I crashed the Medicine freshers’ week as a Philosophy student

They have way too many in-jokes

drinking freshers freshers week KCL medicine medics msa nightlife pimms quad ucl wine

Any clued up student will be aware of the age-old stereotype of medical students being the heaviest drinkers and the hardest partiers, so it’s safe to say when I arrived at uni and many of my flatmates turned out to be medics, I knew we’d get on just fine over freshers’ week.

Navigating the flurry of freshers’ events being promoted is difficult enough, and then the prospect of the legendary MSA freshers’ events was raised. I hadn’t considered this before, as I’m a philosophy student, I thought it would be weird, but it seemed only logical to go with them.

And besides, the toga party included free wine.


I have no idea what’s happening

Most of these parties seem to be excuses to get people in as little clothing as possible – togas fall off your shoulder as soon as you start dancing, and the beach theme – well that one’s not even disguised, that’s pretty much straight up asking you to go in your underwear.

But it’s no problem for the medics: they’re all fit and healthy. It’s like some weird, alpha-male showdown in there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. It was just all very bizarre to watch.

The first event was the Lock and Key party, which for those who just rocked up with no idea what this means (me), is where you get either a lock or a key around your neck, and you’re meant to find the person there who matches with you.

Pretty good idea for an icebreaker.

Introducing myself to people so far during freshers hadn’t been a problem, so I threw myself in, but often when asked by medic strangers what I’m studying, I quickly found that “philosophy” gained only 2 opposite reactions:

    “Oh that’s so interesting/How come you’re here?/You know, I did philosophy for A-level.”


    “Oh right.” (turn to the medics)

This second reaction became a bit annoying. Philosophers can be fun too. But hey ho, moving on with the night. On the whole the medics proved to be friendly, and definitely good fun.

Next came the infamous toga party, hailed to be the highlight of many a freshers’ in the past. The free wine in the quad was a great way to chat to people before you get into the loud, sweaty clubs later in the evening, and I was starting to feel accepted into the coveted medics’ clique.

It’s happening, I’m being accepted into the club… and even when I confess to not actually belonging, people laugh and tell me I look like a medic and should just change course.

After a solid four days together I start forgetting I’m not a medic, until they start talking about Chemistry A-level and hospital work experience. Then I’m 50 per cent confused, and 50 per cent glad I can retreat to my essay writing and eight-hours-a-week timetable.


Plato would be proud

Thursday rolled around and it was beach party time, with the terror of what to wear that is decent, warm, but also beach-y. By this point they’d all had their induction day, and kept laughing about weird jokes attempted by professors – something about a snake, and something about a swing. No, me neither.

It really is sad that I took the opposite A-levels and can’t turn around and do medicine now, just to know what they’re talking about.

However almost a week of pre-drinking, many rings of fire and partying means they’ve adopted me as their honorary medic, and I have lots of people to turn to now for advice about my freshers flu and mysterious bruises.


Guess who’s the creative one

The free-flowing booze at these events is honestly astonishing. Both the toga and beach parties began with free drinks in the quad, and the Pimms at the beach party was pretty much neat.

These doctors can’t be good for your health.