You’ve waited nervously all summer, A level results day has arrived and as you finally make the journey to college to pick up your results you find you’ve passed; you’re about to embark on the best journey of your life. You will be nervous, inevitably, whether you’re moving near or far your life is about to change and it’s a daunting prospect. You have to grab it and hold on because the next three years are going to be amazing, and they slip away faster than your student loan. You are now a fresher and this is your guide on how to survive those crucial first seven days: Freshers week.
Now there are a lot of guides for first years, most of them are extensive lists of which kitchen utensils to take and how to make your student loan go further. Forget them, you’re going to be poor regardless so you had better get used to it now. As for the list of spaghetti strainers and tin openers, grab the Tesco special (all your kitchen utensils in one box for £25). It will last five minutes (and the wok will end up being used as a baseball bat) but it does the job.
Now pack up your bedroom, take bed sheets, photographs and a selection of fancy dress attire and get in the car with your parents. You’re nearly there! As you arrive at the student accommodation you’ll be greeted by a hoard of excited students, stressed parents, tears, laughter and panic as someone has already managed to lock themselves out of the flat (the residential assistants will soon become your best friends).
Get your belongings out of the car, wave goodbye to your parents, (your mum will cry at this point), and then close the door. Welcome to university! Don’t be alarmed if the first flat mate you meet is your complete opposite, university has a funny way of changing who you are without you even realising.
Knock on their door and introduce yourself, offer to help them unpack, if they’ve forgotten something offer to share yours, you will soon be laughing together at how unprepared you both are. Now you’ve unpacked your life into an impossibly small bedroom, you’ve realised the ‘en-suite’ is actually an aeroplane toilet and you’ve eaten your first meal as an official student. (Pasta, anyone?)
Its time for your first night as a fresher! Get dressed up, grab a bottle of vodka and go for pre-drinks, play drinking games at any flat that looks fun. There is only one rule for this night; talk to absolutely everyone!
You are all in the same boat; don’t hold back because you don’t know anybody. Buy a round of shots and walk over to the first group of people you see. If there’s one night this is acceptable, this is it. Freshers aren’t freshers forever, within the next few months you’ll round up the friends you will keep for life, and the crazy person in the corner who you drunkenly declared would be your best friend forever will be nothing more than a hazy memory.
Don’t know how to break the ice? Ask them what course they are studying, bond over your mutual love of Jagermeister or provide some fancy dress ideas and group up and go together. As the night grows darker and your vision considerably blurrier, you will meet the most interesting people, have the most fun you’ve ever had and wonder why you were every worried about leaving home.
When you wake up in the morning, confused, on the floor, nursing your headache with paint over your face, go to the kitchen and grab yourself a Lemsip. Freshers flu is on its way – and you can’t avoid it.
When you return, look around your room at the empty bottles, your clothes smeared with face paint and pat yourself on the back – you’ve survived! Now it’s time to peel back the curtains, wash your face and brave the harsh light of day. Freshers fair is on and you’re going to embrace your new life by signing up for clubs you never knew you were interested in.
Each university has a number of different clubs and societies available to join. Football, rugby and netball are all popular options but if none of these interest you, you can start up your own society, as long as people are interested in joining, the campus is your oyster. The next six days will be a long blur of flat parties, the SU bar, UV paint, silent discos, vodka and anything in-between.
Enjoy every minute of it and photograph everything. Sleep a little and dance a lot. Make new best friends each night, eat badly and smile broadly. Nothing compares to your first freshers week, you wont remember it, but you’ll have fun trying to.
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