From the flu to booze: Jodie answers your freshers’ week Qs

05 Jun 2019
By Jodie T., Student at University of Edinburgh

Congratulations, you’re going to uni! This is probably the biggest change in your life so far: moving out from your mum’s house to a new city for what you hope will be the best three years of your life. Exciting, right?

But of course, with all this unknown, you’re going to have some worries creeping in. I get it! So I – a second year student at the University of Edinburgh – will attempt to put your mind at ease by answering some big questions around freshers week.

Remember that everyone is in the same boat.

Here we go.

Is freshers’ week all about getting drunk?

Remember that everyone is in the same boat.

Well… mine was. Luckily for me, everyone in my accommodation was in second-year, so they already knew the best places for a night out. I spent most of this week either drunk or hungover (sorry, mum).

But whether you’re looking for a night out that puts Project X to shame or something a bit more civilised, there’s something for everyone at freshers’ week. My university offered campus tours, sightseeing trips around Edinburgh, and taster sessions for most societies. Just be sure to check out all the events for your uni online.

Remember that everyone is in the same boat, so don’t be afraid to brazenly tag along with other freshers to these events. My best friend met her boyfriend in the queue to get her student ID - so it pays to be brave!

Related: How to have a (tee)totally fun freshers’ week

Is the ‘freshers fifteen’ real?

Legend says that you go to uni and put on fifteen pounds (that’s nearly 7kg). Legend is wrong; it’s probably closer to three pounds (less than 1.5kg).

But why spend your first year worrying about your weight? You have so many wonderful opportunities ahead of you. You have friends to meet and nights to forget and mistakes to make. Why cloud that over by stressing over weight gain? Start as you mean to go on, and prioritise your health and happiness above all else.

Don’t stress, just take the free pizza.

Does freshers flu exist?

Probably. I’m not a biologist, but anecdotally it seems real.

Related: Freshers’ flu: Here’s how you can battle the bug

What’s the hook-up culture like?

Kind of like drinking culture, but not as pervasive. And much like drinking culture, participation is 100% voluntary.

Ultimately, like pretty much everything I’ve mentioned so far, it’s up to you. If casual sex isn’t you, nobody will judge you for it. And if it is, just make sure you’re safe and happy. FYI: most freshers’ fairs hand out free condoms.

How do I make friends?

In my experience, students mostly find friends on their course or in their first-year flat. I was lucky in that I shared a flat with nine other people in Sugarhouse Close, so I met lots of people straight off the bat. I was also lucky that they were amazing, and I’m still really close with most of them now, nearly two years later.

As for meeting people on your course, make an effort to get to lectures a bit early for the first few weeks and have a chat with the people sat next to you. Same goes for tutorials or other smaller groups - embrace the more casual environment to get to know people.

This said, your flat and your course are not the be all and end all. Check out societies and tag along to parties even with people you’re not that close with, you never know who you’ll meet. Make the most of this big new world where nobody knows who you are. Go to the netball try-outs and who cares if you fall flat on your face? You’ll never have to see any of those people again.

Related: Making friends: How I found my 5 types of uni mate

Any parting advice?

Coming to university is such a wonderful opportunity. You’ve put in so much hard work to get here, and now it’s finally going to pay off. In your heart, you know what to do. Embrace all the opportunities you’re given, stick to your morals, and be yourself.

Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT buy a freshers wristband.

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I'm a second-year undergraduate psychology student at the University of Edinburgh, and I have lived with Unite Students since first year. I enjoy writing, poached eggs, and driving around Edinburgh. I dislike olives, exams and TV shows about antiques.