FRESHERS: Fun Or Fear?
September 29, 2012
By: Hannah Epstein
Twas the night before uni, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
Actually, that’s not quite true. As just a few moments ago, my father was shouting at me to help load the car, my mother was almost in tears over her baby leaving home and the cat was, and still is, running around frantically trying to get someone’s attention. Oh wait, the cat just ran into a wall, well at least that’s one down. As for me, I am trying my best to stay out of everyone’s way, and make the most of my last night in my own bed in my own room. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow is the day that I finally leave the security of the nest, and venture out into the wild unknown that is; FRESHERS! The past few weeks have in fact seen the majority of eighteen year olds, all wide eyed and bushy tailed,(or not depending on how early in the morning you had to get up) pack up their past and move towards their future. From what I have gleaned, mostly from my older sister who has already been through it all, being a fresher is very much like suddenly becoming part of a new species. When dropping off said sister to her own university a week before, I remember hearing loud and strange whooping noises coming from the distance. When I asked what they were, my sister replied solemnly:
‘They are the freshers’.
Now whether that statement was meant to inspire excitement or fear I am yet to ascertain. Of course, freshers comes with a plethora of new, exciting and interesting experiences for you try. Whether it’s joining the pole dancing society, or playing ring of fire for the first time with your flatmates, life at university will be, for most people, their first taste of freedom and independence. However, that in itself is surely a reason to be scared right?
Right now, as in right this second, I can physically feel the battle going on between the butterflies and the elephants in my stomach.
The nagging doubts of; ‘will they like me’, ‘what if I don’t fit in’, ‘what if I hate my flatmates’? will be constant companions to the majority of students starting university this month. And whilst I don’t pretend to have all the answers, being a fresher myself, I shall try to provide at least a little advice thorough my perspective on these matters.
Firstly, whatever university you are going to, be it large or small, there is going to be at least one person that likes you. and don’t they say that one person is all you need? So unless you are a murderous psychopath with a severe personality disorder, I think you’ll do ok in the friends department!
Secondly, fitting in is overrated! University is a new start, so try your best to stand out for a change! Even if it’s only as far as coming out of your shell and dying your hair a crazy colour, if you make an effort to be friendly and interesting then people will automatically be attracted to you, regardless of whether you fit in or not!
And lastly, and I hope I am not pulverised for this, but your flatmates are not the only people at the university. Hate is, admittedly, too strong a word, and yes in an ideal scenario you would get along with all your flatmates famously and will never have to want for company on your nights in or out. But if it just should happen that you find yourself in a flat with people that you just don’t gel with, then its not the end of the World. Go out and make other friends, either on your course, or in other accommodation or in whatever societies you choose to join. Don’t close yourself off to all the wonderful people that you could meet, just because you’re not in a flat with them.
I know that you will probably not take my word for any of this, and why would you? I have never experienced university life for myself and I could be completely wrong in everything I believe. Nevertheless, this is what I tell myself when I get nervous about starting university, and so I hope that maybe it could just help you conquer your university nerves too!
In the end, I am sure that the butterflies will win that fight in my stomach! The excitement to start this completely new chapter in my life is overwhelming and my only hope is that FRESHERS lives up to my expectations.