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 calender 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. This article will outline in detail just why Freshers week is so important with some helpful advice gathered through personal experience and questionnaire material of other students at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. (All students are now going into their second year – so Freshers is still very fresh in their minds).
As I just mentioned all the advice to follow was collected from personal experience as well as gathered from other students attending the same university as myself. The following questions were sent out to the students to discover information of their experiences of Freshers, see 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?
1. How did you feel when first starting university?
One phrase hits the nail on the head in regards to the feelings of those when starting university, ’emotional rollercoaster’. I know personally when I started I had a mixture of nerves and excitment, others describe just being excited to finally start and pursue their dreams, others hated it because their home sickness was nothing like they’d ever felt before and others were worried that they’d find things difficult e.g. course and the social side of things. However one personal used the phrase I started with and I just thought that grouped it together nicely. It is an emotional rollercoaster and you’ll all be feeling the same, well, the majority will. You’ve moved out, you’re leaving your family, you’re living independently and experience the world in a way that you never have before. Something that is touched upon in the later questions but something I want to state now, there is support around you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE and you’ll hear that statement here, there and everywhere because it’s true. I can’t say it enough, especially how I didn’t believe it at first but once you’re there, you’ll see how everyone ‘clicks’ because you all feel the same and support each other. Don’t be shy about calling home, they miss you as much as you miss them, call friends back home, take to lecturers and SU stuff, the people in your halls and course. I promise you, you’ll always have someone to turn to.
2. What were your feelings towards Freshers week?
The general census towards Freshers week were feelings of excitment although Freshers isn’t for everyone, as I found out through the questionnaire. The students looked forward to the social side of the week, as should everyone, but the studens who answered the questions (on the most part) weren’t big ‘clubbers’. Now I find this fantastic because it highlights something all upcoming First Year students need to know, the fact that you do not need to be a clubber, it will not ruin Freshers but again, it’s something I’ll pick up again later. The students enjoyed meeting new people, an opportunity to have a laugh and make some memories but it wasn’t all about the drinking. My advice to you is that Freshers is about the laughs and the memories and the meeting of new people, not drinking – again, is a misconception. My personal feelings towards Freshers was that of exctiment. I must I just thought I’d be drinking all week and on some level, I looked forward to that, however, it was still nerve racking, the thought of all the events and what not, it was scary, but, again, once there I was completely comfortable and enjoyed the experience.
3. What did you know about Freshers?
If you hadn’t already guessed, this is were I gathered that all Freshers knowledge (before Freshers) was a misconception. From the questionnaire I found out that some people knew very little about Freshers. They just knew their SU (Students Union) was holding events and they provided alcohol – that sold some people. For others they thought it was a week of drinking and sleeping around, others just knew the SU held events to attend. Therefore, there was no certain idea of what Freshers was. Just a misconception mostly. However one student made an interesting point: “… I realised it’s more about getting comfortable with your surroundings and people before getting stuck into your course”. I believe this should be a vital point for Freshers week, like a tag line. On that note, I think that rounds up what you NEED to know about the important social week. Use that as your tag line and that’s all you need to know about Freshers.
4. What were your expecting from Freshers?
This question overlaps the previous question, a lot of the answers clash with the previous as well. Students and myself went to university with expectations of Freshers being misconceptions and drinking, sleeping around, clubbing and so on. Like I’ve already stated, stick to the previous tag line and you’ll have every expectation you’ll need from Freshers.
Jeez, is anybody else getting fed up of the word Freshers, because I am.
5. What were your experiences during Freshers?
Experiences during Freshers differ. You have people who’s opinions of nightclubs changed from bad to good, others realising that there are people like them, whether they be big drinkers or not. Then one that I think is another vital point. SAVE FOR FRESHERS. Before Freshers I’d advise saving a little extra that you can put aside for this week, due to the fact you’ll been drinking (maybe), buying take aways and importantly, during this week you’ll discover you may have forgot important items from home that you’ll have to buy when there. It never hurts to save a little, but I suggest doing so. I think it’s important in Freshers to give everything a chance. (I’m not suggesting try wild drinks and have drinking competitions unless you are that way inclined) I do mean try going out to nightclubs with some friends, try attending different events that the SU run, hell, I didn’t attend every event. On the second night of Freshers I stayed in with a friend and watched the Lego Movie with tea and biscuits, was it a good idea? Yes, why yes it was. Just enjoy yourself during Freshers. Do what you want to do!
6. What is your best memory from Freshers?
The theme in the answer to this question is strong. Everyones best memories of Freshers is meeting the people they are still close friends with today. Again, strong selling point of Freshers. It’s a giant social, a week long social. Heck, university is a three year long social in all honestly. You’re always meeting new people, but that’s me losing myself in the rest of the year. Back to Freshers week. Students best memories are that of meeting their best friends and people from their course and what not, what could be better? Memories of friendship.
Yes, I’m aware that got soppy very quickly. Just you wait, you’ll understand.
7. What is your worst memory from Freshers?
A negative question I know, but you can’t have the good without a little bad and it’s better to be honest!
Missing home. Getting turned away from SU events because they were already full. Hangovers.
These are common answers from the students. Therefore, I need to bring a point back up from earlier in regards to the first home. Ring home! Talk to them, tell them about your day, it may be hard to hear their voices but don’t stop yourself from doing it because of that reason. Your family and friends are there to support you, make sure you take full advantage of that. They are the ones that are most proud of you for going to university and they shall always be there for you! Getting turned away, well, make sure you arrive early. Think about it this way, if you arrive early you get the bar to yourself. (Not that I’m bigging up Freshers for it’s misconceptions). Finally, hangovers. Either don’t drink as much or know how to cope with a hangover but that helpful advice will be in part two!
8. Do you wish you could go back and experience it for the first time?
A nice place to end part one I believe!
Nice and simple that one.
From what you’ve heard, why wouldn’t you want to go back?
This is Freshers 2015 – Helpful Advice (Part One) over. There is a lot of information to take in there and a lot of experiences to filter through. This article may have not been how you expected but instead of just writing hints and tips like every other article, I wanted real experiences for other students to read through and try and understand for themselves. Part Two will follow shortly with another eight questions and answers from students.