Five new things for freshers to try in their second term

How to beat the post-exam blues and settle back into uni life

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The Independent Online

February is an odd month in the student calendar. The exam period is (finally) over, the unknown quantity that is your second term is just beginning, and the frantic blur of Freshers’ Week is now nothing more than a memory. If you suddenly find yourself with a bit of free time (or if you’re still suffering from the January blues), you may be wondering what you can do to kick-start your uni life again. Here are a few ideas...

Join the custard wrestling society

It’s never too late to join a weird society. The good news is – and you’ll probably have glimpsed this in the hectic blur that was the Freshers’ Fare – these are in no short supply at uni. And if custard wrestling isn’t your cup of tea (or if your uni doesn’t happen to have a society devoted to grappling in sticky dessert sauces), you can guarantee there will be plenty of other bizarre possibilities out there.

Branch out from the SU

You know the slightly dingy, ‘alternative’ club in town that you’ve overheard some second years talking about but have never actually been to? The one that occasionally puts on rock and 90s nights, and you sometimes notice looks fairly busy as you hurry past on your way to Walkabout? Well give it a go sometime. When it comes to good club nights, most cities have all sorts of hidden gems. Try your uni’s student Facebook group for recommendations, and the next time you’re planning a night out with friends, suggest somewhere a bit different.

Punch something (bear with us)...

No, we don’t mean a flatmate or one of your lecturers, no matter how strong the urge might be from time to time. We mean the kind of punching that involves large red gloves and plenty of shouting – martial arts, in other words. If you want a great way to meet some new people and drag your New Years exercise routine – kicking and screaming – in to February, a bit of Taekwondo or Kickboxing might be just the way to do it.

Jump on a bus

With any university, especially those based in small cities or on campus, things can sometimes start to feel a tad claustrophobic. If you ever find yourself wanting a change of scenery, why not hop on a bus and go exploring for the day? Chances are you’ll have been so busy meeting people and getting used to lectures in your first term that you won’t actually have seen much of the city you’re based in yet. Grab a map, grab a friend and take a day trip.

Play musical chairs in lectures

By which we mean try sitting next to a few different people every now and then (real musical chairs probably wouldn’t work in a lecture theatre, sadly). As you progress through your degree you’ll find you end up spending more and more time with your coursemates, so it’s a good idea to try meeting as many of them as possible (don’t just stick with whoever you happened to be sat next to in the introductory lecture).

Sam Haysom is editor of – an online resource for students and prospective undergraduates. Follow Whatuni on Twitter @Whatuni