Freshers: We told you what to try in your first term at Bristol, so here are 14 things to avoid

A freshly cut mullet or eyebrow slit screams ‘silly fresher’


You’re well into your second term at university now, wondering where the past few months have gone. The days of being a fresher are dwindling, but there is still enough time to squeeze the most out of your first year of uni.


Inevitably, first years repeatedly make the same mistakes. In a year’s time we all look back on first year photos slightly cringing at the appalling eyebrow slit or photos taken with your flatmate that you slept with but definitely shouldn’t have.

Here are 14 things you should absolutely avoid if you want to have cringe free first year memories – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

1. Only going to clubs on The Triangle

There is more to going out in Bristol than BED Mondays! Bristol is a city with some of the best clubs in the country, don’t tell me you’re making the most of it spending all your nights out listening to the same 2010s playlist every single week.

2. Sleeping/Getting with your flat mate

There is a reason this is one of the first things that literally anyone at uni will tell you not to do. They might be fit, you might fancy them, but those measly two minutes will not be worth the months of awkwardness that will follow both of you and your flatmates for the rest of the year.

It’s called flatcest for a reason and should be avoided at all costs. Even worse if you’re meant to be living with them in second year too.

3. Complaining about work

This is the only time in your uni life that the work you do doesn’t count towards your degree. At the end of the day, a pass is a pass, and grades come and go but those drunken memories you make in the smoking area will last forever.

Also, do NOT complain about your workload. If you think it’s tough right now I’m really sorry to tell you it’s only getting worse.

4. Not joining any societies

One of the best things about uni life is the number of groups you can join. It might seem daunting but pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to join the society you’re really interested in could make your uni experience that much better. Go on, we all know you dying to be part of the Quidditch club.

5. Getting a mullet or an eyebrow slit

A freshly cut mullet or eyebrow slit screams “silly fresher”. In the parallel universe that is Stoke Bishop this might look acceptable, but trust me, in a few months’ time looking back through pictures of first year or when you go back to your mates at home and they rip you to shreds for you new “rah” look, you will regret it.

6. Don’t be afraid to organise plans with people

You may think you’ve already found your group of life-long friends and don’t need to bother with that person you get on quite well with in your lectures. However, it’s important to have a wide group of people to get on with at uni. During first year everyone feels awkward but everyone wants to make more friends. Put yourself out there and be the one to make the effort.

7. Only going out for drinks at the WG Grace

Yes, it’s cheap, but there’s nothing special about it. On Whiteladies Road alone there are loads of independent pubs and bars to try out, and it also means that you won’t be putting money into the pockets of Tim Martin. You haven’t lived until you’ve been to Alter Ego’s Thursday karaoke.

8. Not leaving the Stoke Bishop bubble

When you first get to Bristol, Stoke Bishop seems so far from anywhere else that it’s easy to not leave the confines of your flat except for nights out. Use all the free time you have to explore everywhere in Bristol. Plus you may actually get to interact with people outside of Hiatt Baker. Madness.

9. Stealing a cone or sign on a night out

Plenty a first year student comes back from a night out having stolen a cone or sign on the way back thinking that they’re a legend telling everyone how hilarious they are. It’s not the vibe and it is not interior design. Stop.

10. Un-ironically wearing your Bristol Uni fleece out of the house

We get it, your whole personality revolves around the sport that you play but don’t make it a part of your fashion sense too. And those of you who don’t belong to a sports society, don’t even think about wearing your non-sports related fleece out of the house.

You’re basically just admitting to the rest of the city how rich you are forking out £40 for a university branded quarter zip.

11. Leaving your washing up to ‘soak’

No-one really believes themselves when they say to their flatmates that they’re going to come back in an hour later to scrub the pan they’ve left in the sink to “get rid of the grease”. And if your flatmates actually believe you then more fool them. Hours turn to days which then turns into a fat pile of greasy pans festering in your kitchen. Yum.

12.  Not making use of the uni wellbeing services

It may be hard to believe from the endless Instagram posts that your mates from home are posting about how much they love first year and hate going back home, but most people find first year tough at some point. It’s easier said than done but if you do continuously feel unhappy then the university has several services you can make use of.

One of these is Residential Life, which can give you support specific to your accommodation. You can get more details here. 

13. Don’t cheat on your boyfriend or girlfriend from home!!

The amount of stories I have heard of people cheating on their unsuspecting partners who live hundreds of miles away from them during first year of uni, only to have them to come visit weeks later with the whole flat knowing. It’s pretty disturbing. Do better!

14. Burning out

Your mum is probably texting you the exact same advice right now, but it’s so easy to burn out at uni when you’re first trying to balance living on your own. Don’t wait until you’ve had your cough for months to go to the doctor, and make sure you see some daylight.

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