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Freshers’ Week: Dos & Don’ts

Just arrived in Cardiff? Here’s Quench‘s simple guide to surviving your first few weeks.

Words: Helen Cameron | Photo: Rebecca Wilson

So here you are, all alone in the vast and treacherous land that is Cardiff. Let the best years of your life begin, and let them begin in style.

Right now your life’s all packed up in boxes and has shifted its way to Cardiff. Mum and Dad have waved you goodbye, and there you sit in your adequate but slightly disheartening room thinking, ‘what do I do now?’. In our view, the Dos and Don’ts of Freshers should read only “Do”.

Whether it’s ‘borrowing’ that trolley from Tesco to cart your first mammoth shop back to halls, or having drunken races around campus, Freshers is about doing it all.

DO talk to strangers.

Strangers are your new friends and friends are what you need right now. Talk to everyone, ask them questions, and listen to their stories. Some of the people you meet in Freshers will turn out to be life long friends, as well as brilliant drinking buddies.

DO have an open door policy. 

Make it easier to get to know your flatmates and leave your door open to give the vibe that you’re approachable and free to chat. First impressions are important, so the bonds you build now can be crucial. Don’t worry if you end Freshers feeling like you haven’t met a friend for life; you’ve got three years or more to develop your friendships and find out who those frenemies really are.

DO explore. 

Whether it’s checking out who and what inhabits the many floors of the Students’ Union, or working your way through every club and bar in the city, get out and explore. Cardiff is a shopping hotspot and there are more than enough malls, vintage arcades and record stores to keep you entertained.

DO join clubs and societies. 

Cardiff Uni has over 150 societies to get involved in, from Football to the Harry Potter Society; there really is something for everyone. Nurture an existing interest or try something new. Societies hold socials throughout the year, helping you make new friends and gather memories, as well as those nights you’d rather forget.

DO make your room a home from home. 

Whether it’s that hot poster of Megan Fox or some cute fairy lights, get to it and make your room your own. Personal touches help make your new home feel that bit less daunting. Everyone gets a little kick of the home sick bug over Freshers, and having a space that genuinely feels like yours can really help.

DO party every night. 

Stay up till dawn and end the night with the obligatory kebab (somehow induced by too many shots). Get your fancy dress outfits on and don’t stop until the sun comes up. With a different club event every night you won’t be stuck for things to do, and it is your duty to tackle them all.

DO photograph every shred of detail. 

When Freshers week is over you can laugh, cringe and cry at those drunken nights out and all your adventures. No photo is too revealing, no photo is to be deleted. These are the memories of all those crazy antics; reminders of what will be missed come the end of your degree when maturity, responsibility and work beckon.

DO succumb to Freshers’ flu. 

Your “crash and burn” at the end of Freshers is unavoidable. Have the paracetamol that Mum lovingly packed on hand, along with plasters for those mysterious cuts that appear after a messy nights out. Wack out the pillow, snuggle up in your duvet and try to recount those hazy days of Freshers. YOLO.

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