Freshers week: Expectations vs. reality

You may end up swapping your beer for a cup of herbal tea. Source: Nik Macmillan and Drew Farwell (via Unsplash)

by Karis Pearson

Freshers’ week. The week of a lifetime. You’ve just moved out of home and into University Halls, ready to get sloshed and meet The Chuckle Brothers (too soon?) before you’ve got to crack down and make the most of that £9,000 a year.

That was how I envisioned freshers’ would begin. I expected it to be one big party straight away. I thought I’d love everyone in my halls and we’d do all the freshers’ stuff together. If I’d been thinking a little more pessimistically, I may have aimed lower, but I never would’ve anticipated a flat full of postgrads who weren’t even interested in drinking tea with me, let alone anything stronger. One guy was a Donald Trump supporter, which as you can imagine was a bundle of fun.

Along with my housemates, I didn’t envisage having the same conversation with just about everyone I met, but i did, and believe me, so will you. “Where are you from? What course do you do?” At times it feels like you’re stuck in a never ending introductory cycle, but eventually it dies down and by late October more interesting conversation starts to emerge. But don’t go thinking that all the freshers’ rumours aren’t true because drinking copious cups of tea is 100% a freshers’ reality.

I did have some great nights out during freshers’, but, like many before me and many after me, I made the mistake of purchasing the freshers’ wristband. Freshers’ wristbands, in my opinion, are a bad idea. You won’t know for certain what nights out you’ll end up going to; it’ll probably depend on the friends you make and where you all feel like going. The friends I eventually ended up making during freshers’ (who are still my friends now) all had different wristbands, so half the time they were pointless.

If you’re luckier than I was, you’ll have a great first few weeks hanging out with your flatmates, exploring local delights like the Lidl bakery and £1 VK’s. However, don’t be too surprised if a few weeks in you realise maybe one of the reasons you all loved each other so much during freshers’ was because 90% of the time you were all pissed, and you sort of wish you hadn’t already promised to live with them all next year.

While there’s truth in saying that freshers’ is bigged up, it can still be such a fun week. Just don’t get too down if you feel like you haven’t met your best friends straight away. And if the nights out aren’t what you were hoping for, hang in there, you’ll meet people that you really click with eventually and then you’ll have a lot more fun with them.

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