So, you want to be a Lancaster Fresher?

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There is a certain warmth in the air, a sort of frazzle filling those on campus with excitement. The hatchbacks roar onto campus filled with beddings, pans, eager students and melancholy proud parents; it is time once again for Lancaster to welcome its next batch of freshers. Be they wild or studious, they’re all in for the same experience in the coming seven days. But what they will gain from this experience varies wildly.

Having met students who rave about their Freshers’ Week as the best time of their lives, I have met my fair share of students who didn’t massively enjoy it, and I can’t help but feel they’re in an enviable position. Presumably if Freshers’ Week was the best week of your life, well studentdom was all downhill from there. Personally I had an urge around Day Three to just stay in and watch movies, but filled with an obligation to ‘have a good time’ you resist, and go out, spend too much on Apple Sourz that you don’t really want to drink, and spend a lot of time with people you will never speak to again.

My second year Fresher’s experience was another thing entirely. Armed with a strong friend base and a flat of friends who I knew that I loved and could share a taxi back with I was all the more ready to have a good time. I had no obligations to get up early to register for this, attend that and take part in the all-important Library Orientation Course. Afterwards the course, I used the advice… never. My library competence came with experience and panic, around a week before the exams.

Trust me, if you’d rather sleep, don’t force yourself to go to the “non-compulsory but recommended” courses. You will have enough on in the coming weeks without feeling obliged to take part in everything and tire yourself out in the first week, worst of all exposing your sleep-deprived malnourished self all the more to the dangers of Freshers’ Flu!

My advice is not to bolt and lock your room until the storm of Freshers’ is over, embrace it for what it is, but don’t feel that you’re less of a student for not having the time of your life. Ultimately, you’re there to break the ice, not make lasting friendships. They come afterwards, when the hangovers and alcohol have given way to study stress and… well, yet more alcohol and hangovers.

Keep your eyes peeled for SCAN’s very own dedication to wistful and nostalgic Lancaster alumni, who will fill our lovely pages and your lovely brains with musings on what they would have done if they had their time at Lancaster again. It’s something to think about, especially for us final years who embark on a year of bittersweet lasts; last Fresher’s, last Christmas ball, last end of exams… Let’s make the most of it, and make this year the best ever, whatever year you’re in!

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