It might not be a point that ties in with what universities and student guilds across the UK want you to hear, but it’s arguably the most important one as you begin your university experience: Freshers Week might not be the best week of your life. It’s a period that will undoubtedly have been mentioned time and time again between you and your friends as you struggle through an agonisingly long summer. But, as with anything, if your expectations are too high, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, Freshers Week might well be one of, if not the best week of your life: it’s a week without your perhaps over-protective parents, where you can meet many like-minded new friends doing your favourite things. However, plenty of things could happen that might sour your enjoyment during your time of blissful freedom, some annoying and small, or others that might be a bit more significant.
You might miss your parents (or just their cooking), the guild might not have the Rat Appreciation society that you’d been dreaming of joining, or you might find yourself living adjacent to an overly-keen flatmate whose room smells appallingly of feet; blocks and their inhabitants are put together almost completely by chance for instance, so there’s bound to be someone whom you don’t get on with completely.
As with anything, if your expectations are too high, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment
It’s easy to get swept up in all the excitement, and with that comes an unnecessary extra pressure on yourself to have the best time ever. You’ll inevitably feel the need to fit in and make friends, which of course is important. But, it’s even more important to be yourself, not the person everybody else expects you to be. If you are experiencing problems in your first week, try not to hide them, it’ll only make you feel worse.
This is what I hope you will take away from this: feeling bad at any point during Freshers Week is OKAY, and there’s always someone you can talk to. Chances are, beneath the smiling, friendly faces urgently trying to be your friend in the Lemmy, is somebody also feeling negative – although that might just be the Lemmy, but you see my point. Talking honestly with a new friend will make you feel better about any issues you might have, but who knows, your friend might even be having similar worries and you can help each other feel better.
Maybe the stars align for you as you embark on your time here in Exeter; your room will be perfect, all of the folk in your flat get on like a house (flat?) on fire and you manage to successfully produce something gradually approaching food all by yourself without burning down your new kitchen. But, this is a message for everyone else anyway. Be realistic, your week might not be absolute perfection (like that time you marathoned the entirety of Game of Thrones on DVD), but, as soon as you focus on actually relaxing and being yourself, only then can you have the best possible time.