Freshers’ Week is an exciting welcome period for new students starting at UK universities. In this blog post, we’ll visit the various types of activities that York has to offer. From colourful club nights to non-alcohol events, there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Your timetable will automatically populate with ‘must attend’ events such as central induction and departmental induction. Make sure you go to those. And your college welcome pack will contain information about various events, as will the Students’ Union (YUSU) Freshers’ site.
Your house or flat will be also allocated two Second and Third Year Contacts (STYCs) and one Second and Third Year Mentor (STYM). They will be there to guide you throughout the week, answer any questions you may have, and signpost you to necessary support.
YUSU organises a range of exciting student club nights during Freshers’ Week. Please don’t feel pressured to go. But if you do choose to tag along, your STYCs will be there each night to look out for you and ensure that you stay safe.
The clubs in York are all dotted around the city centre – only a 20-minute walk from Campus East, or a short bus journey away. Beyond Freshers’ Week, students seeking pastures new can always venture out to Leeds which is only a 20-minute train journey away.
I’ve met several prospective students who have claimed that York’s nightlife is lacking due to the small size of the city itself (and therefore the small number of clubs). Yes, it’s a different type of experience to that you would get in a place like London. But similarly, it’s unique in that you will always bump into someone you know on a night out, and the student community is still lively!
As a non-drinker myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find a breadth of activities to get stuck into during Freshers’ Week which – shall we say – benefitted from a sober state of mind. I befriended an entire household at a laser tag and bowling night. As a keen walker, I enjoyed circling around York wrapped up warm on the Ghost Walk, getting to know new people.
Even if you are keen on clubbing, don’t shy away from giving the non-drinking activities a try. You could perhaps do that first and then hit the club straight after if you’ve got the energy for it!
I feel compelled to include a section on friendships because there is a rose-tinted expectation that your “friends for life” are made in Freshers’ Week.
Whilst this may be true for some, it most certainly isn’t true for all. It’s okay to come across people who you won’t be ‘joint at the hip’ with.
Furthermore, feel free to explore friendships both inside and outside of your assigned flat or house. I enjoy having pockets of friends in my flat, course and student societies and clubs.
Tips for Freshers’ Week
Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint
Try not to go all-out on day one because you’ll be too tired or hungover to function the next day.
Talk to people and ask questions
Seek solace in the fact that everybody is starting afresh, meeting people for the first time, and having to adjust to new surroundings.
Try new things
Have a crack at that sport or hobby you’ve always wanted to try, and go in with an open mind. That juicy bit of awkwardness at the start is normal for everyone. So don’t let that put you off from getting the most out of Freshers’ Week.