How To Max Out The Freshers Fair

Milk the Freshers’ Fair for all its worth, with The Tab’s guide to the freebies you should be bagging.

cusu fresher fair Freshers Fair Freshers Week

Enter the Freshers’ Fair with a carefully crafted shortlist of clubs to focus on and teams to join, and you’re missing the point entirely. Kelsey Kerridge is an enormous sports hall stuffed full of people that want to be your friend, from the Cambridge University Archimedeans Society to Tesco Electrical. This makes it sweaty and impossible to navigate [see here for the official floor plan, if you don’t believe me], so you can rule out making a beeline for, say, the Badminton sign-up sheet. Not only is this irritatingly organised approach impossible, however, it is also short-sighted. By ignoring the societies you have no intention of joining, you are severely limiting the extent of the haul of free products you have the opportunity to get your filthy paws on.

The perfect Freshers’ Fair attitude is one of absolute abandon. In order to maximise this golden opportunity to bag as much free stuff as you can carry, you’ve got to be open-minded, even if you can think of no conceivable reason why, for instance, you would ever need a badge emblazoned with the slogan, ‘I LOVE HILLWALKING’, in the shape of a boot. Take it! Pretend you are a seasoned rambler whose grandfather invented the cagoule! Sign up for that first hillwalk next weekend if it means you can get the free badge!

Channel your inner Dale Winton and limber up for some snatch and grab, Supermarket Sweep style. Kelsey Kerridge is your cow, and you must milk it for all it’s worth. Here’s The Tab’s guide to the top five pieces of crap to bag yourself on Tuesday and Wednesday:

1. Vouchers
Life in Cambridge is ruled by vouchers, be they for Fez, Pizza Express or Boots. Being King or Queen of Vouchers makes you popular (whip out an ASK 2for1 when you’re with your peckish posse and watch how their respect for you increases exponentially over the next hour) and obviously, it saves you money. It is vital that you get the book of vouchers that comes along with various other CUSU paraphernalia – they have deals on club nights, including free entry and queue skips, restaurant vouchers and drinks tokens. Embracing voucher culture is more than just a financially savvy scheme, though, it’s an instant mood-enhancer. You want to charge me a fiver for entrance into your shower of a club, with its treacherous surfaces, hideous music and overpriced VKs?  Take that (voucher) – I’m getting in for free.

2. The New Testament
There’s going to be a lot of things you do this term that are ungodly. I won’t bore you with a list of sordid scenarios revealing a whole host of personal fetishes, but let’s just say there’s going to be a lot on your conscience. Here’s where the New Testament comes in. Most obviously, there are some great stories in there (bedtime stories combat the occasional bout of home-sickness, should you be prone to this affliction) and it’s always nice to take some time out of your busy schag-ule to reconnect with your inner innocent child. Furthermore, with a New Testament on your bedside table, you feel virtuous despite having not read a word – you can kid yourself that you are in some way atoning for your sins just by acknowledging the fact that you could at some point open your heart to the Lord. All gain, no pain.

3. Mugs
Mugs. You can never have enough of them. Who knows when your entire corridor will decide to spring upon you unannounced one cold, wet, winter afternoon, absolutely gasping for a cuppa and a slice of your intellectual small talk? Personal favourites of mine from last year included Lloyds TSB, Connexions (complete with handy 24-hour helpline number) and Natwest (particularly the Natwest, as it was plastic and indestructible). For some unknown reason, it seems to make the cup of tea that touch more delightful when you know that you could just hurl said mug out of the window at any given point and never worry about recovering it. Mugs also double as ash-trays, toothbrush holders, bins, vases, and Christmas presents to unsuspecting family members.

4. Pizza
There is always a riot around the Dominoes section, but don’t let it strike fear into your pizza-craving heart. They will try and shoo you away with a miniscule sliver of doughy delight, but stand your ground and wait for more to come your way. Our Features Editor was so determined to actually get a whole slice last year, that she crafted herself a pseudo-pizza box out of tissue paper and managed to collect enough slivers to make up half a large pizza, which she then gleefully took home for her lunch. It can be done.

5. Lanyards
Silly you – you thought P.E. teachers were the only people who actually used lanyards? Think again. Cambridge students are obsessed with these hideous pieces of material which they wear around their necks so that they don’t lose their keys, and there are a myriad to choose from in the hallowed halls of Kelsey Kerridge. Wear the Revs lanyard (which screams ‘I love Vodka’) and attempt to pilot your way into your college drinking society, the Deloitte lanyard and hopefully nab the outrageously cool USB that comes with it, or maybe settle for the STA Travel cord so you can pretend you had a Gap Yar.

Be inventive. Sign up for everything, then run home and unsubscribe from all the mailing lists, gleefully chuckling over the fact that the Nigerian Society will never have the pleasure of your attendance at one of their events, but you will have the pleasure of the miniature flag of Nigeria for years to come. In the words of Dale (see below), ‘Go wild in the aisles.’