If the thought of Freshers gives you a headache, you're really not alone.

Bottom line - Freshers is not for everyone. You”ll be surprised how many people recoil at the thought of being drunk every night and never seeing the light of day as the hangover is that bad. Don’t worry that you’re sacrificing your whole University experience, or that you have to force yourself out for the sake of making friends. There are many other ways you can utilise your time and here are things I found helpful at times where I just needed peace and quiet.

make friends at pres instead

You still have the complete atmosphere of everyone meeting each other and drunk people, but you also have that beautiful thought of going to bed when everybody leaves. You’ll become of prime use to people who need a sober person to take care of something, such as manning the speakers or passing booze over somebody else. And the best part is - you won’t wake up the next morning and realise you’ve said something stupid! Most often, the greatest part of the night is at pre drinks anyway as then you have the dreaded taxi rush, losing everyone in the club, fights and overly drunk people. Revel in your luck.

utilise your sleep

Everybody else will feel vile in the morning so perk up and make them regret the night before! Think about everything you want to do that day and get up and do it - everybody expects nothing to get done over Freshers before lectures start so prove them wrong. Avoid that first week rush and get any prep done that’s necessary. By the first week, your tutorials, handbooks and modules are all neatly arranged while the rest of your house are still struggling to turn up without being sick.

find like-minded individuals

It’s highly unlikely that you’re the only one struggling - even the busiest of houses are bound to have at least two who have absconded from the Freshers hype. Make friends with them - they’re not all the antisocial weirdos that you’re afraid of, some just want to do well or can’t be bothered with the constant booze train. It’s nice to have people who will be prepared to make sober plans with you or won’t try and force their wine down your throat if you’ve decided to socialise during pre drinks. Even if you’re not up for making friends with them right now, keep tabs on them. If you need a vacation from drunk antics, you know where they are.

don’t try and hide it

There’s no point trying to lie about it and say you feel ill all the time. It’ll come to November and everyone will work out that you’re just not the type to go out. Just be honest - if you’re not a drinker or just can’t go out constantly, tell them! That way they won’t be harassing you to drink all the time or come out with them if they think you’re feeling better. A few people will always joke about you being boring but surprisingly, most students were generally accepting and even told me they envy how much money I’d be saving.

find yourself

Finally - be grateful you’re not into that drama! It’s almost impossible to fall out massively with someone if you’re having nights in, you may be the only person not holding resentment for somebody else in the house by the time the semester begins. Decide what kind of person you want to be and never think that you have to force yourself into a night out to be ‘social’. Plenty of times I bailed on a night out simply because I didn’t want to go, and I still have a solid friendship group who accept that when I want to go out, I’ll come. Take the time to see the city, learn new things, do your room up or learn some new skill like cooking for yourself. Your future self will thank you!

try not to be too negative

While it’s not your thing at all, a lot of people genuinely use Freshers to make friends or start their independent life. A lot of them aren’t down for the constant nights out either but it’s the easiest way to merge into University life and make sure they’ve got people around them that they’ve built rapport with. Don’t judge everybody else for having their own version of a fun time - you can both coincide and find other things you have in common! Most of my current friends, aside from my flatmates, I didn’t meet through Freshers so just be patient and your time for bowling nights, movie dates and brunches will come. It’s only a fortnight!

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Written by Hannah Newberry, 10 months ago
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