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Expectation VS Reality of Freshers Week, From a First Years Perspective

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

You hear people say that freshers week is one of the most memorable weeks of your life; moving to a new place, meeting new people, going out every night! However, what is often overlooked is the pressure of these things. Moving to a new place alone can be disorientating, along with the pressure of making the best first impression on your new flatmates, leaves us with little time to sit back, relax and adjust to this overwhelming change.

I’m not taking away the fact that freshers week is a brilliant opportunity to try new things, with the University offering a range of different activities from quiz nights to bookshop tours. This is just as good of an opportunity to meet new people than in the club or pub, so if you’re like me and you can’t hack going out 7 nights in a row, then don’t worry because freshers week has something for everyone! Or maybe you’ve decided to live at home while you study and are commuting in for your lectures and perhaps feel worried that you’ll miss out on parts of the university experience, like going out. Even though clubs are a great place to let loose and dance, with loud music blasting all night, making friends at a club can be a difficult task! On the other hand, attending a society taster session is a brilliant way to meet new people and at the end of your first week you will be given an opportunity to attend the freshers fair to sign up to any societies you want to join. I was amazed by the range of different societies at Exeter, finding it difficult to narrow it down to the ones I wanted to join. When deciding this it’s important to think about the amount of time you want to dedicate to these societies and how this will fit in with your timetable. I would say that most people find between 3 and 4 societies manageable, perhaps 1 academic, 1 fitness and 1 that you know you’re just going to enjoy being part of.

rugby women\'s team
Original photo by Saraniyah Saravanan

Personally, I think people often come to fresher’s week with the wrong mindset; the idea that you will meet your friends for life in the first 3 days. And yes, maybe you’re lucky and you end up sitting next to your future best friend in your first lecture. However, it is actually more common for people to meet their friendship group after the first term at university, once things have settled down and you find yourself in more of a routine and at ease with your new surroundings. Even if you feel like everyone around you already has a tight-knit friendship group, be patient and remember there will be people out there just like you and within time everyone will find ‘their’ people. What’s important is to not put too much pressure on yourself and instead just enjoy the week. Say yes to new opportunities, try new things, take time for yourself and don’t rush things as after all you’ll have more than just one week to explore your new city, find your way around the campus and meet the people you want to share your university experience with.

Macy Webber

Exeter '28

I'm a first year History and French student at the University of Exeter, spending way too much time (and money) in bookshops and cafés.
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