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Articles > Student Life October, 06, 2009

10 things you’d be a fool to do during Freshers’ Week

Marta Castellani
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Freshers’ Week can be a make-it-or-break-it time – here are some tips… 10 things you’d be a fool to do during Freshers’ Week…

1. Take any embarrassments overly seriously
Imagine, it’s your first night in halls. It’s 11.30pm and everybody is out celebrating the first night of Freshers’ week. And, while coming back to pick up something from your room, you just locked yourself out in the tiny shared loo on the top floor of the residence. Horror. Shock. Panic. What to do?

Yes, this embarrassing scenario did happen to me. I spent 45 minutes screaming, “Hello, is there anybody here?” and then almost fell asleep…until I heard some noises on the staircase! I began again my howling for help – and this is when my white knight, a guy whom I’ve never met before, rescued me. I still can’t forget the astonishment on his face…but I pretended not to notice at the time. Nowadays, I’m quite good friends with the guy, thankfully because I wasn’t disheartened by the initial embarrassment of it all!

2. Not to bring enough stuff
This applies especially when you’re going up North for the first time. For all you Southerners: IT’S FREEZING. Do take extra coats, hoodies and jumpers. Bring enough attire to fit both into fancy dress scenarios and gatherings over a cup of tea and toast. Make a list of all the essentials and take as many belongings as possible, especially if you are travelling by car; it’s always better to have too much than too little and then end up buying duplicates. If however, you find yourself lacking in some essentials, Primark will be your first point of call.

3. Spend all your money in Freshers’ Week
Yes, the student loan is coming and it feels like paradise: money flows into your account without effort on your side. Unfortunately, money has an eery quality to quickly and mysteriously disappear, and it needs to last for the next 10 weeks or so. So do budget. Instead of splurging on alcohol in the clubs, do buy some supplies from Tesco’s before you go out. Put standing orders to pay for your accommodation as soon as the funds come through. Do use studentbeans.com for discounts on eating out. Although on average students spend £100 per week, I know a girl who used to spend just £25!

4. Ask the standard five questions
Because by the end of that week, the ‘name-subject-hall-hometown-gapyear’ series of questions will make you squirm. It’s boring and, let’s be honest, it shows a lack of imagination… It’s fine to ask the questions later, but a much better conversation icebreaker is ‘Hey, where did you get these shoes from?’ or (looking at the decorations on the door of the room), ‘Where was this photo taken? The place looks really cool’.

5. Party all night, sleep in the day or not sleep at all.
Yes, we all want to party and meet friends. And yes, we all want to rave the nights away. But seriously, you don’t want to look (and feel) like a zombie during the day. Drink water. Eat, but not only toast, unless you want your skin to put on a yellowish, scurvy glow. The opposite sex (or same sex, if that’s what you’re into) will notice the blackened eyes. And you’ll miss some of the induction talks that may prove valuable later on. And then you’ll catch the flu and all going out will end. In one word: SLEEP.

6. Fall for that charming second year
You know the look: rugby jumper, chinos, seemingly carelessly arranged hair. He will spot you out and make you drink unbelievable amounts of alcohol. And then he’ll break your heart. Avoid like plague.

7. Throw away all letters and paperwork
You may be walking half-awake throughout the day, but do not throw away any given forms, letters, UCAS statements, bank letters – they may come in handy later on, when you least expect it! Thus keep all the details in one folder until you’re able to read it in a sober state and see what’s actually written on the forms.

8. Not take any freebies at Freshers’ Fair
Go crazy at Freshers’ Fair. Gorge on all the free pens, condoms, sweets and sign-up your name to as many e-mailing lists as possible. You may get random e-mails from ‘Doctor Who?’ or ‘Students-against-hippies-in-trees’ societies, but they will always broaden your mind, or you can just unsubscribe later if need be. Freshers’ Fair is an excellent way to see what’s on offer and become involved in university life.

9. Say “no…”
Instead, just say “YES!” Just like in Jim Carrey’s film ‘Yes Man’, never turn down a social invitation! It will make your week much more exciting and eventful and you will meet a lot of interesting people. How about setting yourself a challenge to never say “no”. Who knows where that will get you to…?

10. Be too cool for school
Do go to all the induction talks and information sessions. There is no point pretending you’re above it all or you’re just simply not bothered to go – that will bear. You are paying at least £3,225 in tuition fees so do make the most of it! Oh and after the crazy parties the night before, do wear comfy shoes the next day – queues will be long and you don’t want your feet swollen for the day!

Have a great Freshers’ Week!

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  1. Adoni Aamir

    :-)Seriously True. And It was well written and quite informative to me. You’re right we should participate as much as we can in social parties. But there will be a definite problem for internationals :-). As we speak our national language, speaking English deliberately like you guys will be difficult task. But, we will get used to it.

  2. Samantha

    I’m starting university in September and wow I’m excited!! Glad I saw your post. I can definitely imagine embarrassing myself, spending all my money in the first week, falling for the charming guy and throwing away important documents. I can’t thank you more 🙂

  3. Josh

    I’ll be starting uni at the end of this year and this is probably the best advice for starting out I think I’ve had. Thanks! Great article

  4. Natalie

    Yes oxford is freezing, the advice is very much appreciated and so true… just wish id read this before freshers and having run out of money completely!!

  5. Laura

    Oxford? The North? Actually, that’s one of the only things I disagree with. I do think the “where are you from?” question often gets interesting answers though. I’m on a course with over 50% international and it’s great to here people’s stories – plus, if they’re English you get to debate accents, etc.

  6. Kirsty

    I think I coped quite well, a few embarrasments but its helped me make the friends I have!

  7. tom2tall87

    so true! i only wish i’d heard this during freshers’ week! this should be emailed to all newbies. well done indeed!

  8. Kirsty

    This article is excellent. Sounds like a great list to follow to help get over any homesickness!

  9. Yiasemina

    Good article!!.. I used to say no in every invitation for about 3 years and now I realized that I have no idea what the bon fire event is! I would like to add that students that aim for a first should better make a weekly schedule and stick to it thus, they will have time both for studying and for fun.

  10. matt

    good advice

  11. Ivan

    I know someone who has blown whole grant and no money now until Jan, just be careful of that one, too easy to get carried away with it all.

  12. Daniella

    OMG I wish I had seen this during freshers week would of helped me alot.. especially the sleep and budget part lol

  13. Tom
  14. Sarah Corby

    totally agree with all you have written here, im out of money and always tired…and did i bring enough clothes or a coat? no

  15. Aser Mir

    LOVE IT!!!

  16. paul

    all so true, and deffo agree with the dont say NO! dont judge people on how they look, broaden your horizons and just go with it…. say YES to everything….