And So, It Begins… (and I’m already tired)

(As I go back to proofread this, I find it funny how, since I’ve been typing this throughout the day, I get gradually more panicked the closer to potential Freshers we get. Hah.)

Today marks the first event on my Freshers’ Fortnight calendar, and the time when people are starting to move into halls. Everyone is trying to park up and looking forward to moving into accommodation, making friends with their flatmates (I could make a scathing comment about halls friendships, but I’m not going to. Yet.), and just generally going out and having a real good time.

Me? I’m… excited, I suppose. Freshers could be fun to do again, from a ‘doing it all again’ perspective. I met one of my best friends on the first day (Sunday 20th – the day after my birthday). I’m more worried about the fact that my tolerance for alcohol is nothing short of pitiful, now. When I was eighteen, I could drink one night and feel fine the day after, whereas now, I need a full day to recover. It’s probably the wine. Milkshakes are a weirdly effective hangover cure, but I digress.

I’ve not covered in detail the university experience I had – the one which would lead to my dropping out, but, safe to say is that one of my biggest concerns is that it’s all going to go in the exact same direction. Obviously, some issues are moot at this point: I’m not in an uncertain, then crap, accommodation situation (hehe), and I’m not worried about one of Alex’s flatmates being desperate to sleep with him – he lives with me, in our own little flat. I’d say that the main thing which is really stressing me out is the issue of friends. A slow-paced group chat and the knowledge that no one will respond to my desperate plea for a ‘Spoons trip isn’t helping with this. One of my friends, Vez, loves Pink Floyd and vintage clothes. I found that out before I met her… everyone seems perfectly nice, but I don’t know anything about them beyond what they’re studying.

Ultimately, I know I shouldn’t be panicking too much, as I can meet people through societies, and probably even on the bus. The friends you make through a drunken night in a fag pit when you don’t even smoke aren’t often the ones you stick with forever. I know this. I’ve done this before.

Freshers really is an odd phenomenon. Everyone’s very fresh-faced (excuse the pun), with the expectation that it’s going to be chill adults having a good time like the guys in Friends. I know that’s what I certainly thought, but, truth be told, some universities have just as much cliquey bullshit as your typical comprehensive. You had your geeks, your fake tanned ‘popular’ girls, your football guys, your emos, your stoners, all crammed into the tiny student union at Alex’s old uni. The fake tanned girls were usually the nicest. I guess all you can do is go in with an open mind, and, and as much as I hate to admit it, the advice is right: talk to as many people as possible. Now, I hate talking to people. The very idea of approaching a stranger and introducing myself fills me with an alarming quantity of dread. However, since it’s Freshers, I suppose I’m going to have to put up. This is what I mean about it being a bit odd – everyone kind of has to put all their usual characteristics aside and just… try and make friends. Which I guess is a good thing? And, afterwards, everyone goes back to their normal personalities, which can lead to some interesting turns (dramatic breakdowns) of friendships, as I’m sure many people, especially those living in halls, have experienced. I mean, I’ve seen this kind of theatrics go down. It’s… something else…

Crippling anxiety and organised weirdness aside, Freshers really can be a fun week – what beats going out with a group of (maybe temporary, maybe permanent) friends and making an arse of yourself to shitty club music? Let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy a themed club night every now and then? Mine include a school disco, a paint party, and a toga party (the first one I’ve ever been to, we have sheets ready!). Overall, I am looking forward to it – there’s a very high chance that it won’t be the same as last year, mainly because it’s a subject I know is right for me, amongst all the nights out (and horrible, horrible hangovers). It’ll be fine.

I’m not actually sure what the point of this one was. It seems to just be ramblings, so I’ll cut it short. Mainly because I should probably, maybe, get ready to meet the people I’m going to be around for the next three years. Alex is heading off soon. I’m freaking out. This probably concludes my pre-Freshers word dump. I’ll hopefully write more once these shenanigans are over with. If not before. Ooh.

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Zara Robinson

Twenty-year-old trainee teacher, hippie and weird jewellery collector living in Brighton.

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