Walk like a fresher, think like a fresher, talk like a fresher
Ignore the haters of freshers week: you only get to enjoy it once...
Friday 27 September 2013
When I was a fresher, I thought like a fresher, I talked like a fresher and I had loads of fun. I did, as per the Corinthians quote I have just terrorised, put the ways of childhood behind me. Well, sort of.
Your own freshers' week is brilliant. You are the peppy, smiling and perennially excited first year, puppy-like and recently released from the womb of family life. Campus is your oyster and everyone envies you.
I have now completed my fourth freshers' week, having got in there on my home city's action during Sixth Form. I can say now, as a third year, general cynic and indiscriminate hater of all things good fun, it is actually the best time you'll have at university. I am not known for being an industrially talented drinker - however much my hockey club tried - but a tedious, bookish bore, so I feel it’s poignant.
For freshers' week, as I’ve recently observed, is a brilliant place to be. It is super excellent for final years, desperate to escape the already-monotonous cycle of being asked the standard dissertation questions; relaxing for second years, reliving their youth, and for the tiny puppies themselves - plastered on inexpensive spirits and dressed in incy-mincy-teeny-weeny little dresses, simply a great game of How'd You Do.
Unless you're a medic or an architect, then the first year away from home doesn't necessarily mean a lot. This week I was told my dissertation is equal to my whole first year. Gulp. You can be a keen bean working it out in the library in term one, but if you can afford to, enjoy freedom. It's your only chance.
Freshers' introduces you to older boys and girls again - the last few years of school cut this luxury away by making you a massive fish in a small pond. Now you're a tadpole swimming, just, in an ocean full of much bigger people, both chronologically and mentally.
It is with this in mind that I'd like to propose a duel with those who criticise freshers’. Some say it is all about excess, that it isn't morally right. Freshers' is supposed to be debauched. I’ll admit mine wasn't the all-night party our t-shirts promised (mainly because my idea of fun isn't traipsing to Elephant & Castle for a night out), but I had a cracking time. When I went home before Christmas, I couldn't wait to get back on account of how brilliant the previous week had been. You don't get that sitting listening to academics you'll never meet again tell you how brilliant all the Walt Whitman on your course is. True story.
To all those guides to The Week of Doom, people that tell you not to spend all your loan buying everyone in college a tequila (definitely don't do this, by the way), I say ciao for now. For freshers' is only going to happen, really happen, really properly once. And you wouldn't want to mess that up. If it's your thing, it's your thing. And if not, give it a go anyway, you might surprise yourself. For when the dust settles and you find yourself a second or third year, the rest is rust and stardust. Or as they say at university, essays and deadlines.
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