The shift from Freshers’ Week to the start of semester was certainly a hit. Walking into the SU on Monday morning felt like walking into a complete different world than the one we saw on Sunday. People looked busy. Thanks to the collaboration of our dear First Buses, people looked frustrated and like they wanted to punch something. Campus Freshers were too busy finding where 4 East or 10 West were – so were many students returning from placement, and probably, many returners as well. Nothing felt like home as the sound of shoes trying to step on the sticky floors of the Plug, still trying to recover after the first Klass of the year. It was a breezy, sunny Monday morning, and the scent of a new beginning was certainly in the air.
For some of us it’s the beginning of a new academic year only; for others, the beginning of University itself. For a good bunch of us, this is the kick-off to our last year at the University of Bath – too many feelings come to mind at the realisation of this, especially when the constant thought from the week before was ensuring that Freshers’ could settle in and enjoy their first week at University.
None of us who volunteered or worked for the Students’ Union during FW really got much sleep in the run-up to arrivals weekend and throughout the week: the SU corridor, home of the offices of the Event Managers, media groups, the SU President, and the Captains’ Room was constantly buzzing with people running about (and the occasional fresher trying to get to the Plug from the library entrance) with newsletters, high-vis vests, cameras, glitter, togas, notepads, an endless list of props and costumes, from the early hours of the morning until the early hours of the next one. The sheer enterprise that goes behind a week-long event like Freshers’ Week is almost unimaginable until you’re a part of the whole mechanism.
It undoubtedly shows how the SU’s entire existence relies on the students, current and former, that are active in it. Without the Event Managers, there would not have been a FW at all; without students up until ungodly hours scouting for media content and preparing material for the following day, all you’d be able to see would be some tacky Arena photos that you probably don’t want to be tagged in. Without SU Officers adding time on top of their working hours to support freshers and volunteers alike, it would have been so difficult to deal with how hectic it all was. Without the astonishing work of Backstage Technical Services, well, we’d rather not think how things would have turned out.
The horoscope told us to “not burn ourselves out just yet”, but a week on, I don’t think we’ve managed. Even though we have eye-bags so deep we could fit a couple of textbooks in them and our patience for anything is already wearing thin, we are glad to be back. We think.