University can be daunting and many freshers find themselves taking comfort in the arms of somebody they really wish they hadn’t. Freshers week may seem reminiscent of your lad’s or ladies’ holidays from the previous summer, but unlike the fishbowl-fueled fumble in Malia, your ‘mistake’ will be walking past you every day for the next three years. We understand that knowing your limits is a tricky business when it’s ‘buy one get two free’ on drinks at the SU and your judgment is clouded by your attractive next-door neighbour, being careful is very important.
The second night of freshers’ week has ended and you’re stumbling back to halls with your flatmates. Some people carry on the party in the already messy kitchen, some sleep wherever they fall and you find yourself talking in a quiet corner with your next-door neighbour becoming increasingly attracted to them with every sentence. This is the moment when an awkward opportunity may arise and we urge you to do the right thing. Chances are, the only thing you know about this person is that they are studying English, they have a gorgeous face and they can drink you under the table. What’s the worst that could happen if you got to know each other a bit better tonight? Being careful is very important.
It may seem like harmless fun now, but you will be living together for the next year, it’s likely you will become very good friends (or enemies depending on if you take our advice or not). Don’t make life awkward by getting too comfortable with each other within 48 hours of meeting or you will find yourself having that awkward morning-after conversation that’s inevitable with a one-night stand, but it won’t be for ten minutes, it will be for a year.
The same rule applies for your course mates. It’s all too easy to become involved with someone you spend a lot of time with and whom you clearly have a lot in common with. If you get involved without getting to know a person properly its unlikely to work, and if it ends badly this can have a knock-off effect on your degree. You don’t want to be worrying about avoiding an awkward situation in a lecture instead of focusing on your assignments. It’s quite common for relationships to begin to form in the second and third years and we suggest this route if you really can’t get a certain person out of your mind. Spend your first year at university getting to know them whilst focusing on your work. If by the time the second year rolls around and you feel the same way, go for it. Your experiences from your first year will better prepare you for what’s coming in the second. Knowing what is expected of you work-wise will help you to balance your work, social and love life simultaneously.
We’re talking about being careful.
Although we have been lenient with course mates, one we will absolutely put our foot down to is a sports captain. Any girl or boy from any sports society is completely off limits, whether it’s, rugby, football, hockey or cheerleading (to name a few). This is unless you don’t mind being the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons. Becoming involved with a member of a sports society has baggage, and by baggage, we mean having 15 boys or girls sniggering behind your back as you walk to lectures. What happens between one member of the team gets told to every member of the team. You have been warned.
This one applies to general life but especially for university. If your flatmate’s brother or sister comes to visit for the weekend they are 100% off limits. Remember the friends you make at university are for life; don’t jeopardize a lifelong friendship for the sake of ‘banter’.
The next one we’d like you to take a bit more seriously and is at teh very top of the table, when it comes to being careful. This isn’t a case of damaging your own reputation but seriously upsetting a fellow student. It’s been proven that alcohol reduces your natural fear, making you feel like you can conquer any challenge set to you by your equally intoxicated flatmates. By all means, have a good time, but remember there are always repercussions. Trying to steal a kiss (or more) from a member of a gay, bi, lesbian or asexual society member may seem like another silly challenge, but you may seriously offend somebody, try to keep the dares between friends to avoid upsetting anyone.
Last but by no means least we must mention that any staff member is completely off limits. This may be your student advisor, student experience officer, SU bar manager or even your lecturers (its happened before). Anybody that falls under university staff is not acceptable, rumours will spread and by the time results day comes around, your 2:1 will look as though it wasn’t earned by those hardcore library sessions.
We’re sure we’ve made our point clearly; we hate to sound as though we’re lecturing you but it is far too easy to get yourself into a bad situation after one too many drinks. Just stick to these general rules and you can hopefully breeze through university without any major embarrassments. You’re going to have enough stress and worry when it comes to assignment deadlines, don’t spend your time panicking about the gossip regarding your sex life too, being careful and aware of other people’s feelinsg is important.
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