As a recent graduate myself, it was only a few years ago that I was arriving at university as a fresh faced, naïve, adventurous 18 year old lad. Not to sound scary, but it is one of the most important weeks of your university experience. Not because it will teach you a great deal of academia, nor will it teach you much about adult life, but you will learn how fun it is to be independent and be thrown in to a big pool of other new independents who all want exactly the same thing. Fun. Freshers will have heard this thousands of times, but everyone really is ‘in the same boat’ and are all trying to figure out who might make a compatible companion for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t so lucky with who I was roomed with. One roommate was smelly, unsociable and a liability when he’d had a drink. He stayed in his room the full year we were living there and the only time I saw him was when he would be in the kitchen spilling beans everywhere and returning to his room. The other roommate was slightly similar. He was nocturnal, so I never saw him in the day and the only time I would be reminded he was still breathing was at 4am when he was talking on his headset whilst playing Runescape in the room next door. I had to venture elsewhere to find people who I wanted to hang out with, but it did eventually happen.
There are hundreds of strange moments that would never happen other than on fresher’s week, so here is a few of them.
You will meet your new house mates with your mum stood behind you, and their mum stood behind them.
Such a weird moment this, you’re busy trying to look cool and at the same time figure out if you’re going to actually like these people you have to live with for the next year. While your mum is stood behind you, probably crying, and saying things like ‘make sure you wash your underwear Jake’.
You realise that if you don’t start talking to all these strangers, you’re not going to have any friends.
It will suddenly dawn on you that you have to go do the equivalent of when dogs sniff eachother bums, and ask people if they want to be your friend.
An overenthusiastic fresher rep from the year above will come and annoy everyone.
They are a strange breed, the fresher rep. Their duty is to come and calm you down and make sure everything is alright, but instead they will shout loudly and tell you all of these things that you MUST do. And they will likely talk to your parents about you as if you’re 10 years old.
You will get drunk. Really drunk.
You’ve probably already been out drinking before, but not like this. This is likely the start of your beautiful and dangerous relationship with alcohol.
You won’t remember anyone’s names.
On the first night you will meet thousands of people and have a discussion that goes something like ‘where are you from, what course are you doing, what block are you staying in.’ then afterwards you won’t remember the name or any of the details you have just discussed, and neither will they.
You will spend the majority of your student loan.
Who knew going out every night and buying unnecessary items of clothing could be so expensive!? I remember buying a set of scented candles and a pair of purple suede desert boots on my first trip in to town…
I’m going to stop making this list of things you will definitely do because I feel like a patronizing student rep. The point is, Freshers week is the most fun, confusing, crazy time in any students life. It’s a pretty intense time. But relax, be yourself, and enjoy.