My experience of Freshers’ Week was thrilling, terrifying, fun and confusing all in one. The first and most difficult challenge was settling into my accommodation at Pollock Halls, where more people lived in one building than in my entire home village.
Our House’s plan to help us interact was to take us on a night out to Edinburgh’s bars and clubs. For me, teetotal by choice, shy by disposition and still taking in the enormity of city life, this was a disaster. I soon skulked back to my room, despondent at having failed this first test of university life. Further attempts over the week to befriend people in my halls were also doomed to failure, but fortunately I met people elsewhere.
I attended a range of Freshers’ Week events and approached a few societies, some of which I remain involved with today and where I made most of my lasting university friends. I’m very thankful I took the time to see societies out during Fresher’s Week while they were at their most accessible.
I also went on several city and university tours, a useful way of becoming orientated within the new environment. There was relatively little in the way of course preparation beyond the optional introductory lectures run by each department, as the focus was rightly on becoming settled and established at the university, but the week also proved a good opportunity to become familiar with my course reading lists, administrative structures and of course, my home for the next four years, the university library.
In the cultural imagination, Freshers’ Week is portrayed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience of continuous fun and experimentation. For most people, I expect the reality is a disappointment, yet overall I still found it a rewarding experience which on balance helped my transition into university life.
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