join your housemates for a night out and stick to lemonade. You’ll still have fun with them, and they’ll all be so grateful when you’re the only one clear-headed enough to work out the bus times home!
More and more universities are now also offering freshers options for those who aren’t that into going out. So, check the timetable and see if there’s something like this for you to attend.
Another big side of freshers week is the freshers fair, where dozens of societies at your uni all market themselves to new students. You can sign up for LGBTQ+ organisations, Dungeons and Dragons, extreme frisbee, lacrosse, drama society, salsa, rock climbing… whatever you’re interested in, sign up, and you’ve got a ready-made posse of people with shared interests right there.
And hey, who knows, you might even get to do a bit of dressing up, which means you'll need some fancy dress ideas to make sure your fresher's week goes down smoothly!w