Getting to experience Freshers’ Week is one of the most exciting parts of starting university…
Fresher’s week, or Welcome Week as it’s sometimes known, is an introductory period, before university courses begin.
The University will hold orienteering events to introduce you to the campus, the library and accommodation. There will also be registration, which you will need to attend to register for your course and your student loan,
Then of course, there’s the social side of things… The university’s Students Union will hold lots of different events and parties,Â giving new undergraduates students the chance the make friends, drink, have fun, drink some more and generally settle into university life.
For the vast majority of students, Fresher’s Week is one of the most memorable parts of the whole university experience. If you have friends, siblings or relatives who have been to uni, you will no doubt have heard some of their ‘eventful’ Freshers Week tales.
Even though most new students will be familiar with the lore and reputation of Freshers’ Week, it can be difficult to know exactly what to expect until you get stuck in.
With that said, there are a few things you definitely should know in order to prepare yourself for what’s to come, so we’ve rounded up our best advice in this very handy guide to Fresher’s Week.
Before You Get There
Check all emails from your university as you might receive some important details about registration and movingÂ intoÂ your university halls. You’ll also receive information about which documents you need to bring with you.
Look up the Freshers’ Week events for your particular university, so you know what to expect. There will likely be a UV party – so bring clothes that you don’t mind getting grubby and there will probably be a school disco themed night – so make sure to pack some appropriate fancy dress.
Many of the Freshers’ events will be free to attend but some will require a fee. Many universities offer Freshers packages which you can either pre-purchase online or buy when you get there. You’ll then be given a lanyard or wristband which will gain you entry to events.
Download local taxi apps, Google maps and bus timetables in the event that you get lost. We know, we know – this is advice that your mum would give you but you’ll be thankful for it.
Not All Fun And Games – Registration & Orienteering
As mentioned, your registration will take place during Freshers’ Week and it’s necessary that you attend this. As well as registering for your course, you’ll also get your student card and in many cases you also need to attend registration to get your Student Loan.
There will be orienteering events and meetings to show you around the campus, the library, the various departments and accommodation. Whilst many of these meetings are not compulsory, it’s still a good idea to attend as you’ll learn more about your surroundings and you’ll meet new people too.
Universities will also hold a Freshers’ Fair which will give you a chance to find out and join the university’s service as well as societies and clubs. Most students tend to sign up for a large number of societies, then choose their favourites during the first few weeks.
Set a Fresher’s Week budget and stick to it. Thankfully (for your bank account) in many cases, your Student Loan won’t be deposited into your account until after the Freshers’ Week. This will prevent you fromÂ blowing the entire amount in one go.
Your Freshers’ Week budget will therefore be mostly made up of any money you have saved or been gifted by relatives. The amount you take will depend on which events you plan to attend and how much you intend to drink. However, most of the Freshers’ Week events will be very cheap, as will the alcohol, so you *shouldn’t* have to spend too much.
Most Freshers’ Week events tend to involve copious amounts of alcohol – cheap alcohol. Again, not to sound like your mum, but do be careful. Do not leave your drink unattended at any point and try to pace yourself.
Many students tend to get way too drunk way too quickly on their first night. So take it slow; you don’t want to be that person (and trust us, there is always *that person*) who ruins themself on the first night and can’t enjoy the rest of the week.
If you don’t drink, don’t worry as there are loads of events that don’t involve alcohol.
Oh and FYI – Fresher’s Flu is real. So stock up on medication and find out details about the closest GP and doctor’s surgery.
As much as you should focus on having fun, don’t forget to keep yourself safe and take precautions.
Don’t walk back to halls late at night unattended and don’t feel pressured to engage in activities that you don’t feel comfortable with.
Keep your belongings safe too. As you make new friends and get to know your surroundings, you’ll probably find yourself visiting other people’s rooms and they will be in an out of yours. So if you have precious or expensive items, keep them locked away.
Many students make their closest friends during Freshers’ Week. But at the same time, many other students make friends during Freshers’ Week that they don’t see or speak to during the rest of their time at university.
Either way, it’s still important to try your best to socialise, no matter how anxious you feel about it. It’s a cliche, we know, but everyone is in the same boat.
Introduce yourself to everyone you meet, add them on Facebook and force yourself to talk to others, no matter how easy it seems to just stand back in the corner.
Remember, it’s completely normal to feel homesick or crap or scared. New students place a lot of expectation on themselves to make Freshers’ Week the best week of their life but in the vast majority of cases, this doesn’t happen.
It’s an intense time, so you’ll have your up and downs. They key is to just go with it and don’t put any pressure on yourself to be the life and soul of the party or find your lifelong friends. If you simply be yourself and take a relaxed approach to the whole thing, we guarantee you’ll have a much better time.
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I'm the blog editor for Uni Baggage! I write about university life and all things student related.