Freshers is a strange beast. Two weeks of intense socialising and manipulation by societies and sports teams to coerce fresh meat into paying subs followed by night after night of irresponsible drinking, culminating in the horror that is freshers flu. Honestly thought I was dying last year, no joke. I have personally never done a proper mad freshers bender (I don’t have the liver stamina for that) but it’s one of the greatest weeks of the year, especially when you’re not actually a fresher (sorry newbies). I can still vividly remember my first fresh faced arrival at Drapers, clad in my Varey colours and accompanied by my first friend (shoutout to Kalok my first Drapers buddy) and sitting sipping a beer or something equally as unoriginal on one of those high tables, wondering how one goes about making friends in these situations. I didn’t even get drunk (so’s not to make a fool of myself, how times have changed). Roll on two years and many, many, many Drapers nights with many tears, tumbles and lots and lots of fun. The beauty of a place like Drapers is the fact that you know almost everyone there, if not personally you have definitely had a very intense conversation with them in or outside the bathrooms, deciding that you are in fact soul mates and must forever be best friends (spoiler: you will never see them again).
Unlike other universities, Queen Mary has a relatively small student body, freshers parties made even smaller by the limited halls capacity. While this is a bit of a ball ache for finding accommodation in first year, you have the advantage of knowing, or at least knowing of, a fair portion of the population. Our SU is not as glamorously large as many other SU bars which makes for more intimate, albeit sweatier, parties. Once you have made upwards of 20 acquaintances at QM you will struggle to go to Drapers (or Spoons for that matter) without bumping into someone you know.
For me this is one of the best aspects of our gorgeous uni. It propels my personal illusion that I’m super cool and popular but also means that you don’t feel that sense of anonymity. Of course this is a double edged sword: gossip travels like wildfire. But it’s a price I’m happy to pay for being able to guarantee that if you are out, someone you know is also out and up for a mad one.
Anyway just a few tips for freshers (if any actually read this):
- Monday will always call. Tuesday morning regret intensifies over the years but it’s an addiction, once you’re hooked you can’t escape.
- Berocca: you will get freshers flu. Pesto pasta and Dominos deals do not a healthy diet make, especially when you’re coupling that with red beer and various Sainsbury’s basics spirits. Berocca is your best friend (I really mean that supermarket knock off stuff that costs a fraction).
- Netflix: Make use of that free month trial while you wallow in your freshers flu sickbed. But be careful not to knock orange squash all over your laptop (my old laptop met his sticky end in Freshers 2013 this way).
- Arguably most important tip of them all: NOBODY CARES IF YOU’RE AN IDIOT. Everyone is in the same boat, testing the same waters, trying to be the coolest kid on campus. Just roll with it and you will be just fine. We all made it this far (just about).
Oh and say hi to everyone. You’ll love it in a years time.
See you at Freshers 2015! (I’ll be the one who probably spilled a drink on you, sorry.)