Connie Basnett explains how Freshers Week can be more than just binge drinking.
University for many is associated with heavy drinking and partying. This life at university will be an extension of those already started at college or sixth form, with house parties, clubbing and borrowing friends IDs. But for some this is a lifestyle that can be hard to adjust too.
The first week at university – Freshers’ Week – will be packed with new places, new activities and new faces. Freshers’ week is typically known to be filled with drinking games and constant shouting of “down it fresher” every time you come back from the bar, you will rarely be able to drink your vodka and coke at a normal pace.
Being small and just generally a lightweight I am not afraid to admit I cannot handle much alcohol. Therefore, it can be a slight strain and annoyance having to down a drink that’s mixture of various random spirits which everyone on the table has also drunk from. But, maybe that’s just me.
In my experience Freshers week is about more than just drinking, yes you may find this hard to believe. Getting drunk every night for a week doesn’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea, whether you just don’t fancy it or just can’t handle it. University is about meeting new people, finding a new found independence and freshers’ week is where this all starts, new friends, new city, new course and a new lifestyle.
There are other ways to get involved in University life and meet new people. Remember there are other people out there, not just your flatmates, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t instantly click with people, give it time. The freshers fair can help you find a wide range of societies such as subject lead societies, hobbies and sports. Second and third year students at freshers fairs or your freshers reps are more than happy to help you find something you’re interested in.
Having a great social life at university doesn’t necessarily mean being out every night, there’s always nights in cooking with flatmates, gigs at the bar, watching films, campus BBQs or getting involved in new sports. There’s a wide range of pubs and bars on campus and even more in town for a quieter night with just a few drinks or cocktails.
There’s a weekly newsletter for each college to keep students informed on any events throughout the term which can range from pub quizzes to themed nights. Freshers week also has daytime activities and trips, such as to Manchester Trafford Centre for a bit of shopping and to the Lake District. There are also alternatives to clubbing if you’ve been out the night before and you’re just not up for round two the next night.
It can be a daunting time for many new students who are moving out from home for the first time to a completely new place, but its an exciting time too! You don’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with, but remember to make the most of your freshers week in whichever way you would like to spend it.
By Connie Basnett
[Image Credit: Shaun Murphy]