The infamous Freshers’ Week!
What’s it really like? Is it as fun as everyone says it is? Will I fit in with my flatmates straight away?
These are the questions that I asked myself when I was packing up my things to move to York just over one and a half years ago. I was like most people – terrified!
I had only spoken to the people that will be in my flat for a few weeks before to get to know them a bit (something that I would recommend doing as it really helped), so there were so many things that I still didn’t know about these people.
When I arrived at York there were so many people arriving, moving things into their rooms and meeting their flatmates and I finally realised that we were probably all as scared and nervous as each other, which gave me some comfort. After moving most of my things into my room, I met a few of my flatmates and straight away I felt comfortable around them and we all just started talking in a big group in the kitchen with our STYCs. STYCs are second and third year contacts that help the freshers during Freshers’ Week settle in and they take them to all the various events that happen during this week.
The hardest part was saying goodbye to my parents… it was quite emotional and I’m not very good with goodbyes so we made it short and sweet not to dwell on it too much. But after less than an hour I had forgotten all about my nerves and saying goodbye to my parents.
Not long after I then rejoined the others for our first night! We all went out and had such an amazing time. The same can be said for all the other nights. I couldn’t have picked a better group of people to start my uni experience off with (cue the nostalgic music)!
Every night during Freshers’ Week we had a theme which was fun as it gave you the chance to get creative and put on some great costumes! Some colleges host a formal at the end of Freshers’ Week which gave everyone a chance to get dressed up nicely and that was the night that I felt that we all bonded a lot within the flat. Some of us ended up sleeping in the corridor all together cause we didn’t want the night to end.
At the end of Freshers’ Week there is the Freshers’ Fair. This gives you the chance to look around all the different clubs and societies that are on offer at the university. People sign up to many different societies that they think that they could be interested in, but if you decide not to go afterwards then that’s fine too. These clubs are a great way to get to know more people – not just your flatmates and your course friends – so you can expand your friendship group!
So my advice that I would give new freshers would be to take advantage of all the opportunities that are thrown your way. Don’t be afraid of what people will think of you, uni is the perfect time to come out of your shell and become the person that you want and choose to be!
Everyone’s experience of Freshers’ Week is different. I understand if people are nervous and anxious as that was me. Or if they feel homesick as it’s a massive step in life to finally move out. But it’s only 10 weeks per term which fly by and before you know it you will be back to the comforts of home, or if you’re lucky enough to have them visiting for a weekend it’ll be even shorter! If you feel like you need to talk to someone, the STYCs are there to help you with all that they can and are great people to talk to as they have already gone through what you will be going through. If not there are always your new flatmates, home friends and family.
Now when people ask me about what my Freshers’ Week experience was like and what tips I’d give the next lot of freshers, I have the perfect answer!