All the mistakes you inevitably make as a fresher at Exeter Uni

Because first year is a learning curve

First year is all about settling in and getting used to life away from home, so naturally a multitude of mistakes are made along the way. Whilst you may regret some of the decisions you made as a naive first year, we can guarantee it was one of the best years of your life – certainly one you won't forget anyway.

We've compiled a list of the most common mistakes made by Exeter students, scroll on down to reminisce over your own experience as a fresher at Exeter.

Choosing Birks Grange Village as your accommodation

Birks might look like the perfect choice for first year halls, with its state of the art buildings, range of catered and self-catered accommodation, and community feel. But don’t be fooled – no aesthetic residence will compensate for the trek up ‘cardiac hill’ you’ll have to face every time you want to go to campus. On the plus side, you won’t need a gym membership so you’ll be saving yourself a fortune.

Going to the Lemmy

The floor is sticky, its practically empty and you can get cheaper VKs in Unit 1. Oh, and the 'Saturday Lemmy' (a.k.a. the only somewhat decent night) has been indefinitely cancelled. Need I say more…

Going to any club on a Saturday

Believe it or not, the Lemmy was actually the best venue on a weekend. So with that gone, Saturdays are pretty much reserved for locals. Fever is your best bet, but even that is uncomforably empty – you'll probably find a better crowd in the library.

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Going to the library at midday

Talking of the library, you'll quickly learn the best time to find a seat, which unfortunately, is either painfully early or late. So unless you fancy fighting to the death for a seat with a plug socket that probably doesn't work, I'd recommend studying off campus.

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Ordering normal fries in The Ram

This is possibly the most frustrating mistake you can make as an Exeter student. It is a well known fact that the curly fries are superior to the normal ones – anyone who orders the latter will face ridicule for the remainder of their time at the university.

Going to Old Firehouse at peak time

You'll quickly discover, as an Exeter student, that Old Firehouse is the only place more crowded than the library. It certainly serves the best ciders in Exeter, and the pizzas are mouthwateringly good, but I'm not sure anyone can pinpoint why it is quite so popular. You'll just come to accept that waiting three hours in the freezing cold for a table is the price you have to pay for the aesthetic Instagram photos.

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Leaving for Timepiece after 10.30pm

Timepiece is yet another one of Exeter's landmarks whose popularity nobody understands. The night is decidedly average, and the drinks are overpriced, yet somehow it still pulls in the crowds. If you arrive after 10.30pm the bouncers will try and convince you that you have no chance of entry before 1am – this is a mild exaggeration, but you'll certainly face queuing for a couple of hours in the pouring rain at some point during your first year.

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Shopping in Market Place

Whilst it can't be denied that the Market Place meal deal is the only thing that can motivate anyone to spend a day in the library, despite its duty-free-esque exterior, the campus shop is extortionately overpriced and best avoided if you don't wish to blow your student budget on one meal.

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Joining every society during Freshers' Week

As tempting as it may be to be lured in by the seemingly endless supply of free goodies that are thrown your way during the freshers' fair, spending £100 on societies that you will most likely never attend, just for the free pen, is the definition of a waste of money.

Buying the Freshers' wristband

This is arguably the worst monetary decision you will make all year – perhaps even more so than joining every society, because at least there's still a slim chance you might attend those. The freshers' wristband costs roughly £50, and to get your moneys worth you have to go to every single one of the events – which are painfully cringey and held in tiny venues that often close before midnight. Not to mention the fact that the wristbands themselves become excruciatingly tight and require cutting off when you inevitably give up on attending any of the events.

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Sorting out your house for second year too early

I can guarantee that the friends you make during Freshers' Week will not be your closest friends six months down the line. Second year house-hunting starts notoriously early in Exeter, but don't get too panicked and sign a contract in October – it's far better to end up in a house that's a bit further off campus with a group of close friends, than to be living right next to the uni with people you can't stand.

Picking catered accommodation

For someone who has never left home and has been cooked for by their parents their entire life, catered accommodation can seem very appealing. But aside from being more pricey than other accommodation, there is also the issue of having no communal space – in other words, nowhere for pre drinks, which are arguably the best part of a night out. It's also highly likely that you'll miss two out of the three meals per day, given that students generally don't wake up before 2pm, so you'll end up having to learn to cook anyway.

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Thinking the Leaky Cauldron was based on Old Firehouse

It's an urban legend that the Leaky Cauldron pub in the Harry Potter books was based upon Exeter's Old Firehouse – something which former student JK Rowling herself recently disspelled. Unfortunately, Rowling did not even set foot in the pub – we can still hold out hope however, that Gandy Street inspired the notable Diagon Alley, or that the Great Hall in the books was named after our very own Great Hall on campus.

Spending your entire student loan on Wetherspoons

I'm certain this is not a mistake that just Exeter students make, but the abundance of Wetherspoons' in the city certainly makes it easier to get fooled into spending your entire loan in one evening on the cheap food and drinks. Nothing beats sitting in The Impy garden in the sun with 2 for £12 pitchers however, so don't forget to factor that in when you're budgeting.

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Going to Exmouth the moment the sun comes out

The appeal of the beach might be too strong to resist on the rare occasions when the sun actually makes an appearance – just remember that literally every Exeter student will have had the exact same idea so you're likely to face the crowds. Although being packed like sardines in Exmouth is definitely still preferable to revision.

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Buying a ticket to the Freshers' Ball

There is so much hype surrounding the Freshers' Ball – admittedly, the fairground rides outside the forum are pretty cool, and the chance to dress up is always welcome, but spending £40 on what is essentially a glamourised year 7 disco, seems a little pricey.

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