What if Freshers' fails to live up to the hype?
You may have the time of your life, but here's what to do if the first week falls short of expectations
Thursday 12 September 2013
Freshers’ Week is as notorious for the nights you’ll never forget as it is for making new friends and starting a new chapter.
It’s an odd time; the excitement of independence and a week-long party is confused by the fact that you don’t yet have any friends to enjoy it with. It’s little wonder that many students end up feeling lonely and deflated at the reality of starting university.
Some will bond instantly with their flatmates and remain close long after Freshers' Week. Many will spend the first few weeks glued to their new best buds before drifting into other groups as the semester develops. Others just won’t click with their new neighbours.
Whether they aren't sociable or just not your type of people, plenty of students don't feel that initial connection. When other flats are merrily bonding and sharing life stories, it's depressing to not feel the same closeness. It’s important to remember that there are thousands of students at every university outside of the ten or twelve you live next door to, including those on your course.
If you instantly click with your flatmates - great. If not, don’t stress. Remember that most students don’t settle into their friendship groups until second year anyway, meaning those happy flats in the first week might not be so chirpy after they've lived in each other’s space for a few months.
Everyone knows someone who moved to the opposite end of the country just for the sake of getting away from Mum and Dad. Others, however, struggle with being pushed out of the nest so permanently. The first few nights are the hardest for those prone to homesickness, and the constant rush of inductions, nights out and socialising can make missing home comforts worse. Talk to your neighbours or someone at the university (most have an advice centre or something similar) if you're struggling.
Drink, drink, drink
Tee-total students may well feel Freshers' Week drag. Although most universities try and cater for non-drinkers, the pressure is still firmly on drinking games and cheap drinks deals. Being the only one who isn't drunk can be isolating, but remember that there are plenty of activities during the day to bond with new friends, and that you can still have fun on a night out without alcohol (despite what drinkers will tell you).
Go to Freshers', party, meet new faces and revel in your first taste of true independence. Enjoy every second, but if you don’t, remember it’s not the end of the world. University is three years long and the first week isn't a reflection of what life will be like for you.
Give yourself time to settle and ease in to your new surroundings.
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