And I’m back again! Today, we are continuing the theme of revisiting my articles from over a year ago. I’m going to revisit the article called ‘Freshers: Helpful Advice’ – now last year, I did a little survey of fellow students and gathered a response from that to pass on advice – instead this year, I’m going to reflect upon what was said last year and go from there. Last years article started as follows;
“September 2015 see’s the start of first year for a lot of students attending university. Now before these articles focus on your course and general advice throughout first year, this article is all about the very important week that is Freshers. It’s hardly a mystery or a secret to anyone, it’s an important week in the university calendar and if you’re fooled by the usual misconception that it’s a week of drinking, sleeping around and suffering hangovers then you won’t understand why it’s such an important week.”
You can find the original article here.
The questions asked previously first time round were as follows;
- How did you feel when first starting university?
- What were your feelings towards Freshers week?
- What did you know about Freshers?
- What were you expecting from Freshers?
- What were your experiences during Freshers?
- What is your best memory from Freshers?
- What is your worst memory from Freshers?
- Do you wish you could go back and experience it for the first time?
- If so, why?
- What would you suggest to upcoming Freshers? e.g. hints and tips.
- What are your do’s and don’t’s for the ‘party’ week?
- Any suggestions or words of wisdom?
- How did your make friends during Freshers/University?
- Best takeaway on a night out?
- Best hangover cure?
- Anything else you would like to add?
Now, it’s 2016 and let’s see if things have changed!
1. How did you feel when first starting university?
One thing that remains certain, is a phrased that I used last time; that being that when starting university it is an ’emotional rollercoaster’. The build up to university is emotional – and those emotions are a mixture of positive and negative and we established in the previous article that the majority of students are drawn to focusing on the negatives. It’s easy to focus on areas such as; “what if I don’t make friends?”, “what if I don’t fit in?”, “what happens if I fail my course?”, “what happens if I don’t make friends because I won’t drink” and so on. These are common worries for potential students and they are completely understandable. When starting university I felt exactly the same and to be honest, even when I was going into second year, I had similar worries even though I’d already been through one year at my university. It’s quite natural to feel these things and as I always say, YOU ARE NOT ALONE in these feelings. When starting university I had many sleepless nights worrying about starting university and they were all similar to what I mentioned above but as soon as I got there and got stuck into the life style, all those worries slipped away! So whatever you are feeling, I promise you, it’s natural.
2. What were your feelings towards Freshers week?
The general stereotype of Freshers week is that it’s a week (or two) period of drinking, clubbing, sleeping around and making bad mistakes. That stereotype is some what true but only if that’s what you want because at the end of the day, that’s your decision. This stereotype is genuinely based off the event that occur in the evenings during Freshers – e.g. the SU socials and themed nights and the local clubs doing promoting and drawing in students with cheap deals however, Freshers week isn’t all about this. During this period of time your university should run other events during the day such as socials, freshers fair and more – these are chances to gain a lot of FREE items – stock up! and meet new people (without the drinking). Therefore, if you aren’t a big drinker or don’t like to drink at all – THAT’S OKAY! You’re allowed to do what you want to do and people will respect you if you are confident about your morals. Don’t dread Freshers week because you don’t drink or do clubbing, there is still plenty to do! Put it this way, I was nervous about Freshers week but during the entire week, I only went to the SU events and didn’t actually ‘hit the town’ until a couple of weeks after! Do what you’re comfortable with!
3. What did you know about Freshers?
To be honest, I think this question links in with the last one (as oppose to the last time – so if you want more detail, read the previous article!) but a lot of potential students probably know Freshers week to be everything I’ve just mentioned but at the same time, hopefully I’ve opened your eyes to make you realise it’s not like that!
