Freshen Up For Freshers

Hangovers, alcohol, fresher’s flu and other adventures.


With a new term upon us, Jemilla Russell-Smith gives some advice on how best to survive the monster party event that is Fresher’s Week.

It seems such a long time ago that I packed my life into two big bags and headed for the big smoke to start my new life and chosen path for the next three years: Basically, the first day of the rest of my life (or at least the very first day of something that has a major influence on the next three years of my life).

The week that introduces you to the next three years goes by the nondescript name Fresher’s Week. These seven days (or sometimes 14) are the crux of many students’ university experience. If you miss it, you miss out on opportunities to make valuable (and sometimes not) friendships, memories and create in-jokes that’ll last for ages. During this time you may either fall in love with your new surroundings or hate it.


Some people stay because they love University life, some see the degree as part of investing in their future and others simply walk away. Whatever the result at the end, this week is important, and is definitely one to do some thinking about before it starts. If you are living in halls, missing out on this experience can make all the difference for the rest of the year. In this time friendships and groups are formed. Miss out on it and you will have to work harder to get to know people and get into many groups.

The six most common things that may cause you to miss it are :

Make sure you have money you can put aside. : This is just in case your student loan doesn’t come through in time for Fresher’s Week. It’s unlikely to happen, but has been known to and can mean the difference between being part of something that everyone will be talking about for the rest of the year and not.

Don’t worry about your new environment. When it comes down to it, 99% of people surrounding you are going through the same thing. The best way to deal with nerves or insecurity is to smile. One of those bad boys can get you through anything.

Go to everything (or as much as you can ). Fully embrace everything, even if it doesn’t sound like “your thing”. You will meet other students that don’t live in your halls and could become your best friends. Also check if you need tickets for events: Find out where to get them and get there early, because everyone will want to go.

Find out where your local supermarket is . This is vital. Your loans should have come in, so there’s no excuse to start eating like a student already. Eating properly will get you through your hangovers and potentially ward off Fresher’s Flu. Plus, this is the best place to buy cheap alcohol.

Take time to find out where your lectures will be . After Fresher’s week you do not want to walk into lectures late, or worse, walking into the wrong ones. Check if your University has it’s lecture halls spread over several locations. Find out the quickest way to get there – whether you have to get buses, trams or tubes.

Sign up with your local GP or University GP . Again, the quicker you do this, the less hassle you have to deal with in addition to lectures and settling into life. Plus if you were to come down with the infamous Fresher’s flu getting an appointment will be quicker and less hassle for you.