I went to a Freshers’ event as a second-year and here were my thoughts

‘Why didn’t I go to a cheese and wine night instead?’

During the first week of Freshers’, my friends and I decided to play a pretty awful game of “Spot the fresher” on nights out. Common features include: taking too many videos in the club, being tense, walking around in big groups, and having a student ID on show.

If you had asked me last year what I remember from Freshers’, the answer would be simple: not much. Never would it have crossed my first-year mind that I would sign up for another Freshers’ event, this time not in the middle of a lockdown, but in an overpriced London club with friends that I have known for a whole year.

After searching for events on Fatsoma, my friends and I decided we would try out some Freshers’ club nights, Lafayette, Saucy’s, and Loop, despite knowing that what are already cringe club nights would be made even worse with the amount of 18-year-olds present. It’s all part of the uni fun, isn’t it.

Okay, I am aware of the fact that Freshers’ events are stereotypically only meant for newbs, but this year it was clear that a lot of Freshers’ events were taken over by older students, especially us second years who isolated all of last year and are now trying to make up for the lack of clubbing they suffered. At least that meant that I wasn’t the only one trying to crash three consecutive Freshers’ events.

Overall, the club nights were great and, since I look no older than 18 and sometimes get ID’d twice at bars by the same bartender – which I will literally never forgive – I think I blended in well with the real freshers in terms of appearance. But my Lord, the energy levels I had were definitely not the same as last year. So here are some  grandma-like thoughts I had at the three Freshers’ events I went to:

‘Am I getting old or does school disco music just not hype me up anymore?’

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good amount of pop music in a club, but I think Hannah Montana songs are where I draw the line. Maybe it’s a nice way to ease into the London club scene, but for me, it’s a huge no.

Type of Clubber in Lonodn

‘Wow, there’s so many older students trying to reclaim Freshers”

I’d considered seeing people I know from last year, but the number of people that decided to “reclaim 2020” simply exceeded my expectations.  Seeing everyone after three months of summer is great, but it’s also a lot. 

By the end of the night, I was exhausted by the constant tipsy “Hello, how are you?” questions, which first year me would be happy to answer. But I guess the older you get and the more lockdowns you get through, the more social interactions become exhausting. God, I sound so old.

‘Huh, I think my liver might need a check-up after a year of straight drinking’

If there is a reason why Freshers’ Week should strictly be for freshers, it is that the older students simply should not be allowed to drink for a week straight. Who had the audacity to even let us into clubs when everyone knows we’ll end up in a bottomless pit of alcoholism?

The way I see it, freshers are preparing their livers for what’s to come during their upcoming years at uni. Meanwhile, older students are destroying theirs even further.

However in my case, never would my freshers-self think that after a year I would get tipsy from a glass of wine and get hangovers from two vodka shots. This is now a clear sign to not crash anymore Freshers’ events, which I will gracefully accept.

‘Why didn’t I go to a cheese and wine night instead?’

Yes, that’s correct, after standing in the queue at Loop last Wednesday in the freezing cold, for our third and final Fresher’s event, my friends and I concluded that simple wine and cheese nights are the way forward.

In my first year I was susceptible to the cold, hanging out in the park until late at night because all the pubs were closed, but now I would much rather sit at home, sip on wine and eat cheese – sorry not sorry.

‘Sleep is absolutely not for the weak’

As a fresher, if you get more than three hours of sleep a night during Freshers’ you can call it a success. But, for some reason, when you’re a first year you feel the lack of sleep much less.

Maybe it’s the adrenaline of starting uni? I’m not sure. All I know is that, unlike during my first year days, this year I was ready to leave each Freshers’ event by 2am because my bed was calling me.

‘Why the hell did I prioritise alcohol over literal food last year?’

Another staple toxic fresher behaviour is eating one meal deal a day and using the rest of your budget on a litre of vodka from Tesco. Like… why?

We all go through the temporary diet-switch to mixer calories instead of real ones, sprinkled with some cheesy pasta and a plain sandwich to spice things up, but I am so so glad I’m over it.

‘A year of uni makes a massive difference – these people are so young’

For all of you first years, don’t worry, you probably won’t turn into a grandma like me and you’ll have as much fun at the start of Freshers’ week 2022 as you did this year.

But you’ll definitely have a very different experience as a non-fresher, because a year at uni honestly feels like a decade with the amount you emotionally age in the first year.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

We spoke to the founder of LSBU’s newest Women’s Safety Society

Design a night as a London fresher and we’ll tell you what alcoholic drink you are

How I’m navigating, or trying to survive, Freshers’ as an autistic UCL student