This weekend saw my younger brother begin a new chapter in his life and move to Warwick to start University. This means he now has to iron his own clothes, cook his own meals, and, more importantly, adjust to the 'student life'.
Although a mere glint in my eye now, I do have an alcohol-tinted recollection of my first few weeks at Aston University.
If you've read my posts before, then you will be aware that I have been-and-done with University, and if you haven't and have nothing better to do for the next 20 minutes, feel free to have a flick through them. I'll summarise the gist; my stint at University experience was a mixed bag. However, I will admit I have some fond memories of my own Fresher's Week.
The infamous, two-word phenomenon that 18-year old's across the country are experiencing, and in layman's terms, a week to get shamelessly slaughtered eight days on the trot. Although I am now an 86-year old grandma trapped inside of a 21-year old's body, I did enjoy the odd night out, and have a few good stories from Fresher's that I unfortunately cannot share on this platform.
Reminiscing can be dangerous, but as I sit on my train from Leamington Spa to London Marylebone this morning, I ponder on the foam and UV parties, Carnage, pop night and the general horrendousness of SU events that were made enjoyable from the vast quantity of vodka that had been consumed beforehand. The £1 VK's, the 'customised' bar crawl t-shirts, the poor decisions - what is not to love?
In retrospect, there are a few things I wish I'd known previously, but I'll stick to the top three, or I'll be here all day.
I'll start with the most important - and it may come as a disappointing truth - but most Fresher's Week events are actually a let-down. For those that have been sneaking into clubs since they were 16 with their sisters' ID, you may be a disenchanted to realise that Student Union nights aren't often worth doing your make up for. This is all circumstantial, and I think this may be more relevant to smaller Universities, but my own SU events were as entertaining as a dental appointment.
You might not make your friends for life from Fresher's Week, and this is absolutely fine. After a month or two when you've spent some sober time together, you may discover that you have nothing in common. University is a chance to meet so many different people, that unless you're a truly terrible person, you will eventually make a group of friends you enjoy spending time with - whether as Sober Sally's or Drunk David's.
Finally, the success of Fresher's does not determine the rest of your time at University. While I had a few good and a few average nights out in my first week, I went on to make some incredible, regret-filled memories later in the year. It's a chance to let off some residual A-level steam and get to know your flatmates. I'm a firm believer that there is a gradual decline of quality of life as you get further into your time at University, so I would recommend having the best time possible.
One last thing; Fresher's Flu is inevitable, so make the most of the five Jagerbombs for a tenner, and prepare for coughs and sneezes to be echoing around your lecture halls for the next six weeks.