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Everything you need to know to survive being a Notts fresher

Welcome to the North


So, you've moved from your suburban, double fronted and gated house in Surrey (see also London or the wannabe home counties) to the swirling vortex of the Midlands or, more accurately, The North. Fear not for I, a wise old third year who once, many many years ago was in your shoes, am fully equipped to advise and direct you to everything you need to know, to survive being a fresher at The University of Nottingham. I got you.

Prepare to actually be drunk

University students always find it cute when freshers arrive, claiming they love "the sesh" and how their hometown club is absolutely "nuts" and how they've been drinking for years and years. "Hardcore" they like to call themselves. Cute. Oh young one, how much you have to learn.

University drinking is a completely different level, on a different planet to sixth formers. I just hope you are prepared to actually be drunk. Waking up the next day having absolutely no recollection of the night before, how you got home, where your ID is or why on earth there is a video of you on Buy and Sell screaming the T-R-E-N-T chant topless in Ocean. Just please, make sure you eat your carbs beforehand.

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Prepare to spend your entire student loan on Domino's

Yes, you may be in a catered hall with meals provided three times a day. But within a week of arriving, you'll have realised that the food quality has declined faster than your bank balance and you're gonna be stuck eating takeout and Dominos for the rest of the year.

Don't worry, it's a rite of passage, we've all been there. Catered halls are by far the best place to live in first year and are the best way to have the best time, if you just ignore the small issue of the food. It's not all bad though, the hash browns on a Wednesday and Saturday Brunch make up for it.

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Prepare to be in a constant state of exhaustion

The Hills on campus will kill you before your deadlines do. That's all.

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Prepare for all your friends to be from the south

If like me you're naive, you might arrive at university in hope of making friends all over the country. Oh how that vision crashed and burned the moment I stepped onto campus. Around 9/10 of the people you meet will be from Surrey, London or Buckinghamshire. I can bet my entire student loan (so about £1.50) on it. You can all compare notes on how far you live into the M25 and how to say "bath" and "grass".

You've probably seen that one group of northerners in your hall who all hang out together. They literally gravitate towards each other, like they can sense each other's love for chips and gravy. They're a friendly bunch but you will probably avoid them because you're sick of arguing over whether the other is having a roll or cob for lunch.

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Prepare to lose all sense of "good" music

Your mates down at Bristol listen to DnB and techno whilst those at Leeds listen to anything with a deep beat like the K-hole they're in. But being at Notts means you'll have lost all sense of "good" music. Switch out Tom Zanetti for Mamma Mia and the Macarena and you're the model Notts student. Cheesy music will become your jam and you'll begin to understand why Notts has such a good rep for such a good night out. When we have fun, we mean business. We go hard and we go to Ocean. VK NOT optional.

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And lose all sense of fashion apparently too

Prepare to hate somebody you've never met

The Rivalry between Uni of Notts and Trent University is renowned across the country. I don't know why we hate and despise each other so much, but we do, so just accept it. They are our sworn enemy, so much so we have separate nights out to avoid each other. You will have learnt chants in Freshers' Week to ease you into the culture of hatred and soon you will block that close school pal you once knew because they go to Trent. It's our version of matriculation – move over Oxbridge.