4. What were you expecting from Freshers?
Drinking, clubbing, sex and bad hangovers. In all honesty, that’s what I was expecting. That’s the expectation of Freshers that was in my head and the one I went to university with. To be honest, my Freshers was quite accurate and along those lines. Which areas are correct – I’ll leave a mystery to you. Whatever your expectations are of Freshers week, try not to let them anchor you down as you get to university. Try and go with an open mind and have a fantastic time! Also I’d personally say, make sure you save a little for Freshers and make that money specifically for Freshers – you’ll spend more than you think but it’s important to have a specific amount of money set aside just for that time!
5. What were your experiences during Freshers?
What were my experiences? My experiences were having a bloody good night every night! It was getting ready with my friends, having pre-drinks and then heading to the SU and meeting new people every night and drinking loads and singing loud and dancing like I never had before and yes, bad hangovers in the morning. ALSO the terrible fire alarm drills (and not drills) through the first couple of weeks of students discovering how easy it is to burn every food on earth and some that you didn’t know you could burn. Freshers was a blur of settling into this new life and it was hilarious to be honest! Like I said, you’ll make some good memories!
6/7. What is your best/worst memories of Freshers?
This is plain and simple, my best memory of Freshers was the social side . I made so many friends and took so many pictures and made so many memories and it was honestly one of the best weeks I’ve had at university and then the worst memory was the hangovers. Plain and simple!
8/9. Do you wish you could go back and experience it for the first time? If so, why?
The general consensus of the original article was yes! Students would love to go back and experience Freshers for the first time purely because they could experience the social side and excitement of it all over again – however at the same time, people were saying that they would love to go back again and experience it again but having more of the knowledge they do now and that’s understandable. I suppose it’d be some what nicer being a little bit more prepared for Freshers, e.g. financial wise.
10. What would you suggest to upcoming Freshers?
Enjoy every moment of it! Just embrace Freshers week as a new beginning and a party to start all of that. Freshers week is one of the least stressful weeks you’ll experience throughout the university calendar (for obvious reasons) so why not enjoy it to the fullest? My biggest regret was not taking part in more day to day events – so make sure you do! Get stuck in and really get to know your university and the people in it! Also, I’ve mentioned before, make sure you save a little before hand so you have a bit of extra cash to splash around during this ‘mad’ week.
11. What are your do’s and don’t’s for the ‘party week’?
- Have fun!
- Experience new things.
- Make new friends.
- Attempt to cook.
- Take plenty of pictures.
- Make plenty of memories.
- Explore the city!
- Do anything you aren’t comfortable with!
- Lose track of how much you are spending.
- Waste your time worrying about the little things.
- Spend too much time sleeping and wasting the days away!
- Lock yourself in your halls.
- Eat nothing but junk food.
- Fail to prepare for the start of your course.
12. Any suggestions or words of wisdom?
Find and get registered at a local doctor and dentist. You may have never done it by yourself but it’s easy to do and important that you do! During my First Year in university I had a small panic and went to the walk-in centre, the guy there told me that even if there was something wrong with me there wasn’t much he could do as I wasn’t registered to a doctors but luckily, I am now and it’s a good job because I’ve used them a lot. Please remember to take care of yourself!
13. How did you make friends during Freshers/University?
During Freshers it was about talking to everyone and anyone – admittedly I was drunk a lot of the time so it made it a lot easier but just have a laugh with people. Say hi to everyone in your halls and on your course, don’t be afraid to ask them if they want to grab a drink sometime or study – asking won’t hurt! Just be approachable and people will do the same.
14. Best takeaway on a night out?
CHEESY CHIPS. ‘Nuff said.
15. Best hangover cure?
Well this little tip is more of a hangover prevention. When you are about to leave and hit the clubs on a night out, leave a glass of water next to your bed and two paracetamol – as soon as you get in, take the tablets and drink the water and I guarantee you will not wake up with a hangover – you may feel rough but not sick and dizzy! If not in the morning it’s junk food and tea – but it’s each to their own!
And there you have it, that pretty much rounds up another article revisited for today!
Remember Freshers, ENJOY YOURSELF!