What is Freshers Week? (and WHY you should go)

What is Freshers Week? (and WHY you should go)

What is Freshers Week?

Wondering what Freshers Week is? Here’s everything you need to know . . .

What is Freshers Week?

Freshers week is the first week of the university calendar, usually held in late September, to help new students settle in. There are no classes. Instead, there are registration sessions, welcome activities, and events to help new students meet each other. Each university sets different Freshers Week dates.

How does Freshers Week work?

Each university organises its own Freshers Week, so things will vary at each institution. However, the week will usually start with some timetabled registration sessions for new students. These are short and straightforward sessions for which you do not need much preparation. 

They may involve you showing some personal ID to get your student card. You will commonly attend a welcome talk by the university and a course induction session where you meet your tutors and receive your timetable. 

While not particularly exciting, these introductory administration sessions are helpful and worth attending. Once you have completed them, you are free to spend the week how you choose.

What happens at Freshers Week?

Once you’ve attended your registration sessions, the fun begins. There will be lots of daytime activities and night-time events for you to get involved in. These will be organised by your university and your students’ union. Many will be free, though you may need to pay an entry fee for the bigger nights out.

The events and activities available will vary from small, chilled meet and greets, city walks, and brunches to gaming events, film screenings, and big club nights.

The best thing to do is approach your first week of uni with an open mind, be curious, and try a bit of everything. Look for the things that naturally interest you, as they are what you are most likely to enjoy. They also give you the best chance to meet like-minded people.

But don’t ignore the other stuff—getting outside your comfort zone is the best way to make the most of the week and a great attitude to bring to uni.

If you love partying, you will be in your element, as you’ll be able to go out every night. But don’t neglect the smaller daytime stuff. It will give you a chance to talk to people without having to shout over music and may be where you form some of your strongest friendships.

Similarly, if you prefer smaller, quieter activities, go to these and meet similar souls. But also go on at least one big night out—you might discover you love it. And even if you don’t, it’s only one night of your life. It’s worth it for the novelty, the memories, satisfying your curiosity, and crossing it off your bucket list. At the very least, you won’t feel like you’re missing out when you hear other people talking about their nights out.

Meeting people at Freshers Week

However you choose to spend the week, your goal should be to meet people and make friends. If you’ve moved away from home to go to university, the first people you meet will be your housemates. If you’re not confident attending events on your own, you can rely on your flatmates for solidarity and go to things together.

Getting involved in Freshers Week activities gives you the chance to meet more people who may share your values, interests, or sense of humour. It is literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make the most of it. (Just watch out for Freshers flu.)

The more you lean into it, the more you will get out of it. You will meet more people and make stronger friendships by putting yourself out there. This will not only make your first week of uni easier, it will set you up for your entire time at university.

Even if you’re highly introverted or experience social anxiety, put your game face on for your first day at university. Find some people and go with the flow. Play the numbers game—the more people you come into contact with, the more likely you are to find people you click with. And once that happens, everything gets easier. 

Remember that everyone else is a new student too, so you’re all in it together. Once the week is over, you can hide in your room for a bit to decompress, but don’t miss your best chance to make friends during your first week at uni. You’ll only regret it later.

If you haven’t moved away from home to go to uni, you can’t rely on new flatmates to hang out with in your first few days. That makes it all the more important to go to meet and greet events so you can find some friends to go out to bigger events with. 

Regardless of your living arrangements or idea of a good time, the golden rule of Freshers Week is that you make the most of it by putting yourself out there.

Read more tips on making friends during Freshers Week here.

What are Freshers Fairs?

One unmissable part of Freshers Week is the Freshers Fair. This is an information fair where you can learn about the opportunities and activities available to you at university. Don’t miss it.

There will be stalls promoting university services that are useful to know about and can make your time at uni easier. You will also be able to meet your students’ union’s societies. These are student social groups built around different interests such as fashion, design, or role-playing games. They are the best way to find other students who share your passion, which can quickly boost your social group. They’re also an excellent avenue for pursuing a new interest you’ve never had a chance to try.

Well-known brands giving away freebies and offering exclusive student deals will also be there, so make sure you attend your Freshers Fair and take full advantage of the perks available to you as a student.

Do you have to go to Freshers Week?

No, you don’t have to go to Freshers Week. Your initial registration sessions might be compulsory, but everything else is optional. However, you should go to as many Freshers Week events as possible (just in case our ringing endorsement above didn’t make it clear).

Freshers Week is the best way to meet people and make friends as a new student. It’s the best way to familiarise yourself with your university campus and your new environment. It’s the best way to get over your first day at uni jitters. And it’s the best way to start university with an attitude that will help you get the most out of your time there.

Going to university is about much more than just getting a degree. It’s about gaining experience, building relationships, and learning about yourself. You do that by being open-minded, curious, and trying new things. And that starts at Freshers Week, so make the most of it—because you can’t go back and do it again.

Can anyone go to Freshers Week?

Freshers Week is just for new students starting their first year at their university—that’s one of the best things about it. It’s not for the general public. It’s not even for returning students. It’s for new students to come together on a level playing field and enjoy something exclusively for them.

This is one of the things that makes it unique and is why you shouldn’t miss out on it. Everyone there is a new student, just like you. Everyone wants to make friends, just like you. Everyone is trying to figure things out, just like you. That makes it a positive, shared environment and a supportive community you get to be a part of.

Being a fresher is like being a member of an exclusive club (albeit with thousands of members), and Freshers Week is like your clubhouse. Enjoy it while you can.