An Alternative Guide to Surviving Freshers Week

18 Sep

Firstly, if you are a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed fresher who is just about to embark on their uni career having left the bank of Mum and Dad to strike out alone, this isn’t the post for you. In fact, this probably isn’t the blog for you. Try not to channel your inner Glinda and store the excitement of living with people in a safe place; I’ll remind you in five years, when you’ve lived with someone who works nights and rolls out her crazy if anyone breathes too loudly while she’s sleeping, or the student who sees washing as an optional life choice.


I am too old, and I cannot use the words ‘totes emoshe’ to convey any feeling other than one of a prize penis for actually saying it. All I know about university is from what friends and family have told me, given that I never went. It sounds like a smorgasbord of late nights, trips to A&E with alcohol poisoning, too much coffee, and if you are unlucky, an STD, and that’s not what I’m about. Yeah yeah, and the studying, but the studying part isn’t the problem, is it?


What I am well qualified to help out with is how to survive fresher’s week, if, like me, you live near a University, a campus, dorms or any other holding cell where they put the teens these days ( I also live neatly between 2 prisons, and I’d take my chances on one of those over halls any day).

I have the pleasure of a lovely flat that looks out over a courtyard. When we moved in we thought it was lovely, a quiet location near the tube that would provide peaceful solitude. Shame on me for not doing my research, but the flats opposite turned out to be student accommodation for UCL, and this is how I reach my new authority on dodging the bullet that is … freshers week.

They come, and one by one they occupy their rooms, like creatures in a zoo. They sit behind their glass windows as if they are in tanks, and they stare into our windows. And we stare into theirs, marvelling at the innocence of the new student creature that is staying.

Hard to tell the difference, this could be confused for a fresher after a heavy week of foam parties. It is a zombie

If, like me, you have found yourself in the middle of a zombie fresher apocalypse, take heed of these tips:

  • Never look them directly in the eye. They feel threatened and might bite. Hahaha, that’s not one really. (Might be).
  • Keep windows closed at all times. No matter how hot it is inside, and however it feels way more sensible to open the window than fork out for a fan, keep them closed. You do not want to hear the sounds of retching when the wind changes nor do you want to ever experience the pain of drunk freshers singing, in choir like symmetry, Celine Dion. I swear that sound will haunt me forever.
  • Become fast on your feet. You may be innocently on your way to catch the 91 to work of a morning, but they are sleeping off last nights antics. Learning to be spritely of step will allow you to dodge various piles of sick on your walk and negotiate the delicately strewn scores of used condoms, in assorted shades, lining the pavement.
  • Always carry headphones. When popping out to get groceries or waiting for the bus of a morning, ensure you are plugged in and calmly listening to music to take you to your happy place. This will ensure you miss all (loud) conversations about who did what last night, charity work and gap yaaaaahs. No one cares, youth.

May the force be with you.

What’s your favourite fresher related story? Do you have any good Uni memories?

3 Responses to “An Alternative Guide to Surviving Freshers Week”

  1. prenin September 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Nope! 🙂

    Never went to Uni, but I tutored Emily through her experience and she got a 2/2, so does that count??? 🙂

    We had major problems with tenants who saw their home as an extension of their clubbing experience until evicted, we also had more than our share of drug dealers with kids lining up on the stairs to do a drug deal.

    They lasted six months – long enough to have enough stolen goods to recover to make it worthwhile arresting them.

    Vomit on the stairs?

    Yup: Also dog sh1t and pools of human and dog urine because our neighbours were inbred and deformed thieves who couldn’t be bothered to take their dogs for a walk when they needed to go!

    Needless to say: They too got evicted after numerous visits by the Police to arrest various family members sheltering there while on the run and when the place was emptied by the landlord the bedroom carpet was soaked in urine.

    No more travellers thank you so much…

    I guess blocks of flats do tend to intensify the human interactions so believe me I DO sympathise! 🙂

    Love and hugs my friend! 🙂


  2. Paul September 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Yikes! Rough uni TB. I live about 2 blocks from a large uni and a lot of the rooms and apts around me are students. They can be loud on weekends, but they don’t bother me much. The buildings are refinished old brick and have very thick walls. If I go in my room and close the door I don’t hear them at all. I find them very polite when I meet them on the siedwalk and they add a lot of life to the neighborhood.There may be a few bad ones, but generally they’re just exhuberant. It reminds me of my younger years. The students across the street had a 6 foot plastic palm tree last year that they set on the front porch for Christmas. They decorated it with empty beer cans and plastic plates and even had a few strings of lights on it. It was a fun addition to the neighborhood. Ha! It is an old area of town (and historic) and a few blocks down the street there are mansions mostly occupied by embassies (I live in Ottawa, the capital of Canada). So, the cops are around here quite a bit and I think it may be keeping the antics to a dull roar.

    I actually enjoy living around such energy and youth – it keeps me young. And they can be quite funny by times – I saw a pair of shirtless guys moving on their skateboards the other day – one with a four shelf bookcase on his head and the other with such a load of bedding that only the peak of his ball cap was visible. Ha! And the worried looking parents helping to unload furniture into their baby’s new quarters. It is funny.

    Great post TB – I enjoyed the memories.Thank you.

    • tinkerbelle86 September 19, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Hahah I know, I like living in a relatively young area, but I think the grumpiness adds something to this post! I like the creativity that youth brings – the small businesses, the entrepenuerial element – just not the noise. It alwasy quiets down after fresher week too, its just the young, impressionable new ones 🙂 x

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