Being a fresher is the best year of your life, but before you can properly settle into a routine of countless essays and cornflakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner there’s a week of organised chaos to get on with. Here’s just a few of the things Fresher’s Week brings, the rest of the year you’ll just have to wing it.
Moving in day:
As you make your way onto campus loaded up with your life in 25 IKEA boxes the urge to get your Dad to pull a u-turn and let you commute from home is an instant thought for many. Try not to worry straight away, take your time to look around at all the others dragging boxes and bags into empty rooms; everyone will be just as nervous and excited as you.
Stylishly juggling pots and pans and having a casual chat to your next-door neighbour in the hallway will be inevitably interrupted by your mum asking where you’ve put the toilet brush, so try not to do too many things at once; settle in, sort yourself out and make your room homely. There’s plenty of time to do the get-to-know-you thing when all parents have left the building, after all, you’ll be living and stealing milk from these people for a whole year, so wait until the chaos subsides. I remember a box of Malteasers and a bottle of wine being the perfect ice breaker; it was either that or my bright pink rabbit slippers…
Someone you live with will at some point: put you to bed after a night out, set the fire alarm off when trying to make you a fry up, or wake you up at 8.00am because they want you to share their early morning seminar pain. Living with new people can be daunting but be yourself, share your interests and take part in all your college’s activities; good friends who you can drag yourselves to lectures with won’t be far away.
A great way of making new friends is not only to take part in your college activities but to also make sure you go to Freshers’ Fair and sign up to a society. From sports teams to Glee, ballroom dancing, gospel choirs and the I Love Cheese society there are plenty of interests to suit everyone. Each major subject also usually has its own society and these are great places to meet friends from your course and have a good moan about the reading lists. Most importantly, try and do something new; being an undergraduate is about much more than attending lectures, it’s about building a life inside the Lancaster bubble. So go on, join a dance society and pull a muscle when trying to body roll; trust me, it’ll definitely be worth it.
The fresher vs. fancy dress:
When faced with the prospect of covering yourself in UV paint or cross dressing until you’re cross-eyed, not all freshers are instantly taken with jumping in at the colourful end. Love it or hate it fancy dress is a major part of most college’s fresher’s week, and something which, however silly it may seem, will make your nights out something to remember. Get involved and make the most of the mayhem. Alternatively, if it’s really not your thing just put on some black and white and say you’re a humbug. Problem solved.
You might not think it now, but by the end of the week you’ll have lost your voice defending the pride of your college. Chant until your throat is sore and willingly disgrace anyone who isn’t on your side. Be prepared, you’re in for a tightly fought battle.
Pause for a soft drink:
Everyone associates Freshers’ Week with late nights and an induction to the drunken hall of fame. However, the Student’s Union and campus colleges try to cater for all interests. LUSU have put together a packed week of activites encouraging students to ‘Do something different in Freshers.’ With film nights in The Chaplaincy Centre and a Pub Quiz in The Great Hall alongside a campus treasure hunt and games night; there are a variety of events in the evenings to keep you busy. Quiet nights are also provided by all colleges as an alternative to bar crawls and fancy dress, with quizzes and pizza parties taking place throughout the week. Never feel pressured to participate in any activity you’re not keen on, Fresher’s Week is about you having a great time and meeting new people and there’s plenty of ways to do this without having to crack open the Tequila.
Visit the LUSU website for more information on Fresher’s Week activities.
Money and budgeting:
Food shopping, buying paper, pens and that third probably unnecessary pillow will definitely have made a mark in your bank balance. As you make your way through Freshers’ Week and consequently, your savings, nights out and purchasing clown costumes will only seem to further this financial drought. As difficult as it may seem to budget in your first week, remember you have another ten weeks to tackle before the end of term. As inevitable as it is, you don’t want to be inducted into the world of Sainsbury’s Basics bread too soon. Fresher’s Week can be expensive if you don’t manage your money and come prepared. Bring food from home, stock up on beer and wine if you can, this will help you stop panic buying at the shops on campus and help you enjoy your week without the worry of an empty stomach.
And finally…fresher’s flu:
Fresher’s Flu is one illness which comes with little sympathy. This self-induced cough and cold from late nights, thinking you can drunkenly sing as well as Bon Jovi and forgetting about fruit and veg will set in when Freshers’ Week is over. Your lectures will be filled with the splutters of students desperately wishing they were curled up in bed with Jeremy Kyle and a lemsip. The only advice we can give you is; carry on as normal and cough to your heart’s content. Only a lucky few manage to swerve the need for soothers, so enjoy a noisy few weeks of note taking.
So you might not know entirely what to expect but make the most of your first week as a fresher; it will be over far too quickly and will definitely be one of the best weeks of your life, cross dressing, UV raves and all.