You may all still be stuck in summer mode but you’ll be glad to know Freshers Week is slowly creeping up on us. Alas the days of freshers fairs and free pizza, ridiculous fancy dress, freshers balls and copious amounts of alcohol, are once again on the horizon. It’s quite literally a week dedicated to enjoying yourself, socialising and freebies.
For those of you starting this year, who haven’t experienced this phenomenon before, here’s a handy guide of what you’ll need to survive and make the most of your first week. Enjoy!
Your best possible tool for friend-making, this liquid confidence is the key to freshers week and just what you need when thrown into an unfamiliar environment full of strange new people. Not only does the alcohol itself allow for the conversation to flow a bit easier, but the general pre-drinks environment in which you’ll find yourself is a great way to meet everyone in your halls. Grab yourself a bottle of vodka before you rock up to your new flat, make a point of getting out to Pre’s in good time and you’ll be chatting away and making all kinds of new pals in no time at all.
2) A wardrobe of fancy dress outfits
Do yourself a favour and arrive prepared to save yourself the hassle of running around a new town, trying to find the nearest Poundland to haphazardly throw together a last minute fancy dress outfit. It’s inevitable at most universities that fancy dress will play a big part in freshers, with themed events often taking place over the course of the week. The same themes are used over and over so make sure you arrive armed with your old uniform, a hula skirt and a killer ‘when I grow up’ outfit.
3) Number of Campus Security
This should be the first number you put in your phone when you walk through the doors into your new flat, otherwise you’re just asking for trouble. As a fresher in an unfamiliar city, drinking and wandering new streets is a recipe for disaster, particularly if you should happen to lose your comrades for the evening. This is when Campus Security fly to the rescue, picking you up and dropping you straight back on your doorstep in one piece. On a serious note, this really is important to make sure you stay safe - don’t be that guy that wakes up on a street corner on the first night of freshers.
Be it Google Maps, a campus map or a bus map, this one’s self-explanatory really. Yes, the other years will probably laugh at you as they spot you huddled round a phone trying to find your way to the nearest Spoons or your introductory lecture, but that’s all part of the freshers experience, embrace it. As a side note, it’s far less embarrassing than having to stop someone to ask for directions.
5) A Stash of Ready Meals
One thing’s for sure, when you roll out of bed at 4pm with a hangover that makes you question your existence, and 1 hour to eat, shower and get ready before you’re supposed to be at the pub again, you are not going to want to be cooking. Regardless of whether you consider yourself the next Gordon Ramsey; at this point in your life, I guarantee nothing will be more welcome than a ready meal you can whack in the microwave and eat in the space of 5 minutes. Never underestimate the healing powers of a ready meal - with a good nutritious helping of supernoodles inside you, you’ll be all set for another big one. Alternatively, a good set of Dominos vouchers should do the trick.
Ibuprofen/paracetamol, whatever your preference, these pills are like little drops of magic and are certain to be your saviour when the hangover has kicked in so hard you can barely move. Providing just the pick-you-up you’ll need after 5 nights in a row, you’d be crazy not to have a stash of these in your top drawer, Headache magically cleared and life restored you’ll be all set for night number 6.
7) Plenty of Cash
In unfamiliar surroundings, going out with just your debit card is, quite frankly, a bit stupid. You don’t yet know whether the favourite student haunt of that night even accepts cards, where the nearest cash machines are located or how expensive things are. Save yourself the worry and make sure, at least for the first couple of nights, you leave your accommodation with a sensible amount of cash on you. Don’t be caught unaware when you’re desperate for greasy food at the end of the night and the dodgy little kebab shop you find yourself sat in only accepts cards on purchases over £5.
8) Local Taxi Company Number
Similar to number 3, this is another crucial one should you ever find yourself lost and alone, wandering the labyrinth that is your new university city. It may cost you a bit more but surely being forced to admit defeat and having to call a taxi is preferable to sleeping outside the club? Sacrifice that last drink and save a bit of emergency money should you need it on your journey home. Having a trusted cab company’s number saved in your phone ensures you’re jumping in for a lift with someone legitimate instead of a questionable local, which, you know, is always preferable.
9) A ‘Contact’ in the Year Above
We appreciate these are not things you can simply pick up from your local Tesco but if you do know any second or third years at your uni - make use of them! If you’re looking for advice on where best to go on which night, which tickets are worth buying or anything remotely similar, you will find no better advice than from someone who’s done it all before. There’s nothing worse than finding you were the one conned into buying the ‘Freshers wristband’ which sounded amazing, but is actually organised by that run-down club in the dodgy end of town. Do your research first, there are hundreds of Facebook groups set up for incoming freshers, join them and ask these questions!