(not my photo)
As someone begrudgingly going into my Third year and wishing I could do it all over again, let me assure you:
Freshers Week will be the BEST and most DRAINING week of your life!
I myself managed to contract (or self-inflict) such a bad case of Freshers Flu, my dad wouldn’t even take me out for a meal when he came to visit because I looked so ill. I got a lesson in how to cook sausage casserole instead. Freshers Flu sucks. It’s caused by a week of pouring an assortment of liquids into your system, questionable takeaways that become your breakfast the day after, being outside in the cold/rain, but the big killer is the late nights. All that, combined with dealing with and treating it by yourself when all you really want is your Mum. It strikes at the worst time too! The first week of your actual lectures where you kinda have to show up, (Well, you only need 40% to pass in first year so you’ll be fine if not). However, I believe that after recovering from a severe bout of it in my first year, and managing to avoid it in second year, I have a few tips to pass on to those youngens’ taking the plunge and moving to Uni. I will also be sure to tell (lecture) my sister on how to deal with Fresher’s Week, as she moves to Liverpool herself in a week.
TIP NUMBER 1:
*STOCK UP ON MEDICINES
Make sure you have some form of tablet, dissolvable packet, or drops for any eventuality. I suggest that Paracetamol and Neurofen (combine for those really deep hangover headaches, you know the ones, right above your eyes!) The classic Berocca’s are also good, a bit grim in my opinion, but they really help. ALSO, and here’s a weird one, diarrhoea tablets. My boyfriend takes one with loads of water whenever we get back from a night out, he knows some proper sciencey stuff about why it works, but here’s my version. A hangover is really just your body being dehydrated and having low blood sugar. This is because alcohol is so sugary that your blood sugar levels increase, causing your pancreas to create more insulin in an attempt to bring it back down again. When you stop drinking and your blood sugar is still too low because your pancreas has overproduced insulin, you get hungover. (This is also why you get hungry after a night out). Diarrhoea tablets help with your rehydration and balancing out your blood sugar levels, as well as settle your stomach if you’ve allowed yourself to get in THAT much of a state. Also, PUT A BOTTLE OF WATER BESIDE YOUR BED BEFORE YOU GO OUT, you will thank me later.
TIP NUMBER 2:
*CHANGE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
I came from a town which admittedly, had quite a good nightlife. However, it never occurred to me that you would have to PAY to enter clubs. (You’re most likely paying for drinks there anyway WTF, I don’t have to pay to enter Pizza Express so why should I have to pay to enter LEVEL). ANYWAY, this meant I was so used to paying by card for everything. Some bigger places in Liverpool still allow this, but I prefer the smaller and more cringey clubs. Tiki Joes, hit me up. Just a word of warning – some cash points charge a ridiculous amount for a withdrawal. This is why you need to learn to keep your eyes and ears out, for the words ‘free cash withdrawals’, or ‘would you like cashback?’. DO NOT wait until you are out out to get cash, there will be a massive queue of drunk people slumped against the wall waiting to get money, and it will most likely be cold. Change is also good because there are so many homeless people around nowadays, and I cannot walk past a homeless person with a dog without stroking the dog and give them some money. Good deed for the day? Did it drunk mate.
TIP NUMBER 3:
*GO TO FRESHERS FAIR ON THE FIRST DAY
That’s when all the best freebies will be there. That’s the long and short of it. I went on the second day in my first year and missed out on loads of free drinks tokens for various clubs, and didn’t even go in my second year. This year, I am ready.
TIP NUMBER 4:
*YOUR ROOM CAN WAIT
I know, you’ve got boxes of decorations and photos, cushions, candles and fairylights (the latter two are usually contraband), you want to make your room all cute and organised so that you feel at home. PUH-LEASE do not spend hours in your room doing this, as soon as my parents left I went straight across the hall and knocked on my housemate Sinead’s door, and I don’t think I went back in my room until we’d made some friends and decided to go to their house for a party much later on. I even met my boyfriend on the first day of freshers week on our halls bar crawl. God knows what it would be like now if i’d have spent hours in my room sticking photos on my wardrobe instead of getting out there. Saving it also gives you something to do in the mornings when some people are still hungover in bed (see Tip Number 1), and during the day when everyone else has lectures, if like me you don’t have many contact hours. It’s important to throw yourself into it, if you do get any spare time to sort your room, i’d further advise getting a door stop. I had one (a dog one of course) that I used despite multiple comments from the Hall Advisors or whatever their title was, that it was a fire hazard. I met my friend Lizzie because she just walked into my room and introduced herself. (Major respect). Basically, do not be in your room by yourself especially during the vulnerable time at the beginning of term, as it could also fuel any homesickness you may be suffering from.
TIP NUMBER 5:
*MAKE SURE YOU KNOW SOME DRINKING GAMES
We didn’t. A huge group of us sat in a circle with some music on, and the best we could come up with was a game where you ask a question secretly, say a name, and anyone who wants to know the question takes a drink. While this is a good game now we know each other better, we just did one question which resulted in Matt being called a ‘tw*t’. Not ideal for the first night. I recommend Links (fave ever), Fire and Ice, Ring of Fire, the European Drinking Rules, I might go into these in more detail in another post.
Most importantly, have fun! Be yourself! (Be cliche Grace, that’s it!). You don’t have to go out every night, some of our best nights were cramped in our tiny living room area on various blankets, hard sofas and beanbags, watching YouTube videos through the HDMI cable (good idea to bring if you have one), or forcing ourselves to watch a horror film. TAKE PHOTOS, go to fancy dress events! Just have a blast, then you’ll spend the rest of your life telling anyone who ever starts University how amazing Freshers Week is – just like I do.