Nine things Exeter freshers are guaranteed to have done by the end of term one

Once a silly fresh, always a silly fresh

Students are known for making bad decisions, and in Freshers’, it’s pretty much unavoidable. Whether it’s forgetting where you live because you’re drunk and all the buildings look the same, or turn up to the wrong lecture because you got lost, we all have embarrassing moments we’d rather not remember.

People go to university to learn, and it couldn’t be more true, because after Freshers’ Week you probably felt close to Yoda with how much you’s learnt, but trust me, there’s so much more to come –  and I guarantee you’ll do at least eight of these nine things by the end of term one:

1. Buy a Freshers’ wristband and never use it 

The famous Freshers’ wristband will cost you a small fortune and promise you endless evenings of fun, only to be used once to get into a very third rate Foam party on the first day of Freshers. It can be guaranteed everyone in your new flat group chat, who you have found through some expert Facebook stalking, has coerced you into buying one because it’s going to be “THE BEST WEEK EVER”. However, you will quickly realise that the wristband can only get you into a Saturday night at Move (a big no), and instead you will be indoctrinated into the ways of selling your soul for a TP ticket. 

2. Have a painful pres conversations about what degree you study and where you’re from 

You will be asked where you’re from; asked what degree you’re studying. And then you will have nothing else to talk about.  This conversation format is followed by every student, university wide, whilst trying to make awkward conversation at a painful pres. If the convo is going really well, you might even branch out into discussing which accommodation you’re both living at – “you’re in Rowe? My friend was in it last year, crazy.” Don’t worry though, either through the amount of alcohol drunk, or simply with time, it will get better, and by the end of term one, it will hopefully be coming to an end.

3. Get lost on campus

You’re in a new place, there’re millions of buildings that all look the same, and let’s be real, we’re all a little bit too scared to ask someone for help. Inevitably, you will find yourself lost on campus, trying to find the mysterious Lecture Room 503, that literally could be anywhere. Always look for other scared-looking people because they are probably lost too – and I can promise you, you will probably continue to get lost for the next two years, yours sincerely, a third year who still gets confused about where buildings are on campus.

4. Go to Exmouth and realise everyone else has had the same idea

To get the quintessential Exeter experience, one must go to the beach – you’ll see sun outside, suddenly remember you live in Devon and make a beeline for the nearest beach: Exmouth. Unfortunately, not only every other fresher, but every Exeter student will have had exactly the same idea. However, there is something exciting about a platform full of other students all with beers and a football, ready to spend the day drinking warm alcohol and of course packed tighter than sardines in the hottest train in the world. 

5. Join Overheard and realise your life had not yet begun until this moment 

It’s the middle of term one and you can’t understand why there’s not a club ticket in sight on FIXR, until a very helpful second year (or a Fresher who has spent too much time stalking the depths of Facebook/The Tab) introduces you to the magnificent beast that is Overheard – Exeter’s famous student Facebook page. Suddenly, you start believing your dreams of attending a TP Wednesday might actually come true – even if you pay out your entire student loan for the pleasure. Not only does joining Overheard provide extortionately priced club tickets from profit-greedy students, but regularly dishes out classic entertainment from campus antics and hellish houses to keep you amused for the next three years. 

6. Join a society you know nothing about and realise the 6am start was not worth it

One minute you’re at the Freshers’ Fair being drawn in by free merch and attractive sportspeople, then suddenly you’re five weeks in, hearing your alarm go off at 5:30 am for a training session in a sport you’ve realised you don’t actually like and definitely aren’t very good at. Joining societies is the best thing you can do at uni, but maybe next term, try joining something you actually enjoy, and not just because their stash is nice. 

7. Make lots of ‘friends’, add them on Snapchat and then never see them again

It goes without saying that you will meet a lot of people in first year and inevitably, you’re going to add ALL of them on social media, and yes, even the person you sat next to in a game of ring of fire in Birks block A on the first night of Freshers. Then three months later you will have no idea who Adam from Birks actually is, until you vaguely recognise him in the Pret queue and realise it’s time to have an overhaul of your friends on Snapchat. Moral of the story: put your phone away at pres. 

8. Make friends with someone in your first lecture and never learn their name

POV: It’s day one of uni and your very first lecture. You find someone vaguely friendly-looking to sit next to and exchange smiles, too afraid to actually speak to each other. You then continue to  sit next to them for the entire term, but you never quite pluck up the courage to ask them their name, fearing it’s too embarrassing. Next thing you know it’s week seven of term and you still don’t know the name of the person who you’re now in a presentation group with. Unfortunately, you will have to accept polite smiles and awkward conversations, until you can gratefully escape the module and fingers crossed, never work with them again. 

9. Discover the Quay and pretend you were the first person to ever find it 

The day an Exeter fresher discovers the Quay for the first time is a proud and momentous occasion. Packed with brunch spots and pubs galore, it is the perfect bonding spot to meet up with new friends (who you have remembered the name of) and drink in all of Exeter’s glory. You will then promptly return to all your uncultured flatmates and describe the immaculate scenes of the river and slightly scary swans, convincing them to go so they can experience it too. Maybe just don’t mention the amount of hills involved in the walk. 

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