And so for the last time, down it Fresher!
Is it the end of an era or a long-awaited escape? Jasmin Gray counts down the things she’ll miss about being a Fresher
Fresher’s week seems just a few Jagerbombs ago, but for many of us, the first year of uni has officially come to an end. While for some the phrase ‘down it Fresher’ has been a mission statement for the last eight months, others have embraced the academic side of university in the way most parents probably hoped their little darlings would when they dropped them off at halls in September.
Either way, most of us would probably admit that your first year at UEA is pretty unforgettable, whether you’re a first year yourself, or a sentimental third year looking back at your time at university before you graduate. To commemorate the experience, here are the top five things to miss about being a fresher:
While they may wake you up at all hours stumbling in from a night out, play their awful music on full blast and leave mould growing on their plates in the sink for weeks on end, first year provides the unique experience of being forced into living with complete strangers.
Some may consider this to be hell, but for many, this is an opportunity to get to know people they may never have spoken to otherwise. Whether it is a dedicated student from a country you have trouble pronouncing, let alone being able to find on a map, or an active member of the Christian Union, the unusual mix of people that most find themselves living amongst in first year can really open you up to new experiences and points of view.
Living in halls
Living in halls may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but there are definite advantages. Not only does it buy you another year before you actually have to start to act like an adult and sort out stuff like bills, but the fact that you are just minutes away from campus means you can afford an extra few minutes in bed before you have to run to your 9am lecture. What’s more, while they may drive you mad waking you up to clean your bathroom or empty your bin after a heavy night out, the cleaners are a massive bonus when it comes to living in halls. Let’s be honest; would you really clean your shower if they weren’t there to do it?
This is something that seems to be exclusively assigned to the first few weeks of university; the idea that you are finally an adult, away from the oppression of your overbearing parents. You are completely responsible for your own decisions; you can eat what you want, drink as much as you like and stay up until all hours of the night and it is awesome. However, fast-forward a few weeks to when you are sat in your bedroom with a massive hangover, putting off an essay which is due tomorrow, trying to remember the last time you ate anything remotely resembling fruit or vegetables and you would be forgiven for missing that precious time when organising your own life seemed like a good thing.
The excuse ‘I’m only a fresher…’
With the advantages of being an adult without the real responsibilities, it seems inevitable that most university students are going to mess up and end up in a few sticky situations. However, for eight wonderful months, the phrase ‘I’m only a fresher…’ seems to be a get out clause. After all, you’re new to all this, how were you to know? Whether its explaining to your parents why you are already £600 into your overdraft, or even to yourself as to how you only managed to get to two lectures this week, playing the newbie is an amazing excuse, and one which should fully be taken advantage of while you have the chance.
First year marks don’t count towards your degree
The very fact that as a fresher your grades don’t impact your degree must be one of the best things about first year; after the stress of A Levels, 40% suddenly becomes not only the minimum mark to get back into university in second year, but a target; who wouldn’t take advantage of a guilt free ‘gentleman’s pass’?
While this is not necessarily an attitude to condone, it is definitely one which is embraced by many freshers; my flatmate is surely not unique in celebrating the end of his exams before they had actually finished? Taking an exam while extremely hungover and possibly still inebriated from the previous nights festivities is not the best way to ensure success, but as he proudly told us: ‘I still got 44%, didn’t I?’.