Your official guide to surviving Fresher bashing as a Notts student

The best tips and tricks to survive your first year in a new society

If you’re a newcomer to a society this term or joining a sports team for the first time this year, it’s officially time to prepare for a year of fun and games. Essentially, a load of returning students will set up a series of challenges for you to partake in, as well as implementing a strict dress code that tends to humble oneself.

As daunting as this may seem, it’s actually a lot of fun and one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the social aspect of being in a society. There will be a ton of other newcomers who you’ll definitely have a laugh with, as you’re all in for the experience together.

Please remember there is never any pressure to take part, socials are great but they’re not for everyone – and the societies completely understand that. But if you do find yourself taking part in a few embarrassing challenges this year, just remember that next year you’ll be able to get your revenge. This is exactly what you have in store as a Notts fresher this year:


Now I’m not talking about a simple egg and spoon race here no, I’m talking total comedic entertainment for the returners. Some societies have been known to serenade the opposite fresher in their joint socials, often twerking and singing to Cardi B’s WAP or Barbie’s I’m Just Ken. Tragic to be honest. On the other hand, your challenges may involve a more athletic approach.

My advice when it comes to a fresher challenge is to take no prisoners. Truly, this is your time to shine and you might find you’re surprised at how much you miss it in the future.

Dress code

If the challenges aren’t for you, perhaps the dress up is more to your liking. The costume will likely be decided by your club’s social sec – and if you’re as unlucky as I was, you’re definitely going to be dressed up as litter by the second week in. Or a cow, a frog, a traffic cone, a parrot…you get the jist. 


Clubbing as a fresher really hits the spot. A Crisis Wednesday or an Ocean Friday is the place to be. 2000’s pop songs will be playing as a bunch of proud club members display their new freshers for the world to see. It’s invigorating, but depending on how hard you hit the social – a tacky chunder might be on the cards. Not ideal. 

Drinking (or not)

If you’re not a drinker or just don’t like to take it too far, don’t stress. Societies actually often host sober socials for their members, and bond over something other than cheap tequila shots and two for one Pryzm Mondays. Pasta nights, campus walks and meals out together are all part of the experience. Albeit the more wholesome part. However, if you are a drinker, be prepared to balance on one knee and chop a VK on the floor of Black Cherry Lounge every Wednesday. Without fail. 


For most people, a basement in where you store old furniture, for students a basement is all about storing the freshers. I have probably spent half my Wednesday evenings as a fresher socialising in a student’s house basement, waiting to be called upstairs for fresher karaoke. Don’t arrival to a social too early, it’s likely this is where you’ll be waiting before the fun begins. Hope you like the smell of damp!

Joint socials

Ahhh. A joint social means that yes, you still will be getting bashed, but at least this time you have a partner from a different society to endure it with. Frankly, if I had to deal with being zip-tied to a football fresher for three hours – so can you. Make sure to choose a partner who looks like they wouldn’t down a drink faster than you.


If you’re a vegetarian – count yourself lucky. That’s the best excuse to avoid eating the more creative things they might have in store for you. Eating an onion is probably the most typical snack you’ll be asked to attempt, so I’d highly recommend bringing a pack of gum to a social if you’ll be attending Crisis afterwards.

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