It’s Only The First Week
Freshers Week. Seems like an awfully long time ago now. I can honestly say I can’t remember much of it. And no, drink is not to blame for that – I just didn’t do much worth remembering.
When for me the prospect of socialising with lots of new people is exhausting, the week of Freshers was never going to fill me with too much excitement. Mix that with the knowledge that many of those starting university were away from home for the first time and, now finally free from the parental shackles of oppression, wanted nothing more than to run free and skip and jump and giggle and play under the influence of substances denied to them up to this point, and you may see why I thought, Nah, I’ll stay in, have a cup of tea, and wait for all this to blow over. (Yes, I did just compare Freshers Week to the Zombie Apocalypse.)
Part of me wonders what might have been, had I got more involved in the festivities. It might have done me some good to throw caution to the wind, get well acquainted with a few people, sign up to a few campus societies, enjoy a tipple with fellow students, and have a jolly ol’ time …
… but at the same time there would have been a strong chance that I would have found the whole thing a little overwhelming, and ended up standing awkwardly in a corner with a free Freshers bagful of cans of baked beans, cheap lager, a set of sponsored pens and pencils and rubbers, maps of the campus, and a pack of condoms, waiting for an excuse to head back to mine, and escape into a good book.
I did have one small advantage when I started university: I had my girlfriend with me (now my fiancée, for anyone concerned about whether a relationship can last through university), which meant that I already had my best friend with me, and it was less imperative for me to mingle and network. Had I been alone, maybe things would have been different. But knowing me, they probably wouldn’t have been. And even then, Freshers would hardly have been my only chance to meet and get to know people: Freshers is but the first of ninety-odd term weeks to mingle and network!
Truth is, anything I can think of that was on offer at Freshers remained available for the rest of my time at university. I was still able to pursue everything that Freshers had to offer at any time. Freshers is not your one chance to meet people, join societies, get advice, etc. – that will always be there, and they’ll always be eager to hear from you. I didn’t join the theatrical society until my third year – that didn’t affect my role in the group, nor did it weaken my chances of getting a leading role (Don Pedro, Much Ado About Nothing). Freshers is just a great way to make all those things available in one easy-to-find place.
I guess all I’m saying is, whether you go all out on Freshers or do nothing at all, don’t panic if you feel you’ve not accomplished all that you’d hoped – there’ll be plenty of time to catch up on everything later. (And if you feel you’ve accomplished a little more than you’d meant to, rest easy, I’m told what happens in Freshers Week, stays in Freshers Week.)
Finally, if you feel at all anxious about Freshers Week, don’t worry, whatever happens, it all blows over rather quickly. And then there’s all the stress of studying to distract yourself with! Yay!