In light of social distancing measures in the UK, Freshers Week is changing and many university students are worried about the effect it will have on their introduction to university life. So I wanted to share my experience to show incoming students that Freshers Week, whilst fun, was definitely not the best week of my life.
I remember very little of Freshers Week and it is not for the reason you are expecting!
Before moving to university, I was terrified. I had never been away from my family before and the prospect of being away for months at a time had my stomach in knots. I even contemplated going through clearing to pick a local university despite loving York- yes, I was that scared!
There is also a lot of pressure placed on Freshers Week to be the ‘best week of your life’ which added to my anxiety. My teachers at school told me how they met their best friends on the very first day. And everywhere I looked online painted it as the best university experience full of socialising, drinking and freedom. Whilst this sounds like a dream to some, I was worried I would have a bad experience of Freshers as I didn’t drink and was quite introverted.
The stress I felt resulted in barely remembering the first three days of moving to York! I am glad I chose to journal my experience or my memory would be completely blank.
Freshers Week for me was an overwhelming week of information, people, and rushing from event to event. Whilst I had fun going clubbing for the first time and got on well with all my housemates, it was the weeks after Freshers where I think we really bonded and I felt settled. Freshers Week was not the best week of my life but I can say the rest of my university experience so far has been incredible. Joining societies and creating meaningful friendships heightened the experience for me and it is those memories I hold dearly rather than the stress I felt about making new friends and fitting in.
Freshers Week may or may not be the best week of your life. It might be a week later when you stay up till 3 am really getting to know your new housemates. Or maybe it will be when you celebrate Christmas with your flat. Will the best week be in Third year and even I am yet to experience it?
I don’t think there is necessarily a ‘best week’. The entirety of your university experience is weeks upon weeks of great times, stressful times and overwhelming times. So be kind to yourself if you are struggling during Freshers because so many people will be in the same boat. If you do need any kind of support, the university and your college will be there to help as well as your new friends. And from experience, I can say that the best is yet to come!