Tuesday, 23 September 2014

University #9: Freshers

Down it Fresher! Chug chug chug!

Whilst these are common to hear on a uni campus at any time of the year, shouts like this are especially prevalent around Freshers week. For those who don't know, Freshers week is the first week of the university semester - often a week without lectures or with only introductory lectures - designed to make students feel at home in the new city and make friends.

There's a lot of  pressure for students to have the perfect Freshers week - drinking till you're black out drunk, sleeping with as many people as you can, general part-tay-ing till the sun comes up. To me, that doesn't really sound like a good time. There are some people who will do Freshers exactly like this, and that's fine (although its not a great idea to put so much alcohol in your system, and if you are having sex with people you've never met be smart and use contraception (ie, make sure one of you wears a condom/uses a dam and if appropriate take hormonal birth control too)).

Whilst I recommend going out as many nights as you can (they really are great ways to meet people) there are loads of things to do if you don't enjoy clubbing. In the opening weeks of term loads of societies will be recruiting new members and they'll all have their own socials too. Schools of study will be hosting their own meet and greets after academic hours, and there will be some non-drinking centered Freshers events ran by the Student Union too.

Its also important to remember that whilst drinking can remove some social anxiety, it also removes your filters, so you might end up giving a bad impression to people you have to live with. Not only this, but drinking to excess can seriously affect your memory, so not only will you forgot all those new friends you've made but you're also in a new environment and might not remember the way home. Perhaps for the first time in your life you're living away from home exclusively with people who have only just turner 18 (the legal drinking age in the UK) - you don't want to end up being looked after by strangers whilst you puke all the drinks you've downed back up again. Besides all of this, it just isn't safe (both for your health and general well-being) to be seriously drunk in a place you don't know surrounded by people you've only just met.

Lastly, don't expect to have an amazing Freshers. You'll have fun for sure, but you'll also be nervous, potentially hungover, not able to 'go hard' for 7 days in a row on top of all the anxiety and stress of moving, meeting new people and leaving your friends and family. Don't worry about taking it easy for a night or two. Maybe just order takeaway with your flat and bond that way. Hardly anyone I know had that 'perfect' Freshers experience - it's mostly a myth. Relax as much as you can, and just be true to yourself - if you don't want to go out you don't have to. Besides, it's one week. There's loads more time to make friends.

Enjoy Freshers, see you on the other side!

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