Freshers: Expectations v Reality

Freshers week has been and gone, but was it all you hoped for?

Last year, I was preparing for Fresher’s fortnight as a first year university student. 

With hindsight, I realise now that the image I had of Freshers didn’t line up perfectly with the reality.


Definitely not the fresher’s experience you’ll have for the entire fortnight.

Before Fresher’s I expected I’d be going out every night, and I expected to be accompanied by my new better-than-school friends. But this wasn’t always the case.

Between the nights that will make your kitchen cleaner angry, and the crushing disappointment of your first Pop, there may be nights where you need to re-energise. It might be worth having a night in and trying to figure out what’s causing all the liver pain.


Better a tactical rest than a tactical chunder…

And if you’re the sort of animal that can that insists on going out 14 nights in a row, it’s not likely that everyone you live with or are friends with will be too. I was surprised that some people barely surfaced from their rooms at all; managing even to avoid the communal kitchen (presumably they had microwaves, mini fridges and awkward morning conversation in their own rooms).

For every wannabe BNOC there are at least three flat phantoms...

For every wannabe BNOC there are at least three flat phantoms…

I also had a slightly romanticised vision of my eating habits during Freshers fortnight. I had a vague plan that involved fitting in low-carb health snacks between confidently speaking to beautiful women and people laughing at my jokes. The reality, however, was drunkenly paying for a kebab after Pop with £10 and telling a bearded man to keep the change.


The typical unay diet, at least it’s good for bulking?

Another realisation I had during Freshers is that the new people you meet really aren’t out to get you. If you say something silly they aren’t going to permanently brand it into your forehead. I had the impression that people would be waiting to pounce on anything that seemed vaguely unusual about me, which turned out to be less accurate than my personal statement.


Don’t try so hard to be someone you’re most definitely not.

And, if American college movies had taught me anything (which, if we’re being honest, they probably hadn’t) it’s that university life should be a romantic high point. With this in mind, I was shocked when I found that I lacked a magnetic Russel-Brandish pull on women. My interactions with the opposite sex were painfully familiar to those at school the previous year, no matter how much I shadow-boxed in the mirror before initiating conversation.

'"Everyone gets laid at uni" - one of the more popular urban myths.

‘”Everyone gets laid at uni” – one of the more popular urban myths.

But, despite these slight miscalculations, there’s no doubt I managed to have a great time during Freshers. That’s despite the occasional quiet night, irregular diet or lack of physical contact.