What not to do in your first week

Romance, academics, friendships: tips to get you through week 1

Week 1 is scary. The wild abandon of freshers’ week is over and the reality of being at university is starting to set in. This is where the panic, and poor decision-making skills can really begin. So, here’s four handy tips from someone who made most of the mistakes on this list.

Don’t only socialise at night

Freshers is draining. By the next week, you’re all alone, tired, probably eating badly and slightly overwhelmed. It can be tempting, especially if you already have work, to spend the day studying or sleeping, or calling home friends. But the daytime is when everyone is alert, sober and energetic enough to socialise. Take the time to knock on the doors of your flatmates and people in your staircase and don’t be afraid to message people you only met the week before. Someone in Week 1 invited me to his room to just sort of sit there and watch him play guitar. I went on an hour long walk to Aldi with my flatmates. Socialising during the day doesn’t have to be hard, but it is productive and makes you feel far more at home in College.

A lovely photo of Kings taken on the perfect daytime socialising activity… punting (image credit: Ella Sheddick)

Don’t get college married

I asked my ex-college husband what his top tip for Week 1 was and this was his answer. You have absolutely no idea what your relationship with the random person you pledge marriage to in your first weeks will turn out to be. You could end up hating them, in a love triangle with them, or in desperate, unrequited love with them (I will not comment on what prompted my college divorce). Also, (as I have since been informed) there is no more brutal friend-zone than a college marriage so, you know, keep your options open. It can been tempting to rush in and secure a good college spouse early on but most of the Queens’ College 2021 early Michaelmas marriages ended in college divorce. Wait till you’ve properly found your friends. Also don’t get married at Oktoberfest…just don’t.

Me and my new, much healthier, college throuple (Image credit: Eleanor Vincent)

Don’t freak out about collegecest

Okay I know. You will have heard the warnings from second years and Camfess that collegecest (getting with someone in your college) can ruin your life. But making bad or just slightly questionable decisions is an inevitable part of the Fresher experience and is really not ruinous to your future social life. A lot of people are drunk and experiencing freedom for the first time, mistakes are bound to happen (more than once). The important thing is not to freak out. We’re all adults, it’s no big deal. Also by the end of Michaelmas I guarantee you that so much other collegecest will have been committed that your start-of-term choices will be irrelevant.

Don’t panic about work

As you can tell from these texts to my home group chat… week one was a wild ride for me. (Image credit: Author’s own screenshot)

I had a horrific start to my degree. My laptop decided to spontaneously break down twelve hours before my first ever uni essay was due. Obviously I panicked, hard. I recruited the help of every Compsci in my immediate area, to no avail. After firing off terrified emails to my supervisor, my DoS, my tutor, and anyone else I thought might be interested in my plight, I managed to finish my essay on a friend’s laptop 6 full hours before the deadline. My laptop was easily fixed by the professionals and I turned up, slightly shamefaced, to my first supervision with a perfectly serviceable essay. There was no need to freak out. Everyone knows things are scary and new to you, and they want to help. Your work in your first weeks is not going to be good and that’s ok. That’s the point, in fact.

So go forth and make bad decisions, that’s the whole point of your first term.

Related articles recommended by this author: