University 101; My Freshers Week Story

Hello lovely people!

I’m back in Durham, I’ve rebuilt my pasta stocks and town is beginning to fill up with returning students –  it must be the start of a new term. Those of you heading to university for the first time will be eagerly anticipating Freshers Week, probably feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The internet is filled with tips and tricks about how to get the most out of the week, so I thought instead of repeating that advice I’d talk about my experience in hopes that I can give you some peace of mind that it’s all going to be okay.

freshers

Every good story starts with an introduction, so here’s some context to my time as a fresher. I study Modern Languages at Durham University, and my freshers week was in October 2017. Freshers Week at Durham is a little different, as it’s a collegiate university, so most of the events are organised by the college JCR (think student body committee). I’m a student at St Cuthbert’s Society and lived in self-catered halls in first year.

Move-In Day

I arrived in Durham with my parents and then boyfriend who had come to help me move in, and I was terrified. After getting my keys and unpacking I completely broke down on my poor boyfriend, as even though I could not be more excited to start my degree I was very worried about making friends and settling in. But, after everyone left, I picked myself up and told myself it was going to be okay, and it really was!

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My room on day 1 looks so bare compared to how it was at the end!

My favourite story from that day is how I met my lovely Welsh idiot Ffion. She totally catfished me. I was in my flat corridor, when a random girl just turned to me and said “Hey, I know you”. I was extremely confused because I didn’t recognise this person at all. Until she said “yeah I know, I really don’t look like my Facebook profile picture”. Turns out we’d been talking for weeks beforehand after meeting on our college Facebook group chat! We continued bonding instantly, and Ffi became the extrovert I attatched myself to for the whole of first year.

I met the rest of my flat pretty quickly. We were 6 girls of 6 different nationalities, which has always been our little claim to fame. I bonded with my now college wife (more on that someday) Oana because she was wearing a My Chemical Romance t-shirt, and my American buddy Anna because I was belting out Hamilton far too loudly with the door open. You really do make friends in the most random of ways in freshers!

College Events

Each night throughout freshers my college organised a night out and a more chilled night. I went out I think 3 times; to a white t-shirt party (think signing shirts), a subject social and a space party. They were okay, but not really my thing, as I’m pretty uncomfortable going clubbing when it’s with people I don’t know.

 

 

Our white t-shirt party was the first event I went to, and took place in our lovely (and ridiculously cheap) college bar. That was the night when I met my now housemate Callum (you got your shoutout, do I get a pint in return now?). At that point I obviously didn’t know the bar has a card limit, so I ended up buying drinks for myself, Ffion and Callum when we’d only known each other for all of 5 minutes. I’m pretty sure we bonded over music, which makes a lot of sense considering at every party we have now it’s us two who dictate the music.

Durham being Durham, we also had a formal and matriculation that week. It was the first and last formal I left sober, and I’m pretty sure I was hungover throughout the entire matriculation ceremony (that’s the fancy one in the cathedral that makes us officially Durham students). It was also absolutely pouring down on matriculation day, meaning I had my first experience navigating wet cobbles in heels. There’s a reason why you never see me in my formal pictures with heels on anymore!

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Can’t get over how different I look just one year ago! (I’m on the far left)

 

 

That time I cut my finger…

This is the main story I have from freshers week, and the one which still gets told at almost every house party. I cut my finger on a potato peeler whilst washing up, and then didn’t stop bleeding for 2 hours. 2 HOURS! The flat had me bandaged up with my arm above my head for most of that 2 hours, as the porters were largely unhelpful and basically left us to deal with it. Obviously I did eventually stop bleeding, but it was a pretty embarrassing bonding experience with my flat. Pretty sure I didn’t go out that night…

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Final feelings

Freshers week was weird. You’re thrown into a new city with a bunch of people you don’t know, away from everything that’s familiar to you. You spend a week introducing yourself time and time again and having to be up for social events 24/7, something that doesn’t quite work for my introversion. I have some good memories from the week, but I also spent a lot of time sleeping and hiding from the world.

My main piece of advice is not to put too much pressure on freshers week. Yes, if you spend the whole week hiding in your room you probably won’t get much out of it. But, by the same token, if you’re not into going out and partying all the time you shouldn’t have to. Seek out chilled events and chat with people in the canteen instead. Freshers isn’t a universal experience and should fit whatever you’re into, so have a good time!

 

-Megan, listening to Badflower (tiny band, would reccomend!)

 

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “University 101; My Freshers Week Story”

  1. Hey Megan! Love your post on freshers and all the pictures. White t-shirt parties were the best, got some odd things written on my t-shirt at the end of the night haha! I’m guessing your in second or third year now? Enjoy university hun it’s the best, third year does get very stressful but its worth it. After reading your post it makes me miss university a lot, i have the graduate blues haha. Definitely get some work experience at uni, you would think a degree is all that it takes to get a job but experience really matter. Sorry, i thought i would just give you advice. Loving you blog though it’s amazing and i love the content you write, would love for you to check out my blog and maybe we could follow each other and connect! Thank you and keep writing the amazing content 🙂

    Bandana Beghal | http://www.jesuisbandana.co.uk |

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    1. Thank you! The shirt I had went missing somehow but I remember there being a lot of weird drawings… I’m going into second year now and I can’t wait to restart. Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I’m starting to look at work experience now for next summer, there’s a lot I’m interested in so I just need to start narrowing down the choices. I’ll definitely check your blog out, thanks for reading 🙂

      Megan x

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  2. Oh no, sorry about your finger! I never went to Uni and it’s one of my biggest regrets because when I was 18/19, I would have absolutely loved it and I would have loved Freshers Week. I bet moving into your room and knowing that you’ll be living independently is so scary but so exciting!

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    1. Its funny to look back on, but was painful at the time haha! Aww it’s a shame you didn’t go, but maybe in another life you will😂 that sums it up really, it’s such a new experience. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Megan x

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  3. Freshers week sounded like a really fun experience, thanks for sharing your stories Megan. I love that you bonded with your housemates over music, that’s how all the best friendships start. It’s great that they have chilled events too, I’m not sure I could keep up with a week of constant parties and would need to nap a lot too. Great post! ❤ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

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    1. It really was the best way to bond, I agree, music is an important part of friendship. I definitely needed the chilled events from time to time, so I’m glad they were there. Thanks for reading!

      Megan x

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  4. This week most university students started school and I have to admit it’s a bit weird for me not to be going back to school – I just graduated in May so I’m still settling in without university course work!

    That sounds so funny how you meet Ffion I’m laughing, that seems like something that would happen to me. When I was in university whenever I’d add someone on my social media I always forget names but I know faces so I always had to squint a bit to see if I remember them from class hahaha

    That’s so cool that you were 6 girls with 6 different nationalities!! SO many different things to learn about each other!

    Oh god a potato peeler!! Well, at least you always have a story to tell!! I used to semi-avoid freshers events before finally getting the courage to go to events and it was actually really fun & wish I started with going to events instead of waiting it out!

    Sahara
    http://saharas-dreams.blogspot.com

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    1. It must be very strange, we spend so many years in education that I bet being out of it feels pretty unusual! It was the most ridiculous thing ever ahah. It was a great way to live. I learnt so much about so many different places and lifestyles, and I really loved hearing so many different languages on a daily basis. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Megan x

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