10 Tips for Freshers' Week at UWE Bristol
You’ve moved in to your box of a room, waved goodbye to mum and dad and said a tentative ‘hello’ to your new house mates: Freshers’ Week has begun.
You’re braced for seven days of parties and wild fun – “the time of your life”, everyone tells you. You’ll strike up conversations with complete strangers, drink a countless number of pints and inevitably get lost finding your way back to your halls of residence.
Whether you’re nervous about the week ahead or filling up the shot glasses already, navigate your way through the bedlam with our Freshers’ Week guide.
Rule number 1: Talk to everyone
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If ever there was a time to get chatty, this is it. Prop open your door while you unpack, and make the effort to talk to everyone you meet.
But accept from the outset you probably won’t make friends for life in your first week. It’s more likely you’ll be bored to death by the repetitive questions ‘where are you from?’ and ‘what A-levels did you do?’
Just find the most tolerable bunch, enjoy their company and the real friendships will come naturally later.
Rule number 2: Pace yourself
With a huge number of club nights and parties scheduled, Freshers’ Week will probably be the most expensive – and exhausting - week of your university life.
Work out what events you really want to go to and how much you can afford to spend, and try to resist the temptation to drunkenly insist to your new BEST FRIENDS (who you may not even speak to by week five) that the drinks are on you.
Rule number 3: Remember where you live
Finding your way home in an unknown city after a night of Jager Bombs will inevitably pose some problems. Note down your address in your phone and stay in a group. Saving the number of a taxi firm and reserving a bit of money is a good idea too.
Rule number 4: Be open-minded
You might not like the sound of the union gig your flat mates are heading to, or think much of the group that invites you to find the laundrette or the local supermarket, but say yes. You might end up liking them more than you think, or meet people along the way that are more your type.
Rule number 5: Avoid all-consuming shame
At some point during the week you will inevitably embarrass yourself, but try not to do something you’ll really regret. These include getting naked in public, setting fire to your kitchen or stealing the signs for your halls of residence.
Rule number 6: Don’t miss the important stuff
Amid the drunken haze there are a few things you shouldn’t forget. Namely registration, the Freshers’ Fair and your school induction. But fear not – all you’re required to do is stand in a (very long) queue, fill out some forms and smile for your student card photo.
Meanwhile the Freshers’ Fair is a great place to meet new people and find out about the huge number of clubs and societies available to join. You’ll probably never go to that salsa class you sign up for, or learn how to skydive, but you’ll have fun nevertheless.
Find out more about your Students' Union here.
Rule number 7: Start cooking communally
Whipping up a meal – or trying to – is a great way to bond with your flat mates, and will save you a fair bit of money too. It’ll also be much more beneficial in terms of surviving the week than a diet of crisps and cheese.
Rule number 8: Don’t be afraid to turn it down a notch
Some of the best nights of Freshers’ Week won’t even involve you leaving your halls. Pre-drinks in the kitchen could turn into a night of drinking games, or a few hours watching The Inbetweeners with your new flat mates could turn into a movie marathon. Go with the flow.
Rule number 9: Have a settled Sunday
As the week of madness comes to an end, enjoy a proper hot meal (the students’ union pub will probably put on a mean roast), and kick back with a book/movie. That’s when your new pad really begins to feel like home.
Rule number 10: Don’t panic
If you find you’d rather trade the drunken debauchery for a night in front of the TV, dislike the majority of the people you meet or find the whole week generally underwhelming, don’t worry.
People say Freshers’ is the best week of your life, but for many the fun comes later, when they’ve made proper friends.
And don’t worry if you feel homesick, it’s normal. Do something to cheer yourself up and call mum or dad. Try to avoid going home if possible though, as it will probably make you feel worse.
You could also contact the student Wellbeing Service to find out about their counselling provision. Visit:
UWE, Frenchay Campus
Bristol, BS16 1QY
Tel: 0117 32 86268
To find out more about the UWE counselling service, click here.
The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
The National Debtline, 0808 808 4000.
NHS Direct, 0845 4647.
All in all, don’t expect too much from your first week. Real university life hasn't started yet.