Hello all! I’ve decided to dedicate another post to me sharing some advice with new freshers. This time though I wanted to write about something that I’ve wanted to write about for a long time but have never had the right platform to do so, until now that is. I want to give people advice on how to survive freshers fortnight (yep, there’s two whole weeks of it at Leicester), based on the colossal mess I made of my first few weeks as a fresher. If there’s one thing I regret about the beginning of my university experience its that I didn’t throw myself into university life. To be totally honest, I don’t think I was emotionally ready to start university but people told me to go for it instead of taking a year out as it’d only be harder a year later, so I went. I had all these plans to totally transform myself and join a whole bunch of clubs and societies but once I got there I just couldn’t, maybe because of a lack of confidence or self-esteem issues. I just don’t know. Now though, not joining clubs or going out as much as I should have done in those first weeks is something I kick myself for on a daily basis which is why I wanted to give this advice. Even if it only stops one person from having regrets about their time as a fresher then I’ll consider it a successful post.
- Don’t skip too many nights out- when I was a fresher the thought of getting drunk and going to a club filled me with absolute dread. That’s why I skipped the whole of the second week of freshers and my housemates went out, making friends and memories that they still talk about now, without me. Luckily, when I did go back, they welcomed me back- despite not knowing about why I’d been a no show at practically all the freshers events- and their new friends quickly became my friends too. However, it could have been so different had they not been such lovely people. My advice to anyone else who can’t face alcohol fuelled nights is get involved in the university’s alcohol-free freshers events. There you can meet like minded people, still have fun, and not feel like you’re missing out on anything. Make sure to follow the student union on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss out on the latest updates. And, if you do drink, I’m not saying you have to go to every single event and exhaust yourself (and besides your liver will thank you for a couple of nights off) but don’t skip them all. Here’s something I wish someone had told me at the time and made me listen to: it’s only two weeks of your life, the anxiety goes away* and you’ll regret missing out if you just stay home during freshers!
*I’m not including anybody who has an actual anxiety disorder. If you feel like these feelings won’t go away and they are stopping you from living your life then please get in touch with the mental wellbeing services
- Don’t be pressured into drinking more than you want- Freshers is a time when everyone thinks they have to drink copious amounts of alcohol (even if they don’t want to), and they like to drunkenly try to pressure others into doing the same. If you don’t want to drink a lot then just say no. Sometimes it’s hard because, unfortunately, some people (especially drunk people), have a hard time taking no for an answer. But, If people still try to get you to drink more, stick to your guns and they will soon stop (in my experience people usually stop doing this after freshers). And if they mock you for it or carry on excessively pressuring you then they are not the kind of people you want to be friends with. Drink as much or as little as you feel comfortable with and do not increase that amount simply to please others because you think it’ll make them want to be friends with you.
- Join clubs/societies- go to freshers fair in that second week and talk to/join the clubs you’re interested in joining. I found it extremely difficult going to the freshers fair with people I’d only just met and talking to people representing the societies I was interested in (admittedly these were my issues not the people’s I was with), so I just joined the psychology society and that was it. Do not do this (well obviously join the psychology society because psychology is awesome, but join more than one.). Are you interested in the re-enactment club or the pole dancing society? Then join them!. I promise you you will not regret it; you’ll make more new friends and have fun in the process. If you feel like the people you’re at the fair with will judge you, ignore these feelings and do it anyway. I want to reiterate what I said in the last point: if these people judge you they are not the people you want to be hanging out with. It’s better that you find this out at the beginning than in a couple of years.
University is the perfect time to try out new things and really get to know what you like and what you don’t, without the fear of being judged. I knew this before I went but I didn’t fully appreciate this until now, when it’s almost too late to take full advantage of all the amazing things there is to get involved with at university. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post it’s this: do not get to third year with regrets about the things you didn’t do!
See you all very soon for the start of term 🙂