As a university undergraduate I was led to believe that Freshers’ Week was the greatest week of your university experience. The reality, however, was very different. The hysteria and hype surrounding the week is so immense that one builds up a mental image of making brilliant friends and fitting right in. Then, of course, there are the other rites of passage such as the binging on both food and alcohol. The latter rites of passage were certainly present but the former is a misconception.

The reality is that a large number of new students struggle. For many it is hard being away from home, being completely independent for the first time. I will hold my hand up quite readily in saying that I was massively homesick. Speaking to others I soon realised that they too were not having a ‘great experience’.

For those of us who aren’t into the drinking and clubbing scene, Freshers’ Week was an uphill struggle. The ethos of the week seemed to be to spend obscene amounts of money and get incredibly drunk. I am not saying that these people who did drink and spend money did not have fun, because they inevitably did. However, there is a darker side to Freshers’ Week, it being sometimes hard to make friends because of the fragmented nature of the week and certainly for those who do not fancy going out every night, there is very little to do.

Undoubtedly, the majority of freshers love their experiences and have a great time. It is, after all, the party week before things get serious. It is however, both unfair and misleading to portray this introductory week as something that, for the next three to four years of your life will be the best week of university in general.

Freshers’ Week is not a complete misadventure; there is something there for everyone. But I for one would appreciate it if I was not deemed weird or a killjoy simply for believing that Freshers’ Week is not all that it is cracked up to be. The ‘great experience’ is not the only one that you can have at university, and if Freshers’ Week is meant to be the greatest experience then I dread to think how bad the next three years are going to be, after all the ‘great experience’ of Freshers’ Week mostly eluded me.

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