I had my fresher’s week almost three weeks ago now and had an absolute blast! Though I definitely have some introverted tendencies, I loved meeting new people – and having some old high school friends while out partying definitely helped! Here are some tips on how to enjoy fresher’s the best way possible:
1. Know your own tolerance of alcohol
Many of us like to get wasted at fresher’s – I certainly did a few times. I knew roughly what my tolerance of alcohol was (not very much) but I thought I was handling everything absolutely fine until I woke up the day after fresher’s with a horrendous cold, which turned out to be a flu (I’m still not 100% now!) My throat was killing me, I couldn’t breathe out of my nose and I felt incredibly dilapidated; it was not a good way to start university. My advice is, try to know your own tolerance as best as possible and drink plenty of water afterwards. Also, alcohol isn’t the only way you can have fun, which leads me to my next point…
2. Widen your experiences as much as possible
As quite an anxious person, I know how stomach churning going to certain events could be – the amount of times I was analysing every possible outcome and regretting going before I even got there was numerous! However, once I arrived it turned out everything was fine! There are people just as nervous (if not even more nervous) than you are. It turns out a simple starting sentence like “there are loads of people here” or “I have no idea what I’m doing” can lead to friendship! There is so much to do on fresher’s week other than partying, go and try something new – film making, writing workshops, escape rooms, taster dance classes etc. Even if you do one thing outside your comfort zone on fresher’s, you’ve done a lot better than most people!
3. Don’t feel like you have to go to everything – or much at all
Okay, okay. I know this sort of contradicts my last point, but hear me out. I said widen your experiences as much as possible, but this might range might vary from person to person, and that’s ok! If the whole process of simply being away from home is overwhelming for you, or if the whole week is proving stressful, slow down and take time to settle in. I read a brilliant article in The Student (Edinburgh University’s student newspaper) about whether fresher’s was for the “extroverted few”- though I think Edinburgh had a wide range of options, I agreed it was still quite extrovert orientated. If you feel like it is all a bit much for you, start slowly – you have years to make loads of new friends and try different things; fresher’s week is just a starting point.
4. Make use of the free shops and freebies fair
At Edinburgh we had plenty of free shops and a Fresher’s Expo – both of which I benefitted from (I am literally wearing a jumper I picked up for free right now.) There will be absolutely loads of stuff to pick up, from discounts to free crockery and cutlery you might need, as well as second-hand textbooks. By investing some time at these fairs you could pick up vouchers that could be saving you money for those first vital weeks at university.
5. Get your miscellaneous errands done
Whether it’s registering with your local GP, completing your University’s matriculation process or meeting with your personal tutor – get as much done as you need to in fresher’s week, particularly the first one. I woke up with a funny cornea on my first day of University and going to the GP and having to wait with a sore eye was not fun. Don’t leave everything last-minute!
6. And finally…enjoy it
As cliché as it sounds, try to enjoy Fresher’s – but as much as YOU can. There is a ridiculous amount of pressure to have loads and loads of fun when in actual fact everyone is stressing out all the time about where to go and who to be with. However, if you just decide to accept you’re not going to enjoy absolutely every moment and that you possibly won’t make it everywhere you want to go, it becomes so much easier. Be present and be in the moment; that advice applies beyond fresher’s week too.