Last weekend, arriving at my university, attempting to find my room and get settled, I found the whole experience a bit overwhelming. It was a whirl of emotion, new faces and frantic unpacking.
So, I guess Freshers Week was the last thing on my mind.
But, being perfectly honest, I would say I wasn’t really looking forward to Freshers Week. Meeting new people and attempting small talk often feels awkward and uncomfortable, at least for me.
That said, I ended up enjoying it more than I would have imagined. What I found quite amazing was how everyone’s tastes were generally catered for: those who wanted to go out could, but there were also options for those who preferred a night in.
Generally, I found that by being myself and being honest about what I wanted to get involved in, I could always find someone else who felt the same way. I was able to choose how much I participated in Freshers and that was certainly welcome.
Without doubt, the Societies’ Fair was one of my highlights of the week. So many opportunities, so many exciting new things to discover; not surprisingly, I signed up for far too much and now will probably spend the year attempting to unsubscribe from stuff like Investment Banking and Ultimate Frisbee (I have no idea how this happened!) But jokes aside, the range of clubs and activities to get involved with was completely staggering. And this meant that I was able to not only carry on with the stuff I already love (music, creative writing), but also try out things that I haven’t yet had the experience of, like Zumba and costume design.
So, although I didn’t really think I’d enjoy Freshers, it was actually a fun experience. And what I discovered also is that it was a great way to meet new people, and if nothing else, it’s nice to now recognise a familiar face or have someone to go to lunch with. The diverse range of people I met was extraordinary: northerners, southerners, internationals, people of all different faiths and backgrounds. By the end of the week, I’d met a lot of interesting people, had some intriguing conversations and started to feel a little more at home in this new environment.
Getting involved turned out to be a lot of fun, and even though I’m now suffering from Freshers Flu (I wish it were just a myth!), I think it was worth it. The adventure is only beginning…