The Reality of Fresher’s Week
It’s finally here. The time you’ve been waiting for… your University journey is about to begin. Fresher’s Week is a staple of British youth culture as we know it, and your time is now. Of course, it’s okay to feel daunted. You’re most likely moving away from home, leaving friends and family, and doing something that at least passes for ‘making it alone’, probably for the first time. If you’re freaking out, don’t worry – just remember, literally thousands have been where you’ve been before, and they (mostly) made it out just fine! You’re at University for a reason. You’re smart, and you deserve to be there. This is just your chance to pick up a little bit on the skills you may be lacking, such as independence, initiative and it’ll also really broaden your horizons.
One of the most important pieces of advice I can give you is to give lots of different things a chance. Be true to yourself, and have some ideas of your own in mind, but it’s month one – you don’t really need to decide what you want from University right from day one. Everyone wants a slightly different thing, holds a slightly different set of values, and inevitably, you’ll carve out a slightly different path to those you meet. This varied experience is what makes the time spent at University so character building and exploratory. But our ideals can and do change over time, so it’s best to not rule anything out. Go to all the Fresher’s events, dress up in silly outfits, cook a flat meal and ultimately, make friends with everyone you can in your student accommodation, on your course, and even that you meet in clubs! You may end up hating the guts of some of these people by Christmas, but you’d rather that than living with regret. We don’t all have to be ‘Sarah Social’, but getting involved from the start can allow you to meet a whole bunch of people or do new things that ARE right for you. You never know, you may learn something new about yourself – after all, now is the time!
TV shows and movies will make Fresher’s seem like one of two scenarios – both polar opposites. On the one hand, it’ll look like all smiles, easy friendships, drinking binges and general partying 24/7. On the other hand, you’ll see someone depicted as having the worst time of their life. This, like with everything else, just highlights the extremities of the spectrum of life. Whilst there ARE tons of parties and it IS easier to make friends than ever before, there will of course be ups and downs, more for some than others – it can be a culture shock.
Fresher’s is a time to try new things, meet new people and potentially reinvent yourself. You only get one shot at this particular week, it’s true. But your University adventure never stops and it’s never too late. Go with an open mind, don’t do anything too stupid (throwing up on your new flatmate is always embarrassing), but if you do? Make the most of it and learn from the experience, as long as you’re learning and growing, its fine.
However, if you’re struggling; there’s always help on hand from Liberty Living’s on-site management team. University also builds your support network massively, so if you want to talk to someone a bit more experienced and not in the same boat, you’re never alone and someone will always be available for a chat.
Posted on 4th September 2014 by Claire L.
Claire Louise Sheridan lives and works in Peterborough. She recently graduated with a degree in English and Communication Studies from the University of Liverpool.