What not to do as a Bristol Fresher

A guide


Bristol’s newest freshers are facing the same questions that have worried all those who came before them: How do I seem cool to my new uni mates? How do I get Gareth from the other flat to notice me? Are all northerners so blunt the whole time?

We at The Tab Bristol can’t tell you the definite answer to all these queries, but we can tell you which things NOT to do.

Wear your Leavers Hoodie in public

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If there is one thing that screams fresher, it’s the humble leavers hoodie. I know they are really comfortable, but nobody cares which school you went to or when you left. It is literally one of the most inconsequential things you can talk about and doesn’t reveal anything interesting about you.

They do make excellent pyjamas though, so maybe keep this particular article of clothing within the confines of your room.

Talk about how you got rejected from Oxbridge

I know that you worked incredibly hard to get the grades you got and are going to require years of therapy to get over the trauma of despite working your arse off during Sixth Form still getting rejected from Oxbridge.

Get over it, failure is a part of life and being able to deal with it is a really crucial skill. You will get some things and not others, Oxford just happens to be one of those things that was not to be.

There are a lot of people at Bristol who didn’t get in either, it’s not the end of the world. You are still going to be studying at one of the best Universities in the world and more to the point you are really lucky to be living in a city as dynamic and vibrant as Bristol. Bristol forever.

Get too obsessed over your grades

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If you are in first year, you only need to pass the year because it does not count towards your degree. Of course it’s good to work hard and succeed academically, but first year is a time to have fun and get to know people.

Being one of those people who talks really loudly about how awful it is that you got a 71 in your last essay makes you look like an absolute dick and will not ingratiate anyone towards you!

Panic join societies

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Admittedly this is easy to do when every society is insisting that you will have the time of your life with them. Given that there are absolutely tonnes of them, from Cheese Society to Mixed Lacrosse it can be very tempting to think that you will be able to do everything.

Better to join a few that you actually stand a chance of going to. Societies are one of the best ways to meet people, especially if you do a subject that doesn’t have many contact hours.

Not go anywhere except the University and Triangle.

Bristol is a pretty great city to live in and you are wasting your time if you think that the best thing it has to offer is a night out at Pam Pams.

Although that does indeed have its own unique charm, getting out of the uni bubble and checking out Gloucester Road or Stokes Croft is fun too.

Plus all that walking will help you burn off some of those late night kebabs from Freshers Week and will help you get to know the city better.

Assume that the friends you make during freshers will be with you for the whole of uni

Freshers is a really weird time. It’s like mass hysteria where everyone is so desperate to make friends that they stick with the people they meet like glue and everyone you meet is your best friend within five minutes.

Although many people do end up sticking with their friends from the beginning of Uni, this is mostly down to luck.

Who you end up living with is completely random in first year so you quite simply may not get on with your flat. It’s that simple. That’s why it’s important to get involved with stuff going on at Uni, because friends do not just fall out of the sky.

University is big adjustment and it can take a while for things to feel normal.

Organise a house for second year in November

Getting a house with a bunch of people that you’ve known for six weeks does seem a bit mad, but loads of people do it because they’re worried that somehow there won’t be any houses left after Christmas.

I know there’s a housing shortage, but you will still be able to find a good house to live in if you give it some thought and time with the people you are planning to live with.

Be aware of stuff like agency fees and the cost of moving because you might be getting swindled and not know it. And if you don’t have anyone to live with, don’t worry there are loads of groups online where you can find housemates.