Freshers’ week: How to enjoy it without the nights out

17 Aug 2018
By Lauryn M., Student at University of Exeter

Before you go to university, you’ll probably hear that freshers’ week will be the best week of your life; a week of nights out, meeting loads of new people, and experiencing new things.

And, for some, this is true - they do see freshers’ as one of their favourite times. For others, freshers’ will be just a bit average. I found myself in the second camp, and yet I managed to make good friends and branch out anyway.

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Here’s how I, someone who doesn’t go on nights out, got through freshers’ with a smile.


1) Join Facebook groups and start talking

Search social media - especially Facebook - for groups run by your university or academic department. Speaking to a couple of people over Facebook before I moved to University really helped.

I arranged to meet up with them when I arrived, and this was a good starting point for making friends. Plus I’m still friends with these people now so that shows it works!

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2) Spend time on campus and get to know the area

I met new people just by exploring the campus and getting to know the area, attending the freshers’ fairs, and going to society taster sessions.

I didn’t go to as many taster sessions as I thought I would, but it was still a good way to get to know people with the same interests. And I didn’t even have to try, really.


3) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

Moving to university can be a daunting experience. But if you don’t want to go on nights out, that’s absolutely fine. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to enjoy something if it really isn’t for you. You won’t be the only one who’s not going out and you will still make friends.

I preferred university when my course started and there was a routine and things to do. Many people get a little bit overwhelmed in freshers’ week and that’s understandable, but everyone’s experience is different. Just because I didn’t enjoy all the going out, doesn’t mean you won’t.


Try to be (a slightly braver version of) yourself

As someone who doesn’t really do nights out or alcohol, it was pretty obvious from the start that my freshers’ week wouldn’t be conventional. I hoped there wouldn’t be any pressure to go on nights out - and there wasn’t - but I also didn’t want to spend all of my time sat in my room. I had to find other ways to make friends.

Looking back on freshers’ week, I can safely say you’ll meet a lot of people whether you go on nights out or not. It’s unlikely you’ll still be good friends with all of them in a couple of months, so push yourself to get out there and speak to people - however nerve-wracking it may be.

Download the free MyUnite app and chat with your future housemates before you arrive.
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Lauryn is a Psychology student at the University of Exeter.