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How can I get the best from Freshers’ Week?

Watch and read all about Fresher's Week at university.
My biggest advice for freshers Week is to just be brave. You’ve got to remember that most people are feeling the same as you, whether that’s mostly nervous or excited or just not really knowing what to expect, it’s ok. It’s absolutely fine. You just need to be brave and socialise as much or as little as you want to do. The first week at university is jam-packed. There is a busy timetable full of a variety of activities and opportunities that you can take part in. There is no pressure to attend all the events or any events.
Each individual college has a timetable of events designed to get freshers involved, and get to know the people you’ll be living with for the next year. There are a large number of events which means there is something for everyone. I would recommend trying to make as much effort as you can, if you can take part in at least a couple of the events even if you’re not social at the beginning. For me, Freshers was super fun it was just such a jam-packed week of social events, socialising, getting to know people.
I was in Halifax College so there was a Halifax festival and it was just so fun, there was music, food, a bouncy castle even at one point, so yeah, I definitely had such a good time during Freshers’ Week. I found it quite difficult to adjust to begin with but my flat were really good at helping me get out of my room, get out of my own head and just start enjoying what was going on around me. We played some basketball, went to some fairs, went into town together.
It was just something really nice.I really recommend just socialising as much as possible in the first week and you don’t have to socialise by drinking a lot of really, I didn’t and I still made a lot of great friends. Do what feels right to you, but try and push yourself a little bit. What I enjoyed most about Freshers’ Week was meeting new people and finding out just how many students there I would recommend doing Freshers’ Week your way, there are activities laid out and there’s a timetable made for your college, but there are other things to do.
I would just really recommend not pushing yourself too hard because it’s a long week and going out every night, you can burn out and it’s best to just to enjoy it the way you want to.

Listen to our students’ advice on how to get the best from Freshers’ Week!

Freshers’ Week (also often called Welcome Week) is the week when new first-year students arrive at university. It takes place before term (and teaching) officially starts and gives students the chance to settle into their new environment.

Freshers is a shortened version of the American ‘Freshman’, meaning a first-year student at university.

Freshers’ Week traditionally includes a vast range of activities and events including welcome and induction sessions, day trips, nights out, sports and society sessions and so much more. It is also a great time to sort out things like registering with a local doctor’s surgery and other administrative tasks as well as familiarising yourself with your university and new home town or city.

Your university will have a packed Freshers’ Week timetable which will include university-wide activities and events as well as some specific to your department, college and accommodation. You may also find that there are targeted activities for students with particular backgrounds and characteristics; for example local and commuting students, mature students or care leavers. Most events will be optional but do ensure you prioritise any essential sessions.

Freshers’ Week helpers

Many universities will have second and third-year students on hand to help you settle in and get the most out of your Freshers’ Week experience. At the University of York these are called STYCs (second and third-year contacts). They will greet you when you arrive, help you move into your accommodation and encourage you to get involved in activities from college events and nights out to supermarket trips, wellbeing sessions, games and film nights, city trips and much more. They will even just come and have a chat with you and your flatmates over a cup of tea.

Freshers’ Fair

Freshers’ Fair is one of the highlights of Freshers’ Week at any university so make sure you put this in your diary and make the effort to attend and speak to as many people as possible.

This is a fantastic opportunity to find out about everything on offer at your university, there will be stands with representatives from societies and sports clubs encouraging you to sign up to have a go at something new, continue a hobby or interest you may already have, meet new people or just explore something you’re interested in.

Freshers’ Fair will also often have stands for your Students Union, Student Support Services, job opportunities, businesses, local organisations and much more so there is sure to be something to capture your interest. There are bound to be lots of freebies too (often free pizza) so take a bag and give yourself plenty of time to really make the most of the event!

To hear more about our students’ experiences of Freshers’ Week, take a look at the student blogs on the Freshers’ Week section of our website. You’ll see that everyone has their own experiences and advice.

Be brave but don’t overdo it either

The thought of Freshers’ Week can be overwhelming to some students but there is no need to worry if you feel like this. The most important thing to remember is to be brave and embrace the opportunities available to you during this week… but don’t succumb to FOMO! It is a good idea to push yourself out of your comfort zone but you do not need to feel pressured into taking part in everything on offer, and it is ok to take a break and give yourself some downtime.

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