Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
/ Unsplash

5 Tips for Keeping Your Body Happy During Freshers Week

We all know that ‘Freshers week’ connotes nights of endless drinking, dancing and hungover Deliveroo orders. Whether you’re a returning student or a first year anticipating all the events that occur during this week of mayhem, staying healthy is not usually a priority. However,as a returning student, there are a lot of things that I plan to do differently this time round, many of which involve looking after myself…

As someone with a chronic illness, pacing is a huge part of my daily life, and this is one of the main issues I struggled with last year. There is a unspoken consensus that if you are not going out every night and spending the next day in bed until it is time to go out again, then you are not doing Freshers week right. However, it is this urge to ‘have a good time’ by bolting VK’s that can have an incredibly detrimental effect on your physical (and mental) wellbeing, before you have even started your course.

Now this may already seem like a lecture on not drinking, but I can assure you, that is not what I am saying. Obviously, the balance between work and play is going to tip towards play during these precious days before the workload takes over, but here are 5 things that I wish I had been told before freshers week last year, and 5 rules I will be living by this time round.

1. Stay hydrated

Now this seems pretty obvious, but it is something that can be easily forgotten in the midst of a hangover. It goes without saying that you will probably be drinking a lot of alcohol during this week, and this makes it even more important to keep your body hydrated with the right kind of fluid as well. Keeping a bottle of water by your bed for when you return from Timepiece at 3am will seem like a gift from your past self, and you will not regret it. It seems trivial, but your hangover will be a lot more bearable if you stay hydrated!

2. Pace Yourself

This is one that thing I wish I’d done last year. The pressure and anticipation during the build up to Freshers week can push you towards falling into the trap of a boom and bust cycle with your health. For example, you go out 5 out of 7 nights during the first week of uni, push your body to its limit – this is the boom, the high point where you can do anything and everything – yet this soon comes to an end. The next week involves all your introductory lectures, seminars, tutorials or labs that will be missed due to exhaustion – or the famous ‘Freshers flu’ – and this is where the boom ends and dips to a low. It is this dip that can really affect your mental or physical health, so it is important to keep this in mind when planning your week, and try to avoid this vicious cycle.

3. Do an efficient food shop!

When doing your first food shop independently, make sure you buy things that are easy to cook and snacks that will help a hangover! When drinking alcohol, it’s obviously important to keep eating, but making food when you’re tired can be a real drag. Buy simple things like pasta and pesto, freezer food and breakfast bars, they were a life saver for me on those hungover mornings!

4. Do what you WANT to do, not what you think you SHOULD do!

If you don’t enjoy going out, there are plenty of other ways to meet people during Freshers that don’t involve drinking. There are so many societies that run taster sessions throughout the day and into the evening, so I would suggest looking through the timetable to find something you like! Whatever you are interested in, it is almost guaranteed that there will be a society to suit you, and this is a fantastic way to get stuck in and meet others without the pressure of going out and drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

5. Enjoy it while it lasts!

This last one is probably a slight cliché, but it is also very true. This is your first week of the next chapter of your life, and you only get one shot at being a fresher. Whatever you are interested in, throw yourself into it. Whether it be sports, theatre or even Game of Thrones, there will be plenty of events for you, and I recommend trying to do as many as you can. Get to know your flat, arrange movie nights, explore Exeter town centre and enjoy it!

Starting uni can be stressful, but there is help at hand. It is a good idea to register with the Student Health Centre as soon as you arrive, and if you have any worries, the Wellbeing services are incredible and are happy to help with any problems or stresses you may have.  

We hope these tips help you to look after yourself. Enjoy your week! 

Similar Reads👯‍♀️