Wednesday, 10 September 2014

why is freshers week alcohol obsessive?

This time last year, I was a blubbering mess. I’m talking a chest heaving, tears streaming, nose running mess. Because I was a fresher – and an unhappy one at that.
One year on, I look back slightly embarrassed but very proud of how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person since then, but now that the next batch of fresher’s are waiting in the wings, ready for their time to shine, something just doesn’t sit right for me about the way that ‘Fresher’s Week’ is perceived.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good glass of wine, I love to get dressed up and no night for me is complete without my own personal rendition of ‘Survivor’ by Destiny’s Child but the idea of going out every single night for an entire week, expecting to get ‘mortal’ and being actively encouraged by an endless stream of promoters desperately trying to ram anyone they can into their club, to drink so much that you don’t know where you are…? No, that’s not my idea of fun.
Convinced I’ve turned into a premature granny? Ok, how about this…
If you were told to go out with a group of strangers, in a city that is completely alien to you, and get drunk, what would you say? I mean, if you have a brain it would be ‘no’, right? But that’s what fresher’s week is… Yes, that group of strangers are your flatmates but in that first week at university, as nice as they probably are and as close as you will probably become, they are still strangers. I'm not preaching to not drink any alcohol ever because it is poisonous and you will die - hey, I like a drink as much as the next person...but I have to be in the mood to, (because, y'know, a cup of tea, chocolate and my bed are pretty inviting too...) and I don't see why the first week of university HAS to revolve around drinking. Not one person yet has given me an adequate reason - all I hear are $$$ signs!
When you actually ask around, there are so many people that overall, didn't enjoy going out at night on freshers week - they just did it because 'that's what everyone does'. So where has it suddenly come from? 

I didn’t enjoy fresher’s week – I was homesick, I felt uncomfortable and I was taking part in nights out that I was told students in fresher’s week do and love and enjoy; yet I was just stood there, thinking ‘wtf am I doing here?’. There’s the saying ‘life starts at the end of your comfort zone’ and yes, that is very true, but do I want my life to be revolved around hugging a toilet basin, projectile vomiting after a shit night out? No. Do I want my life to involve Prosecco and cocktail nights, good food and good company? Yes please!
Go out for drinks, go out for food, have a cosy night in, or, go crazy and actually study for that degree you’re spending £27,000 on – but don’t feel like your first year has to revolve around going out 5 nights a week, pouring money(and bleach after all that vomit) down the drain because if you don’t want to, you don’t have too – and you know what? Your housemates probably don’t want to either!
All I'm saying is, don't feel pressurised or ashamed if you don't actually enjoy freshers week, and in fact do not want to become a living, breathing pint of lager. This is a monumental change in your life - it really is underestimated but the tears and panic phone calls to your parents will be worth it - man it's worth it a thousand times over. You're gonna love it.
Charlotte x


  1. Freshers is a bit of distant memory for me now, being a whole three years ago, but I remember not really loving it either. Having said that, the one night I did just decide to stay in is the one everyone talks about three years later! I remember being totally OK with the fact that one night I really just could not be bothered, and was so happy to stay in with a hot chocolate a bit of catch up tv!
    Jennifer xx

    1. hahah yes, everything always seems to happen when you decide to stay in doesn't it - had a few of those experiences myself! i think some people feel 'bad' or that they aren't a 'proper student' if they simply aren't in the mood to go out and its something that really frustrates me. a cup of tea, chocolate and some trashy tv can often just be as fun, without the headache in the morning xxx

  2. I am about to start my third year now and I can agree with you on the point of freshers week apart from the fact that I have not experienced it myself. I was already 20 when starting uni so had the time of excessive drinking during my gap year (unfortunately) but I could see it in so many of people that all that encouragement was just not doing them any good. I don't think you sound like a granny at all haha :D
    Whilst I didn't think it possible a few years back now I am very clear on my take on alcohol and I think it is possible to have a good night out whilst drinking and not going overboard either.

    One other thing about freshers week apart from too much drinking is that people usually make friendships that don't last beyond that month..
    I think it is an important point to mention though and one that is not talked about enough :) xx

    Seven Days

  3. ha! thanks - still a few more years to go then on the granny front ;) i think as we grow up, we know how much alcohol we are tolerant of without going too OTT - i think we also become too enjoy people's company more as friendships develop at university, so are more comfortable in maybe just going for a few glasses of wine etc, instead of going all out and getting drunk.
    totally agree with you about freshers friendships - they can be so short term, as i suppose in that environment, you aren't actually getting to know a person xx

  4. Great post! Freshers is very strange when you think about it now. At the time I kind of just threw myself at it. But after spending most of my uni years drunk I now find I don't enjoy drinking as much as my friends and wonder if I'm strange. I enjoy the odd cocktail and gossip but not nights filled with endless drinking and dancing. But I'll still go out and try and force myself to enjoy it - seems strange doesn't it!

    Cat from Outside Beauty Inside Health


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