student life

Five things first years must do during Freshers’ Week

Written by kayleygilbert
Freshers’ Week often goes by in a haze of getting lost in a new city, nights out and meeting loads of new people, which is usually what makes it a very daunting prospect.

Freshers’ Week often goes by in a haze of getting lost in a new city, nights out and meeting loads of new people, which is usually what makes it a very daunting prospect.
From my experience, to truly make the most of your first year, it is important to get stuck in to university life during Freshers’ Week and meet lots of new people and try new things while everyone is in the same boat.
Here is my Top 5 list of things that every fresher should do:
Experience the nightlife
To many this may sound obvious, a daft piece of advice. But, as someone who would doesn’t like going out all the time, I struggled to fit in with the crowds of freshers who wanted to get drunk every night. And so, for me, Freshers’ Week was a bit underwhelming. 
But, even if you’re not the going out type, make an effort to go on a night out every once in a while, especially in the first week. Although it wasn’t something I overly enjoyed, I’m glad I made the effort because by accepting invites to nights out with party people, I met students who I have much more in common with that I wouldn’t otherwise have met.
Through going out and putting myself in situations that would have been easier for me to turn down, I met some of my closest friends. At the end of the day, you don’t need to drink to have a good time so go out and have fun, even if you don’t really want to!
Join societies
First year, work load-wise, will be the lightest of your degree, so take the opportunity to get involved in lots of societies, events and activities. Not only is it a great way to meet people, but it will also keep you busy during the (occasional) work lulls which will help to keep away homesickness. 
Getting involved in your freshers’ year also means that, should you want to, you can run to be on society committee’s in your second year, rather than having to wait until your third year where the work load is considerably more. Being on a society committee shows a level of ability, time-management and commitment that serves well on your CV for after graduation. 
Cook and eat communally
Cooking, or attempting to cook, is a great way to bond with your flatmates. Just eating together is a great way to socialise in the first few weeks: get invited out and get to know your flatmates. 
No one will forget the night your flatmate burnt the pasta dry, or you set light to a tea towel after leaving it next to the hob. As you all stumble towards being able to cook, you will make memories to last a lifetime!
If you start cooking together during Freshers’ Week, it sets the tone for the rest of the year. Even if it’s just one night a week that you cook together, for each other or even just eat together in the kitchen, it’s much better than eating alone in your room every night of the week.
Say yes
Don’t really like the sound of a night out in a karaoke bar? Don’t have much in common with the group that have invited you out to do the weekly shop? Say yes anyway! You might end up liking them more than you think, or you may meet people along the way that are more your type.
Plus, after you say no a few times, they will stop inviting you, even if it’s to something that you’d be interesting in going to. So say yes, even to the most mundane trips out. So go with the flow, and be up for anything that comes your way. You’ll definitely be glad you did later down the line. 
Don’t give up
For some people, Freshers’ Week can be very lonely. Everyone is unknown, the days can be very long with everyone crashing after late, drunken nights out and you have little work to distract you.
So getting homesick is normal, I know I did, so don’t worry. Just try to find something to distract yourself or cheer yourself up like ringing home or exploring the city. Try to avoid going home too soon as it can often make you feel worse and start feeling too dependent on your family.
And if Freshers is underwhelming for you, don’t worry. For many people the real excitement comes after Freshers’ Week when they’ve made more friends and know the city better.
I felt like the odd one out for weeks, but after meeting more people, I found students with similar interests to me who have since become my best friends. So don’t give up, and have fun!
Do this throughout first year, and you won’t go too far wrong. You’ll have friends all over the university, be involved in exciting societies and will have a smashing and fulfilling first year.
What do you think? Do you have any advice for new students getting ready for Freshers’ Week? Have your say in the comments section below.