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Photo by Shaun Murphy https://www.flickr.com/photos/rabsda/

A fourth year’s guide to Freshers Week

Moving across the world to go to university, there are many questions an international student has to contend with. What should I pack? What will my accommodation be like? How will the course be? All of these questions will be resolved in the first couple of weeks of university, however, before classes start, it’s freshers week.

What is freshers week? 

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Officially, it’s an orientation week. A week where students move in, get their bearings and prepare themselves to start classes the following Monday. Unofficially, it’s a week of partying, socialising and making friends – something which is just as important as the course itself.

Photo by University of Portsmouth Students' Union https://www.flickr.com/photos/upsuportsmouth/

Photo by University of Portsmouth Students’ Union
https://www.flickr.com/photos/upsuportsmouth/

What should I expect?

Don’t be put off by horror stories of drunk nights out – freshers week can be exactly what you want it to be. If partying is your thing, there will be plenty of options for nights out and often these will be partially organised by reps in your accommodation. If that doesn’t sound appealing, there will be other options on offer. Many of the societies begin their work for the year in freshers week, so there are usually plays and concerts on for a cheap price.

Photo by steadyrollin' https://www.flickr.com/photos/steadyrollin/

Photo by steadyrollin’
https://www.flickr.com/photos/steadyrollin/

Should I buy the freshers week pass?

This is completely up to you. If you think you’re the kind of person who will want to be out every night hitting the dance floor, then it’s probably worth it. If not, I would skip buying the wristband, as often there will be other options for a cheaper night out on a whim.

Photo by University of Portsmouth Students' Union https://www.flickr.com/photos/upsuportsmouth/

Photo by University of Portsmouth Students’ Union
https://www.flickr.com/photos/upsuportsmouth/

How to make the most of my freshers week?

Get involved. It’s as simple as that. Whether that means going on nights out with your flatmates or meeting people through a society, freshers week is about making friends. It’s also your first chance to get a taste of uni life and all it has to offer. In this vain, take all of the opportunities you can and sign up to sports and societies – not only are these a lot of fun but they allow you to meet different people, in particular broadening your social circle to students in other years.

Photo by University of Portsmouth Students' Union https://www.flickr.com/photos/upsuportsmouth/

Photo by University of Portsmouth Students’ Union
https://www.flickr.com/photos/upsuportsmouth/

What should I pack?

Freshers week doesn’t call for anything extra than the normal uni packing items, but there are a few things which may help you out: a pack of cards (for drinking games or general first week boredom), berocca (for helping out with those hangovers/the dreaded freshers flu), speakers (for blasting the tunes), earplugs (to counteract the speakers) and a disposable camera (for pictures with new friends).

Freshers week is a week of fun before the hard graft begins. It’s a chance to relax, make friends and figure out the daunting task that is organising your classes. To make the most of this time, get involved in everything that you can – remember, you can always change to something different later. More than this – enjoy it. A week with no responsibilities in a place with thousands of new friends – what could be better?

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