They say Freshers’ is the best week of your life, but I think it’s hell

No, I won’t ‘down it’

The inaugural freshers’ is a ritual that every student new to university must go through. The stepping stone between the sheltered lives we were desperate to flee and the independence of the “adult” world, a freedom we’ve always longed for.

You’ve over packed with the worst possible combinations of clothes and food. With too many shoes, far too few socks and cereal with no milk or even a bowl, you’ve made mistakes before you’ve even arrived.

No wonder this time in our lives seems so daunting to start: thrown in at the deep end from the beginning, we spend the first few weeks, even months trying to find our feet. And the only reassurance we receive is from parents saying “As long as you are yourself and friendly, you will be fine because everyone goes through this and they are ok”, right?

Bonding with beer

Bonding with beer

Since freshers’ is a tradition in an accepted and wider social culture, we no longer question it’s point or it’s consequences. So let me ask you:

  1. Have you ever gone out when you didn’t want to?
  2. Have you ever drunk simply because you were told to?
  3. Have you ever had the urge to take drugs because everyone else does it?

I have.

I didn’t feel comfortable at the time and I still can’t remember what happened clearly in the morning’s after those awful nights. Scrolling through last night’s album you find all the faces you had no idea even existed, all the friends you’d supposedly make for life. But in reality, you didn’t.



In fact, in hindsight, I only speak to a few people I met in freshers’ week. My real friends were made through sober conversation when we all decided to stay in and recover from the unforgiving nights before.

Freshers’ shouldn’t be a tradition and the social pressure that everyone puts each other under shouldn’t exist. Not everyone is into drinking, drugs and clubs. They shouldn’t be made to feel weird for being so.

So if you find yourself making someone do something they don’t want to do, or find yourself in a position you don’t want to be in.  Stop. Because the greatest thing with this new freedom is we have a choice.