Being a Fresher can inspire many emotions in a person, mine was complete dread. I'd just turned 18, wasn't very socially ambitious, and painfully shy around strangers; which of course did me no favours when faced with several hundreds of them on my own in a new city.
Therefore, in hindsight, when I think about my Fresher's fortnight there's some advice I wish someone had given to me.
Firstly, if you're not a confident person, now is a good time to start practicing that you are. Fresher's fortnight is a critical time when friendships are formed and connections are made quickly. Nobody knows you; so see this time as an opportunity to present yourself as you want to be presented. Nobody knows about that embarrassing thing you did in Year 10, nobody cares what you used to look like; they're just interested in meeting the present you. It can be hard to speak to somebody brand new, but just a few uneasy starting lines of conversation might lead to a strong friendship that you'll enjoy for the next three years of your life!
Secondly, don't feel like you have to do anything you don't want to do. If you don't like drinking, don't drink. If you aren't comfortable wearing next to nothing in the middle of a bar, wear jeans and a t-shirt. Your personal happiness and comfort is the best way to see you through this socially challenging time. If anybody or anything is making you uncomfortable go down to your Student's Union because they'll have a Welcome Team and Support Team that are there just for you. They can handle the difficult situations that you can't, and make sure that the rest of your time is enjoyable.
Thirdly, stay safe. Flat parties and outdoor gatherings are very common, you can have hundreds of students getting together and milling around, and if you leave your possessions hanging around, they could get pinched. Keep your bag and your coat with you all the time, and if you have any expensive or personally valuable items leave them locked up in your room.
Fight or flight is how it's going to feel, and fight or flight is the decision you'l l have to make that will affect you for the next two years. Good Luck. * Need some extra cash in your first year at University? Become a Campus Brand Manager