It’s ok if you don’t LOVE your Freshers experience! There is a whole lot of pressure around having an amazing experience, getting drunk with your new bestie flatmates, being out in the world on your own and getting all the freebies but it’s ok if you don’t feel like freshers is the best week of your life.
Let’s ditch the fresher pressure!
Freshers’ week is a great week to meet your new flatmates, learn your way around the campus and find out if you can actually use the laundry machines. However, freshers’ week has a reputation and it is understandable if you feel like a failure if you don’t love every minute of your experience.
Particularly in these weird times of COVID-19, freshers’ is bound to be strange.
I know I spent at least 50% of my time during freshers’ thinking that uni was not for me, and that there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t wanting to slam shots down my throat and sometimes just fancied watching Bake Off and I missed home. THIS IS OKAY. Yes, uni is not for everyone and some people do drop out but don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the best time straightaway. You will find your feet.
You will find friends. You will find the good coffee shops. You will know the best deals to get at your local supermarket. In the mean time, please try not to stress too much.
These are some things that I found helpful for getting the most out of freshers week:
- Make your room a sanctuary. Get all the fairy lights, the posters, photos of your loved ones from home and make it yours. There is nothing worse than not feeling completely settled somewhere and then coming back to a lifeless room.
- Have a cup of tea. Tea goes a long way in your flat… offer someone a cup of tea. Get conversation going. They may not be your best mate instantly or you may not stay friendly with them but at least you tried.
- Get involved. Go to try new societies, go to meet and greets. Yes it may feel horrifically daunting but you won’t know until you find out.
- Equally, don’t be afraid to say no. If you don’t want to go out and get hammered that evening, that is ok. You could try hanging out with your flatmates in your halls, watch a movie, have a games night. There’s still plenty of fun ways to get to know people.
- Try to meet some coursemates and get chatting to them. You won’t regret it! These are people that have come to uni to study the exact same thing as you so you’re bound to get on with at least someone.
- Lastly, don’t put pressure on yourself. Freshers’ is not the be all and end all. You’ll find your way. You’ll learn what you feel comfortable doing and what you don’t. You’ll meet your people. If you’re homesick or not having the best time that you think you should be having, probably other people are too. You’re not alone.
In collaboration with Social Impact Lab Southampton