In terms of academic importance, it rests right at the opposite end of the spectrum to final year exams. But as you will soon learn, student life is anything but academic.
Fresher’s Week IS important, imperative even – but most of all Fresher’s Week is entertaining! It is the one and only week that you will find everything about university fascinating. It is also the one point in your u niversity career when ignorance is acceptable – not knowing will be your “Get out of jail free” card. However, please note, not knowing the location of the library is just not acceptable come November.
You’ll find yourselves overwhelmed with events, freebies and lots of late night festivity 😀 but there’s a lot more to Fresher’s Week than meets the eye. So to help you get the most out of your 7 days of sin, I present to you The Lecture Room’s 10 Commandments of Freshers Week:
I. Thou shalt add The Lecture Room to your favourites, friends list, bb contacts…and to any other platform for stalking – Consider us a much cheaper and less creepy version of the 118 duo – why are grown men running around town in P.E kits?!? Stay in contact for up-to-date student news and advice, graduate guidance, lifestyle tips and gossip…and random rants from the Lecture Room Team. We’ve covered all bases; email, Twitter, Facebook, the website! Any more connected and we’d be getting married…then divorced…then we’d be splitting assets…it would all be very, very messy.
II. Thou shalt attend The Fair – If executed well, your university’s Fresher’s Fair should provide a representation of what your university has to offer in the way of extracurricular activities. Clubs and societies will be out in force – imagine WW1 US army recruitment posters.
They want YOU and they will have you. When you consider Imperial College has more than 300 clubs and societies alone, there is no escape. So, it’s best just to admit defeat and join. Not only are they a good distraction from the books, they can also help to pad out your CV.
Companies and organisations like to get in on the freshers action too. They turn up with shiny cars and pretty faced reps (all of which are for display purposes only) and entice you with discounts on anything from pizza to paint-balling. If your lucky, there may even be some decent freebies nesting amongst the rabble of flyer-wielding zombies. Pens, pencils, rulers, foam arm chairs for your mobile -Yes, they do exist. I had one and loved it! They may not always be the most glamorous prizes, but they’ll save you a few pounds on your next trip to WH Smith*.
*I should have mentioned other well known stationers, in the practice of being fair and unbiased, but we’re not the BBC and I can’t be bothered.
III. Thou shalt NOT let mum and dad (or proud grandparents, aunts and uncles) visit! – It’s far too soon in the year for embarrassing situations. There are two outcomes we are all so fully aware of:
- they will try to takeover
- Getting pally with your mates; talking about Blueberries and asking them how they’re parents feel now they’ve “flown the nest”…
IV. Thou shalt promote thyself – marketing and business students, consider this practice in building a brand. University offers tons of ways to make a name for yourself, multiplying your future prospects. Uni is ALL about socialising. Trust me! Pearsons’ textbooks will only get you so far in life. I commuted my final year to save money (the tail end of an extravagant year spent “studying” in California), and it was the loooongest and most tedious year of my academic life. Not because of the increased work load or the stress of expectation but because I was unable to socialise as much as I did in years 1-3.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that guy who pops up in the background of every profile/wall picture you see on Facebook. You need only attend a few of the ‘right’ events, raves, flat parties/kitchen parties to get your name out there – and that’s all you need to get out. It’s quality over quantity people – might not hurt to apply this to other aspects of your life *cough*. You’ll be able to get involved with projects at ground level, gaining valuable experience and useful contacts – these people won’t be beaming broadcasts to your Blackberry reading ‘man eats snake OMG!’.
V. Thou shalt build a contact list – I may have to write a blog dedicated to this “commandment”. Now that you’ve promoted yourself, secure those valuable links. This is your chance to make important contacts before they’re important enough to do the “I’ll have my people call you on Monday” thing. It sounds cheesy and rips off every student prospectus ever written but you and your university chums are ‘The Future’.
Every student you come in to contact with is a potential gatekeeper. Sober up long enough to get names, numbers, emails, blogs etc.
VI. Thou shalt learn to navigate around campus – the entertainment value of getting lost on campus depreciates very quickly. Being late to lectures due to poor navigational skills will not be tolerated for that long either. So GET FAMILIAR. Maps are the obvious choice. If you’re lucky, there may be one inset into that snazzy little planner you get – which will spend the next 3-4 years as bookshelf warmer/coaster.
But no one wants to look like a tourist – not even tourists want to look like tourists. So what you do is pick a ‘landmark’ and map everything from that location. e.g. the library is my land mark – the student union is to the left, the bar is to the right. As the meerkat would say, simples! I must stress, however, that this not fool-proof and as such The Lecture Room (in all its forms) accepts no legal responsibility for where you may end up as a result of its use 🙂
VII. Thou shalt attend EVERY Fresher’s rave – OK, not every rave but it’s always good to set the benchmark high – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” (Brian Thomas Littrell). Don’t be the loser that stays at home labelling their new folders and drawing up a study guide.
If you’re in shared accommodation, chances are you won’t get a decent night’s sleep during this week anyway. Going out during Freshers’ will give you an idea of what venues and club-nights are worth spending your money on during the semester. Don’t get fooled by all the ‘SPECIAL’ offers. Prices will go up on drinks and tickets once they’ve got you, so best to find out where’s worthy of your hard earned student loan (yes, you earned it. that application is a headache!). Like every other activity that takes place during Freshers’ it’s a great way to meet new people; not the most clean-living people but fun nevertheless.
VIII. Thou shalt locate and befriend ‘The designated driver’ – it sounds cruel but it will save lives and cab fare. Think beyond freshers. Not every rave and event will take place on or near campus. Signs to look for:
- recently passed, so still thinks driving is fun*
- doesn’t really like drinking
- drives regardless of walking distance
*The ‘fun’ of driving will wear off, particularly once the cost of fuel hits home. As a pre-emptive strike, the offering of “petrol money” from the get-go will cement a long and cab-free relationship 🙂
IX. Thou shalt discover ‘survival food’ – this will serve 2 VERY IMPORTANT purposes. The first, being the more fundamental, is to maintain your food intake even in the poorest of times. The second, more a result of lifestyle choice, is to tame the hunger that arrives after a night out. For both purposes apply the same, simple selection criteria when compiling your list:
- cooks/can be prepared in under 30 minutes
- per person serving equates to less than £1
- can be bought in bulk if necessary
- in extreme cases, can be eaten straight out of the fridge.
- preparation is limited to ‘put in microwave’, ‘place on middle shelf of oven’, ‘add milk/water’
X. Thou shalt be ready for anything and everything!