The Student
Opinion
Freshers’ week do’s and don’ts
by Freddie Clemo, 6/09/21

For some, Freshers’ week is the pinnacle of the university experience: the beginning of a thrilling newfound freedom before the onset of academic responsibilities. For others, it is a largely over-hyped and underwhelming experience. While everyone’s experience of Freshers’ week is unique, there are some general rules that ensure that your first week at Edinburgh University goes as smoothly as possible. I have compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts for incoming Freshers, to help ensure you have the best possible time.

Do

Be flexible with your plans, and don’t be afraid to join groups at the last minute. Some of the best nights out and trips to town in Freshers’ week were spontaneous, with other students that I met in the hallways of accommodation. Don’t feel you have to stick to the plans you originally made, with the first people you met, for the entirety of the week.

Don’t

Get completely smashed on the first night and have to be carried home by your new flatmates. Or even worse, lose your flatmates and end up not making it back to your accommodation. It happens.

Do

Bring a stash of alcohol for pre-drinks, as it is a great way to make friends with your flatmates and next-door neighbours. With the 10pm alcohol rule (which may be new to those non-Scots) and the rush of moving in, buying drinks for the nights out can easily get overlooked.

Don’t

Commit to an unrealistic number of societies and extracurriculars. While in Freshers it feels like the opportunities, as well as the hours in the day, are endless, once classes start it is likely you will only end up committing to a couple of societies.

Do

Go to a mixture of university events and standard club nights. While we all appreciate the charm of Big Cheese, exploring the centre of town during both the days and nights means you quickly become more comfortable living in the city of Edinburgh itself, rather than merely the student bubble.

Don’t

Be disheartened if you don’t enjoy the intense clubbing aspects of Freshers’ week and find yourself struggling, overwhelmed by it all. Remember that Freshers’ week is only a small part of the whole uni experience, and many people don’t meet their groups until lectures and societies properly start.

Do

Make an effort with your flatmates and invite them with you when you inevitably have to go grocery shopping or figure out how to work the washing machines. Figuring out everyday tasks together is a great bonding experience, as you are all in the same boat!

Don’t

Forget to put together a stash of painkillers, cold and flu tablets, and vitamin C, etc. It’s the kind of thing that’s easily forgotten, and sorely missed the morning after a rough night. Also, make sure to register with a GP during Freshers’ week. If you think you won’t need one, you probably will, and spaces are often full by the end of the week.

Do

Connect with people on your course through the Facebook page, which helps to make sure you have all the right textbooks and equipment for the beginning of classes. Meeting up to go and collect your textbooks together is a great way to make you feel far more prepared for the start of the academic side of uni. It is also helpful to arrange to meet before the first lectures and sit together.

All things considered, Freshers’ week is a time where you get out what you put in. Embrace it wholeheartedly, and the fond memories of Big Cheese and Teviot will stay with you throughout your years at Edinburgh.

Image credit: Flickr