Not feeling so fresh anymore…

Everyone’s Fresher experience is different, so Razz thought we’d find out what some of the Fresh made of last week…

Ellie Taylor-Roberts: Half past eight on Sunday 23rd September and my eyes are trying extremely hard to stay open! The end of Fresher’s Week and what a blast it’s been! I swear if someone stuck a pin in me vodka would spill out! It’s truly been an awesome week and it’s great to be part of such an animated university! I’ve picked up a few tips being a Fresher this week…

  1. Pretend you’re a second year when queuing for club access (then the queue jumpers don’t see you as “Fresh Meat” and take advantage)
  2. GET an Arena card!!! The queues are MASSIVE and you don’t want to miss out on discount!
  3. Make sure you have a map when you’re walking to a building that you’ve never been to before – those hills will make you extra late not to mention the fact that you’ve not a clue where you’re going!

All in all it’s been an awesome week! Things people have particularly enjoyed include late night Dominos pizzas, the Sports socials on Wednesday (THANK YOU TIMEPIECE!) and of course the Annual Fresher’s Fair! Did it rain on our parade? Technically yes, but it didn’t spoil the fun! Thank you Fresher’s Week, and hello to the next stages of our lives at the University Exeter!

Student Survival Tip #1: Baking makes you friends

Bethany Stuart: So, one week on and I am fully settled into a ukulele-playing, panda onesie-wearing flat that has taken the typical Fresher’s Week by the proverbials and injected some madness into it. The following offers a brief and yet enlightening account of this journey, of which I’m sure many can relate.

Accommodation – What happens when five young strangers move into a flat together with seven days of alcohol and socialising ahead of them? The answer lies in our kitchen. However, upon arrival it looked very differently; yes, the price means I may not be able to eat anything not out of a can for the next three years but for a Henry Hoover in my cupboard it’s worth it!

Nightlife – When considering what to wear on your first night out clubbing in Exeter, try on those lovely high heels and then throw them aggressively to the other side of the room! This must be strictly adhered to particularly when a night is planned in Timepiece – probably the best night out you’ll get in the city with three floors for whatever mood you’re in. Furthermore, no-one wants to look like they’re doing the walk of shame at 2am when the pain becomes too unbearable.

Campus – Had I known the hills of campus intimately, I may have reconsidered my decision. However, everything I’ve been to for my subject has been sociable, relaxed and gotten me pretty excited for starting my course. You can tell immediately why Exeter is such a good university by the amount of like-minded people on campus and the buzz in places like the Forum.

I think the most important thing to learn from this bizarre and yet wonderful week is: work hard, play hard!

Student Survival Tip #2: be resourceful. Yes that’s cereal in a mug.

Krissi Hill: The ever reddening noses and increasing frequency of coughs around campus signifies the arrival of a well known and dreaded disease, fresher’s flu. The dinner hall is no longer filled with the nervous chatting and awkward pauses of last week, but the understanding silence of illness as we all try to stomach a cooked breakfast despite considering chundering not five hours before. A week of telling new people I’m studying English and come from Surrey has been rather exhausting, particularly since the reaction tends to be “Oh. Everyone’s from Surrey”, whilst muttering ‘Middle-class snobs’ under their breaths. All I can say in defence is at least I’m not staying in Holland Hall.

Fresher’s has definitely been an experience I’ll look back on with fondness and embarrassment. The moment you knock on a neighbour’s door and hear them shuffling around only to realise they’ve looked through the peep hole and decided to ignore you, is never the best way to begin making friends. Neither is discovering that the person in the room opposite you who inconsiderately left an empty box of beer in the hallway (that you may have loudly criticised in the not-very-sound-proof hallway,) is actually a professor. Awkward. In fact at this point I was considering heading to the awkward party as myself rather than my original idea of a giant penguin (-because giant penguins break the ice!) 

Thankfully at least a couple of my neighbours are as mad as me and though I’m yet to discover a drunken Shakespeare partner, I’m content to argue why following the morals of Much Ado About Nothing is better than theorising about the exact properties of protons. In a week the dreaded flu will have dissipated and Uni life can really begin, bring on the Sainsbury Own vodka, I’m ready and waiting!

The most important thing is to make the most of it. Because it goes by much too fast…

Krystyna Dawson (Third Year): I was so ready to make this Fresher’s week a very memorable experience. I had written down all my plans; where I was going, who I was meeting, what I was wearing and even what I was having for breakfast (yes it was a bit obsessive… and totally useless as I ended up having a fry up every morning anyway).

So the initial idea of Fresher’s week was to have a relaxing week of settling back into university life from a summer of crazed parents. However we tend to use it as our excuse to go crazy. Every day will start with a hangover from hell, some kind of greasy food, then (relying on substantial energy tablets and drink) get ready, drink lots of alcohol where, naturally, you will end up wasted yet again.

This year however, I was determined to make this year’s Fresher’s week one I would enjoy and more importantly remember. The reality was slightly different. The days I did go out and ‘hit it crunk style’, I remember the hangovers, the fry ups, the disappearing money and I remember above all saying ‘I will never drink again’. For two of the days I remained bed bound due to sheer exhaustion and the painful feeling as if daylight was personally waging war on me 

Student Survival Tip #3: Have fun

The truth is we attempt to make every year as memorable as possible, but unless you are someone who can deal with incessant shoving, grinding and people spilling drinks on you sober, then you will get caught up in the alcohol and loud music and lose yourself all together. I like to think that all the pictures one gets from a night out, is enough to help me piece back the nights events. If it isn’t then I just tell people ‘yes I had a great night. Oh and by the way you didn’t see me doing anything stupid did you?’ However the answer is usually followed with ‘erm… yes, wasn’t that you trying to hug the bouncer?’ From the stories I have heard from those helping during welcome week I thankfully know I was not the worst. Therefore unless you have done something which led to spending the night in a jail cell, a black eye or a violent break-up then the majority of us can sleep at night.

Rhian Mullis (Third Year): I’d like to tell all the first years that the next three years will be the best of your entire life. That you’ll meet people who will become friends for life, fall in love, be challenged in ways that you never expected and spend far too many nights in a club that smells of feet (Arena). But the truth is; everyone’s university experience is different. You could think you have the best flatmates ever in first year, only to find that the people you keep in contact with when you leave are completely different to the ones you started with. You could go to uni with every intention of being a lawyer and, after performing in a Footlights musical, discover you would much rather be on stage.

I’m not going to tell you to try your absolute best in your degree. I’m not going to advise you to spend a fortune joining every society. Nor am I going to insist that you ditch the Lemmy one Saturday night and head down to the bop to be reminded of how bad school discos were (although, you should definitely do that). You have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m a completely different person to the shy, overwhelmed fresher I was two years ago. You should know that all the third years are insanely jealous of you right now. This is only the beginning for you. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Before you know it you’ll be starting the most important year of your degree with a part time job, on a committee and still with no idea what you want to do with the rest of your life. Or maybe that’s just me.

Thanks to all the contributors. Lots of Razz love xx

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