My Freshers’ Week

Heather Stewart

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Vision and Hearing Sciences
Course: BOptom (Hons) Optometry
Category: Vision and hearing sciences

1 December 2014

There really is no way of me saying this without offending some part of our university community but here goes – I didn’t like Freshers’. That might sound a tad grumpy so early on in the semester but here’s why...

Can you think of anything more stressful than to have a booklet pressed upon you with dozens of potentially fun things to do inside, all of which implore you to get involved, sign up, join in, all of which are in different places that you have no idea of what the words even mean, never mind where they are, (LAB 006 – sounds like a dog breeder ran out of name ideas, or some supervillain’s lair), whilst carrying around one goody bag after another, and all the time trying not to look too conspicuously like you’re lost or looking to make friends?

Sure, the free pizzas and lunches in the courtyard softened the blow, but by the Friday my brain was fit to burst and I was cheerfully informed that that was only the first week – there was more to come.

So, if you can’t beat them, join them.

I went to as many taster sessions as my induction timetable allowed, signed up for several societies and plundered the freshers’ fair. But that was the easy part, for as each induction lecture asserted, this was only the beginning. Soon we would be up to our eyeballs in study and revision, and on our way to becoming bona fide adults. I remained stoic – after all, I am 24 and returning to study rather than dipping my toe in for the first time (albeit in a completely unrelated subject). I know that if I’ve done it once before, and the second and third years that we’ve met have done it, we can all do it (or do it again as the case may be). And with every proclamation that we must take responsibility for ourselves, there was another to tell us about all the support we had: personal tutors, professional bodies, library resources, online resources, lecturers only too happy to help. We breathed a collective sigh of relief.

But whether you enjoyed the freshers’ experience for the chaotic roustabout fortnight of frolicking that it was, or are looking forward to settling into a steady routine for the fall semester (hint: I’m the last one), one thing is for certain; the next three years are coming, whether we like it or not, whether we’re nervous about our lectures, still haven’t grasped the campus layout, haven’t figured out where the best coffee is, have no idea how to get past the sphinx that apparently guards the library and only grants access to those who can wave their ID badge with a particular flair, or have it all sorted. Have all our books, have read and re-read the module guides, have a colour-coding system ready for our notes, have a student cookbook ready for those cold winter nights and are absolutely, resolutely not missing home… university life is coming for all of us. Bring it on.


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