Freshers week might be the most anticipated week of university, and it is over in a flash. Every new
student arrives on their first day excited and apprehensive of what this first week of freedom will
hold. It is a tricky one to navigate. But you will feel better if you manage to
avoid some common – and mildly embarrassing – mistakes. If you have been there, done that and
worn the t-shirt, I salute you. Here are the most embarrassing moments during Freshers Week.
Picture the scene, you have just pulled up in your parent’s car to your probably less than glamorous
accommodation. Reams of other nervous students and their parents are moving boxes, collecting
keys, and finding out where the nearest supermarket is for that all-important big shop. You have
probably found your flatmates online already but meeting them whilst unpacking your life in a new
city is a strange experience. In a matter of weeks, you will have forgotten this slightly uncomfortable
feeling of trying to make a good first-impression to other students and their parents.
Too Much Too Soon
Usually, someone will take things a step too far. The first afternoon might be spent at freshers fair,
an event or getting ready for that first night out. Even if you have a few home friends at university,
try to remember that you do not really know these people yet. Keep the jokes on the tame side, try
not to throw up in the sink or play your music too loudly. Although, if you do go a bit wild, do not
worry! It will either be hilarious or forgotten about.
Naturally, a big advantage of university is making new friends. In the first week however, this is
chaos to say the least. Whether meeting people from your course, accommodation, societies, or
nights out everyone will be mixing with a mind-boggling amount of people. This means adding lots of
new people on social media to keep in contact with them or meet up in the future. No matter if the
friends you make in freshers week are your friends throughout university, you will end up with lists
of new social media contacts that you cannot remember meeting, and might never see again. If you
get on with people, of course ask for a way to contact them, but try not to add every person you
meet – it just becomes confusing!
Oddly, one of the most embarrassing things is trying to explain to other students where your
hometown is. All of a sudden you will be meeting people from up and down the country, or even
from abroad with an assortment of different accents. I do not know what it is about a group of
freshers but for some reason geography is never particularly a strong point. The best way is to pick
your nearest big city. If you grew up in Bolton, you are now from Manchester. Port Talbot? Try
Swansea. Southport? Wrong, you are from Liverpool now. Ely? You basically live in the centre of
Cambridge. Trust me, it is easier for everyone this way.
Inevitably the introductory lectures will roll around and campus will seem like a big confusing maze
of buildings. Walking into a lecture late is something best gotten over with, to be honest. It is almost
a rite of passage at university, and definitely most excusable in the first week. To avoid it completely,
and the embarrassment of a lecture hall of people looking in your direction (they are just curious,
not judging) use the campus maps, apps, google or walk with other students on your course.
Taster sessions are a great way to get to know other students, but it is so easy to compare yourself
to others, especially when trying out for a sport. All of a sudden, your rusty high school netball skills
do not quite make the cut, and people seem to be experts at things you have never tried before.
Societies will be putting on free events after freshers fairs, so definitely give anything a go. You
might not enjoy it all, or get things right first try, but university is the perfect place to join a society
or team. Whether you want to carry on an activity you love, or try something new, there are
competitive and social levels of sports and activities to suit everyone.
Hardly anyone starts university as a self-professed chef; some do burn their chicken nuggets when
trying to be nigella on a budget. If cooking is a new venture or an old chore, ensure you keep an eye
on your food. Having to explain why the entire accommodation block has been evacuated to the
security/firemen is not the most fun of conversations.
By the time the end of the week roles round, hopefully you have had a blast and are looking forward
to the rest of term. Just one thing – you now have to navigate the communal washing machines, or
you will have run out of socks by Tuesday. Maybe go with a friend and a big bag at first, read the
instructions and remember no one will notice your pjs or underwear, they will all be too shocked by
how expensive it is to put a wash on.
Ultimately, freshers week is a whirlwind of new experiences, and only the tip of the iceberg of your
university experience. Everyone is bound to feel embarrassed at some point during the week. No
one with remember this though, everyone is too bothered about themselves. Enjoy it or hate it, it is
never what you expect and by third year you will wish you were a silly little fresher all over again.