How Wise Is It To “Get Involved” in Freshers Week?

Our new columnist, Lidia Aicardi, gives an insight into the world of Freshers’ Romance – or lack thereof.

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You wake up with a splitting headache; look around the room and realise that it isn’t yours. You turn, and asleep next to you, is a guy who sports an uncanny resemblance to that fine young man who bought you a drink last night and then proceeded to spill half of it down your top. You have a lecture in half an hour and there is no chance in hell you’re going to manage to get home, have a shower and make it in time to listen to your new Year Coordinator drone on for two hours.

With so many parties, nights out and general merriment, Freshers’ Week is the time for the rumour mill to start spinning. Drunken hook-ups are a must at almost every event, and the awkward moment when you wake up next to someone you’ve known for about six hours is a reality very few of us manage to escape. But is it really a good idea?  Is the awkwardness every time you bump into him or her and the fact that your new friends are NEVER going to let you live it down really worth it?

Over the course of my time at UCL, I have heard many a tale of these encounters. In my first year, we got ourselves into all sorts of trouble. One of the anecdotes we still like to bring up from time to time involves a friend who went back with a guy after a pub crawl only to find out that she had unknowingly helped him win a bet with his mates that he would be the first one to get with a fresher. Needless to say, the sleazeball got evil looks from the rest of us for months to come.

It is possible, however, that you’ll end up having a fleeting romance with that Fresher’s drunken hook-up. May I warn you that, even if that does happen, chances are it won’t last very long. If he breaks up with you because he “isn’t ready for a relationship”(translation: doesn’t want to settle down with the first girl he got with at uni but wants to go out with his mates and get with many, many more), don’t say you hadn’t been warned.

No one wants to be forced to literally slam the door in a guy’s face when he won’t take no for an answer to the question “Can I come in?” after he offered to walk you home. Creepy pervs are abundant, and being smart about who you end up alone with is just a sensible thing to do. Remember, safety first.

Freshers Week wasn’t any less eventful when I was in my second and third year. Between my male friends who Facebook stalked the “new girls” weeks before they even set foot on campus, and my female friends getting into heated arguments while trying to establish whether or not it’s acceptable to get with a Fresher if he is the “same age as your little brother”, I have reached the conclusion that hooking up during Freshers’ Week is something many of us don’t manage to live down until the day we graduate. It’s always funny to remember, “that night when –insert friend’s name– disappeared with that guy/girl who couldn’t have been more than a four and who he/she spent the rest of the year avoiding to make eye contact with”.

Bottom line: use Freshers’ week as a chance to lay the ground for future romance but try to keep all of your clothes on, at least, for the time being.