Freshers’ week/freshers’ fortnight will be the best time of your life (well it was mine anyway).
So much alcohol consumed, so many new friends, so many different outfits and so much money spent. I have put together a list of Dos and Don’ts of Freshers’ Week that I was never told.
1. Do not even think about wearing anything white, unless there is a themed night where everyone has to wear white. This was one of my biggest regrets during freshers’. I thought “oh I’ve got a tan, white will look good” but how wrong was I. I somehow managed to acquire stains that were not even down to me. I’ve learnt the hard way that buying white for university is a big NO because if the item of clothing gets stained, then it is a complete nightmare to wash and remove the stain. It’s also a lot of effort to wash, as whites have to be washed separately to colours.
2. Do make friends with anyone and everyone. I met so many people, most of which I could not tell you their names but it’s part of the fun of freshers’ week. I pass quite a few of the people I met during this week whilst walking to lectures and they’re like “hey” and honestly, I have no idea who they are because let’s be honest, I probably met them either in the toilet or at the bar.
3. Don’t be boring. The whole point of freshers’ week is to make an effort. Try and do something different every night as you will not have this opportunity again.
4. Do take lots of fancy dress costumes to uni with you. This is another one of my regrets. I thought I was ‘too cool’ to dress up but in actual fact, I was the odd person out. Make the most of dressing up in ridiculous clothes because you probably won’t get a whole week dedicated to themed nights in university again.
5. Don’t think that you’ve got to drink alcohol to have a good time – there are many people who do not need or wish to drink alcohol to have a good time. There are clubs and societies in different universities that are purely dedicated to non-alcohol drinkers. Actually, I was out one night with my flat and the ‘sober club’ looked as if they were having a better time than us. The socials in this society can be more creative and more fun because the whole point is not to neck a drink.
6. Do go to your lectures. As hungover as you may be from the night before, you will still need to attend welcome talks, if they’re scheduled on your timetable.
7. Don’t worry if you lose your flatmates or new friends on a night out because there will be so many friendly people who will help you get home. Just make sure that they’re not creepy.
8. THIS IS MY BIGGEST REGRET. Do sign up to every club and society you can. I only signed up to the Business Management, Welsh and fundraising societies in first year and I missed out on socials and the opportunity to go on various trips. Even if you’ve never been interested in sport, start one that you’ve always wanted to try or have never fancied doing because you might surprise yourself and enjoy it.
9. I cannot stress this one enough. DON’T sleep with a flatmate. This will make the relationship between the two of you VERY awkward for the rest of the year and you’ll most likely not be able to look at them the same.
10. Do eat and drink plenty of water before you go out. I know the whole point of freshers’ is to get smashed but it is important to line your stomach, otherwise, you won’t last the night.
11. Ok, you will most likely spend way too much money during freshers’ week but try not to spend your entire loan. I never trusted myself to take my debit card out, so every time I went out during fresher’s, I took cash (and what a good idea that was). You will meet many people who have £10 to last them for the month and they end up living on luxurious 30p packets of noodles.
12. Do stick to the “I’m going to have fun” rule because getting into a relationship in the first week is absolutely ridiculous (even if you think you have met your future husband or wife). It is impossible to feel completely comfortable with someone after knowing them for a week.
13. Don’t try to impress people and be something that you’re not because they will see straight through you. Just be yourself and there will be many people who appreciate this.
14. Do clean your room during freshers’. I know the score. You come in from a night out with a takeaway, you go to your room, dump your clothes on the floor and leave your half-eaten kebab on the desk next to you. The next day you’re too hungover and decide that you’re going to have a day in bed and never get round to cleaning your room. Don’t be lazy because you’re living on your own, be clean!
15. Don’t stick with people from your school or college at home because you’re scared to meet new people. Whether you move away from home or stay near home, you should categorise your old friends as home friends and make room in your life for new ones.
16. Do nap. You’re a student now and it is perfectly acceptable to nap in the day. And guess what? You have no one to tell you to get up because you’re being lazy.
17. Don’t be that person who is too drunk to go out. I know it’s hard if your pre-drinks consist of multiple drinking games but pace yourself.
18. Do waste the days during freshers’ doing absolutely nothing and dedicate the nights for going out. That’s the whole point of freshers’, and after all, lectures will start the week after.
19. Don’t be ashamed to be homesick. I’m sure there will be points during freshers’ week where you will just want a cwtch (hug) from your parents, most people do. If you feel this way, I wouldn’t suggest going home unless your homesickness is making you very upset because you’ll end up wanting to stay at home and not bother going back. Instead, try Facetiming or Skyping your parents and have a chat with them to cheer you up.
20. Do stay safe. As cringe-worthy as it sounds, be wary. You don’t want to end up in a hospital or police station. Don’t walk home alone, be careful with your drink (spiking) and don’t take valuables out with you on a night out.
21. Don’t burn toast at stupid o’clock in the morning. I know you’ll probably be drunk and decide that making toast at 4 am is a good idea but if you accidentally set off the fire alarm because of burnt toast, you’ll end up being public enemy number 1.
22. Do budget yourself during freshers’ week and in fact the entire year. Budgeting may not always be followed exactly but it could be used as a guide to help you manage your money.
23. Don’t buy all the books on the reading list given to you before attending university or during freshers’. Admittedly, you will probably need to use most books on the reading list but there is no need to buy every single one of them. There will most likely be a copy of every book on the reading list in your university library.
24. Do be confident. This is a new chapter in your life – you have chosen to go to university. Be happy and confident because you will enjoy the whole experience more.
25. ENJOY EVERYTHING THAT FRESHER’S HAS TO OFFER!