Freshers should be more than just a week-long drinking game

Diversify your freshers experience – you won’t regret it

I have to admit something. It’s difficult for me to put on paper but I’m sure you’ll keep my shameful secret.

This time last year, I…

I can’t even say it!

…I was a fresher.

But that’s not all. Not only was I a silly fresher, I was a silly fresher with a background of years of silly-fresher-ish behaviour.


Silly freshers before it was cool (image credits: Ruby Cline)


So why did I feel the need to do the same when I got to uni for the first time?

The novelty had already worn off! There was no newness about going out – nothing fresh about freshers!

Despite this, I insisted on going out night after night with little regard for the important socialising and academic information I was being offered during the day.

I regret it. Here’s why.


Silly silly freshers!

Freshers are notorious for being so boneheaded that they get their own adjective: “silly.” It can be fun to join in on a bit of stupidity occasionally! After all, it’s the only time in your life that your truly repugnant smoking-area-slash-club-toilet-related mistakes will be genuinely forgiven (if perhaps not fully forgotten).


Putting yourself in a position where you are drunk, vulnerable, and actively making bad choices multiple nights in a row is not only exhausting for you and everyone around you, it’s actively dangerous.

You’re also trying to make friends, and slurring something that sounds a bit like “Hi, I’m Emma,” but a whole lot more like “EyyHhi!! Iah ma Eehmaah!” perhaps won’t get that message across as well as you may hope.

You will likely meet some amazing people during freshers, including sardined next to you in a sweaty club. But you want to be able to remember those amazing people so that you can see them again, so getting blackout night after night may not be the way to do it.

Be silly freshers with caution (image credits: Ruby Cline)

Blurry-eye spy

Over the past few years universities have gotten much better at catering to the non-drinking population, and part of this has been the wonderful introduction of more day events during freshers.

Scavenger hunts, dress-up days, karaoke socials, you name it – college JCRs and societies will likely be working morning til night to keep you entertained.

(And trust me, we are – a humble JCR member who would really love a break xx)

Not only does it waste their efforts but it will also waste your opportunities to form friendships if you come to every one of those events violently hungover in the same clothes as the night before.

Or even worse, not going at all! I was guilty of missing almost every day event my and the surrounding colleges held. It was a real shame; I didn’t meet fellow freshers in a way I could have, and I managed somehow to not go into town in daylight until my sixth day in the city. Proper pathetic from me there.

The first time I actually saw the town (image credits: Ruby Cline)

Putting the ‘uni’ into ‘university’

I’m really, really, really sorry to be the one breaking this to you. But it has to be said.

You actually do have important things – academic and new-life-admin things – to be doing during freshers week.

Have your bender! But beware, because your mandatory 9am college induction awaits you.

As somebody who missed a number of important directions on how to use basic aspects of college and therefore had to learn the hard way, I never want to have to ask a fellow student how to take a book out the library in week three…of TERM TWO.

I finally learnt to take books out – and got overexcited (image credits: Ruby Cline)

Dance, baby!

I promise I’m not trying to ruin your fun! Go, be free silly fresher – fritter the night away.

I really do recommend enjoying your freshers as much as possible. You only get one (and a half. Nobody will judge you for joining in as a second year. Well, they’ll only judge you a bit).

But it’s worth factoring in a bit of rest, and maybe choosing the morning’s picnic over last night’s Mash.

You’ll thank yourself.


Feature image credits: Ruby Cline


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