Where to Frolic as a Fresher.

Results day has passed and so has the nightmare that is organising accommodation, so why are you so nervous? That’s right, its move in day. Fear not, here are some tips to ease you into the swing of university life, Fresher to Fresher (before you take over the role). So if like me, there just isn’t enough Berocca for the next morning, you don’t have to go too far! These are all aimed specifically at QM and surrounding areas, perfect for lazy, tired, or maybe (most likely) intoxicated University new comers.

In the flat:

  • Waiting to see who comes bursting through the smoke smothered doors is more exciting than a final of ‘Stars in their eyes’, without the smoke or the costume, so maybe not quite. What I’m trying to say, in a very nineties fashion is that move in day is tough so to make it easier ensure that your door is open perhaps with inviting music (not Enrique, that’s not the kind of inviting I mean) making you more approachable, it’s the easiest and quickest way to become acquainted with your new flat mates!
  • Make your room homey. Maybe that’s by sticking up posters, putting out some old snaps or putting Bobo the bear in his rightful place in your bed. Whatever it is it will almost definitely help you settle in and feel more comfortable rather than homesick.
  • Join a society. I’m sure almost everyone has said this, a cliché but a must. It provides an opportunity to mingle with a separate group of people at some… interesting initiations and events!
  • Take a trip to the local Sainsbury’s (not the one by Lindop House, the one further down in Whitechapel via the 25 bus) here you can bulk buy in things like pasta/sauces/super noodles to keep you going through the inevitably exhausting fresher week.
  • The sooner you enrol, the sooner you can use your student discount and the earlier you attempt to do this the less time you have to stand waiting in the (admittedly stunning) Octagon.
  • I’m sure everyone is social networking savvy? Well definitely more so than I am which means there is no excuse for not joining the Facebook group for your course, and for the union to keep you up to date with what’s occurring. Checking your university email is a must, it should help you keep up to date and organised with all the course information and important events you should be attending.
  • The best suggestion I can give for a ‘bonding’ exercise whilst getting to know your flatmates is ‘melon bowling’ (from last night’s empty bottles and obviously a melon) and if you want to make it interesting, turn it into a competitive drinking game with forfeits!

When venturing out of the flat:

  • The Library is always open. Twenty four hours a day so if you feel like creating a presentation at 4.30am you can.
  • Green tomato cars. Save their number or download the app, when venturing out and you don’t know the area too well they are the cheapest taxi company I have encountered to get you home safely.
  • Cookies and cream. At the end of Mile End Road it offers up unique and always delicious sweet treats if you’ve had enough of going for a coffee but still want to chat with friends this place is funky and has a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Victoria Park. The most stunning place I have visited in London. Think, a huge, well-kept classic English garden (if you ignore the Pagoda!) It’s always fun to take a paddle across the lake, it seems a thousand miles away from the hum of the city.
  • Genesis cinema. Local and independent, it’s super comfy with their jazzy blue valour chairs and they do student rates too! That’s four reasons to visit already…
  • Wetherspoons. You will soon learn that Spoons is THE place. Just down the road with cheap drinks, food and plenty of other students to chill out with. The first port of call for most students, it beats crackers and tuna.
  • Dixie’s. I know, food again but Dixie’s is always there, the end of a big night or a calorific midnight snack. Think Poundland meets KFC!
  • Explore and embrace the culture and history in and around Queen Mary: the cemetery on campus, the blind beggar pub down in Whitechapel or a Jack the ripper tour whilst you’re down there!
  • Queen Mary is blessed with a stunning campus, so before the winter months are here head down in front of France house, or anywhere really and set up a picnic by the canal. If you’re still exploring the area head over to mile end park just across the bridge.
  • The Drunken monkey (underneath France House). Does what it says on the tin during happy hour with genuinely scrumptious cocktails whilst simultaneously creating delicious Chinese food and dim sum- that’s pretty impressive right?


My final tip. RULE NUMBER ONE OF EMBARKING ON UNIVERSITY: prepare for Fresher’s flu, it is coming to get you. All of you. Seriously. Stock up on Lemsips, cold and flu relief, soothers and other such products to help you make it through the first week of sniffley lectures and activities.

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