If you’re reading this, then congratulations! You’ve survived Fresher’s Week, the seven days that every single Facebook group and event you’ve encountered since receiving that UCAS letter has wrongly referred to as the best week of your life. Perhaps you’re casting your mind back, as the term comes to a midpoint, of to the week as a better time (or at least one with less coursework). Although this isn’t an Agony Aunt column, as a cynical and experienced final year who has done it all, I feel compelled to impart some sage and slightly patronising council following Fresher’s Week, as I cast my mind back to my first year and reflect on my own induction into university life. September 2014, it was a simpler time: Ellen broke Twitter with her Oscar selfie, Flappy Bird came and went, oh, and do you remember Ebola? No, neither do I.
Looking back, I see Fresher’s Week like the Hogwarts Sorting Hat from Harry Potter: a six-day party-binge that discerns the new pupils into two houses; the Can’t-Be-Arsed-Party-Poopers and the Trying-Too-Hard-Keen-Beans. During the week-long bender, you force yourself to socialise with your fellow students, asking one another “what’s your name-where do you live-what do you study” until one of you dies, motivated by the unwavering promise that university is where you will make life-long friendships, which I guarantee you will continue to have until you’re 24. My advice for #FW is the same for any social situation (and especially family functions): drink fast and hard, and hope to black out. Yes, you may be sick in your gran’s ham and pea soup, but there’s a 1 out of 4 chance you won’t remember it and I’ll take those odds any day.
Mostly, Fresher’s Week is an accurate introduction and representation of a typical university night out. The week serves as a Petri dish, which mirrors all social binging gatherings you will attend over the next three to four years. 2 out of the 6 nights of Fresher’s Week are actually enjoyable, culminating in the perfect balance of alcohol-intake, good company and tunes for days, with the obligatory kebab stop on your way to bed. This is also true for any night-out you will embark on as a student: a third of them will be amazing and memorable, the rest you will look back on and cringe, asking yourself whether or not it was worth paying entry to a sub-par club to listen to MajorLazer on a Monday night in the pissing rain. And if you think staying-in for a house party is the ticket, please look forward to hours of feigning interest in playing Ring of Fire in a bleak and poorly heated terraced house while sipping Tesco’s value cider.
Despite my unforgiving portrayal of Fresher’s Week, you might have genuinely enjoyed it. Personally, I put a doughnut in the microwave the other day and found that significantly more enjoyable than Toga Night in Founders’ Hall.
But perhaps my recollection of the week is inaccurate (I wonder if the fact that I hate going places and doing things with people has anything to do with it?) – Remember that the glass is always half full, especially during Fresher’s Week.