Full disclosure, it’s been five years since I set foot on university campus for my first ever Fresher’s Week. I look back on it now as a working adult with rose-tinted glasses, but when I think about it, when I really try to remember, the honest truth becomes clear.
Fresher’s Week isn’t always a happy time. In fact, you’ll likely go through a roller-coaster of emotions. Our job as certified grown-ups™ is to tell you the feelings you will have during Fresher’s Week are valid. In fact, they are totally, 100%, completely OK to feel.
1. It’s OK to succumb to homesickness
The idea in most freshers’ heads is that uni = freedom, especially from family. But sometimes it’s OK to crave your old bedroom, or being able to lie on the sofa you’ve known all your life, or having a cup of tea with your mum.
The secret? Everybody’s homesick at some point during Fresher’s Week. Ev-er-y-bo-dy.
2. It’s OK to be tempted by doing ‘naughty’ things
Hey. We get it. Being 18 is hugely exciting, and things can go from WKDs to triple sambuca shots real quick.
Uni is as good of a time as any to explore your boundaries. But always do so responsibly, and in moderation – with people that you can trust.
3. It’s OK to feel sick and run down
We’re only human with terrible immune systems, after all.
If you’ve caught the Fresher’s Flu prematurely, listen to your body and sit a couple of nights out. There will be more nights out in your three years at uni, so push thoughts of FOMO aside for some much needed Lemsip.
4. It’s OK to not want to go out every night
Peer pressure is a very real thing at uni. If you manage to escape the, “come on, don’t be boring” pleas of your flatmates, you’d be a very lucky one indeed.
Don’t force yourself to a have a night out you didn’t want just because someone told you to. Take a night off, Skype your home best friend. You’ll be recharged for the next night, definitely.
5. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed
Sooooo manyyyyyy thingsssssss happenningggggggg.
Fresher’s Week gets a bit mental, and it’s normal to feel like you might go into total meltdown. Breathe. Drink some water. Maybe write your thoughts down – it’s good to do a brain dump sometimes.
6. It’s OK to feel loneliness in a crowd of people
Feeling disconnected in a large group of people raving to Sigala is totally normal. Uni can sometimes feel like a forced social experiment, and that if you don’t fit in, you’ve failed.
You really haven’t. Finding your tribe will come eventually, so maybe take the time to learn how to be your own best friend.
7. It’s OK if you don’t get on with your flatmates
As much as we want life to look like an episode of Friends, life isn’t a sitcom with a live audience and a laugh track.
Personalities clash, especially when there’s limited fridge space involved. If things between your flatmates don’t improve, spend time out of halls by joining societies, perhaps.
8. It’s OK to doubt your choice of uni
You can’t know a place by visiting it for a few hours during a busy open day. If you’re looking around campus wondering whether spending the next three years there was the right decision, take a breath.
Try exploring a new area of campus with a new found friend, and give yourself a bit of time to adjust.
9. It’s OK to feel insecure or unhappy about your appearance
Here’s the thing – everyone feels this way. Not a single person the history of the universe has been 100% OK with how they look.
What matters is how you react to it. Of course, stay fit and healthy, but how you want to approach your feelings towards your body is completely up to you.
There is no such bloody thing as having the “perfect beach body” or the “ideal figure”. Screw that. Your definition of body positivity is your own.
10. It’s OK to be scared of the future
The fear of the unknown is the most common fear there is. Who knows if you’ll still like your course in three years? Who knows if you’ll be friends with that amazing person you met at the Fresher’s Ball? Who knows how you’ll change?
Nobody knows, but you’ll be wasting your time if you get bogged down in the future. That’s why they call it the present – it’s a gift.
11. It’s OK to be disappointed in Fresher’s Week
All of that buildup and none of the payoff? It’s perfectly normal to be disappointed with the inevitable high expectations you have for what everyone calls ‘the best week of your life’.
Don’t you worry. You’ve got three whole years ahead of you – where you’ll be bound to have amazing, memorable times you can cherish forever.
12. It’s OK to want to do your Fresher’s Week your own way
A friend of mine started uni this week, and she was adamant that she wouldn’t go clubbing. Not once. Instead, she found some Fresher movie nights, and a quiet nook in her new local pub to read. You do you boo, and tackle freshers the way you want to.
Have a fantastic week, and a great term ahead guys. You deserve it.
Feature Image © Summit Entertainment