Freshers is only good if you’re not a fresher, fight me
Or maybe I’m just bitter
All UCL students have fond memories of their first couple of days as a student. You’d just moved into your halls and realised how little your money gets you accommodation-wise in London. But it didn't matter, because you had a bed, tickets to all the freshers events you could have possibly dreamt of, and that special sort of enthusiasm only found in people who've not had to do their own laundry yet! The next week or two were definitely going to be some of the best of your life… right?
Wrong. Between spending two weeks straight in a hungover haze, realising that your freshers hookup lives in the room next door, and having the awful realisation that you might actually have to do some work at some point, you'll be overwhelmed at the end of it.
It's not all doom and gloom though, because once you've got through it once Freshers' Week is like a fine wine: it only gets better with time. But for those of us who are going through Freshers' Week for the first time, here are the things you need to know to make the most of an experience that will almost definitely get better as the years go by. And if you've already done it once, here are the reassurances you need that your quality of life will only improve.
Everyone’s more scared of you than you are of them
Don't worry – you’re not wrong to be excited about London. You'll make friends – the rule of thumb here is similar to how your parents tell you to deal with your fear of bees. Everyone’s more scared of you than you are of them, and you’re not alone in being desperate for company. This is why you might already be in group chats for both your halls and course, which you’ve already muted.
On the other hand, when you’ve lived in the city for a year or two already, you can be fairly sure you know who you’re going to events with, and you’re less likely to throw up in a urinal/the street/your bed. On top of this, you’ll know which clubs are horrible and to be avoided, meaning you’re not going to waste time, money, or booze on a foam party at Fire. You’re not going to run out of things to do in London, and pretty much everything is better when you’ve been here for a few months.
You’ll probably have more fun at home, tbh
If you already know you’re not a clubbing person, there’s some hope. There’s pub crawls, there’s drinking in kitchens, and there’s the ice cream social – that said, you still won't be able to escape people asking if you’re going to Ministry/Fabric/Egg (delete as applicable). You’ll probably have a better time staying back in halls, but you’ll still feel like you’re missing out.
If you do end up being dragged out though, hide in the smoking area where you can actually talk to people. When you reach your second year though, there are, shockingly, other types of fun made available, such as drinking in an actual flat (with room to breathe!), or a night in which you’re not forced to play never have I ever and/or explain the time you woke up in a bathroom wearing only a coat and your mother’s white jeans.
Your liver will never forgive you
I miraculously didn’t get hungover until halfway through first year, but if you do, the pressure to drink is horrible, and your hangovers will build up. The truth is, no one is built for clubbing every night for two weeks, and if you’re not in the best mental and physical state to start with, it’s even more of a struggle. I’m not really sure who decided adulthood started with voluntary chemical warfare, but I'm fairly confident they made the wrong decision.
Clubbing is just a little bit better with actual friends
I’m still friends with most of the people I went to KOKO with on the first night, but even if you like them from the start, clubbing is more fun when you’ve been friends for more than 24 hours. In your first two weeks you’re going to be clutching at every figurative and literal disintegrating paper straw going. Club nights shouldn’t cost £15 for entry, and on most other weeks they don’t. The same goes for £5 jägerbombs.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. It may have taken me two years but I’ve realised Ministry of Sound can actually be fun. A night in can be just as good as a night out, and if you’re not having fun at the club, you’re better off just going home. Also, Mully’s Karaoke doesn’t cost a penny.
At the end of the day, I can only say so much because Freshers' is an experience you have to get wrong. After all, if you don't fuck up, how on earth are you meant to look down on next year's Freshers as they do exactly the same thing?