With so many things to do in the evening you could take all night deciding

Wherever you are in the UK, there will be masses of student nights, cultural occasions and sporting events for you and your new friends to check out. While many of the following options could involve drinking, there's no reason to get breathtakingly inebriated - you'll be having so much fun, you won't need to anyway.

Student nights

Whether it's to get their hands on your overdraft or out of a love of seeing young people enjoying themselves, many organisations take it upon themselves to organise student nights. From student union comedy nights to fancy-dress parties in halls, there will be no shortage of opportunities to meet people and dance the night away.

Student socials

From drama societies to netball and from rowing to debating, there will be an array of things to sign up for at your fresher's fair, and most will organise nights out. They're often the places where you meet your best friends too - rugby players or people who have joined the Lego-building anarchists society are likely to have plenty in common.

Student gigs

Universities host a lot of excellent gigs. With the UK's burgeoning indie scene, you can expect to see some real treats in your first year. Starting from October, for example, The Coral are doing a tour which will take in student venues at Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield and the Carling Academies in Birmingham, Oxford and Bristol. Also on tour in the coming months are Klaxons, Ash and The Editors.

Cinema discounts

The vast majority of cinemas offer student discounts, so if you're looking forward to seeing much-vaunted new film Atonement, say, you can do so in the knowledge that you'll be paying less than everyone else. You can also take advantage of student hours by going along in the daytime or during the week when it's quiet.

Don't forget to check out independent cinemas in your town or city too; they'll often show really cool, interesting stuff you won't see advertised in the trailers at the multiplex.

The library

Some people swear by late-night study sessions as a way of pulling. Others like to spend hours using the library's internet to write on their friends' Facebook walls. Some people, believe it or not, find that these hallowed temples of learning are a great way to catch up on work. That said, doing everything at the last minute isn't the best way to get a First. You'll only get annoyed with yourself when you leave university and don't actually know anything because you only ever worked the night before deadline.

DOS AND DON'TS

Do

Check out the student paper for details of events in the union and around town.

A pub crawl. Variety being the spice of life, this is an excellent tactic for a fun night out. In no way are you obliged to have a drink in each and every pub, but it's a good way to get to know your new town or city.

Dress up! Try a fancy-dress night like a school disco party, do a pyjama pub crawl, agree to all go out wearing pink/glasses/bikinis. It's fun to make a fool of yourself sometimes.

Don't

Just go to student nights. Check out the local jazz club, for example, or kick back in a proper old man's pub.

Leave the organisation of how you're getting home after a night out to the last minute. Take a taxi number, or plan your route home in advance and agree to leave with a friend. Lone students wandering around in the dark are obvious targets for street crime.

Ignore people handing out flyers: you'll often get money off entry to venues.

Web aid

Beer in the evening

Info on pubs and bars around the country

www.beerintheevening.com

The student room

Discussion forum with information on academic and pastoral topics, including decent places to go out

www.thestudentroom.co.uk

Empire

Film reviews, interviews, news and trivia

www.empireonline.com

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