Everyone says Fresher’s Week will be the best time of your life and you will form friendships that will last you a lifetime but it has become common knowledge that these friendships will come about because you have been out socialising with the use of confidence creating alcohol and going to clubs in the town/city you will be studying. But what happens if you don’t drink or don’t go out to get drunk? Is Fresher’s Week still the best time of your life?
The answer to that is yes. I moved in to my student halls in Oxford just over a week ago and like any normal person, I was scared I would be in a flat with people I hated. I am not the person who typically drinks a large amount or even enjoys going to a nightclub, dancing to music I have never heard of before with other sweaty people.
I was so lucky when I moved in and the 3 out of 5 of us spent the first night getting to know each other and talking about the fundamentals of friendships: things we have in common (films, tv shows, restaurants etc). I was so surprised that we all got on so well, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve only known these people for a week because of how close knit and similar we all are.
I bought one fresher’s wristband to last me the whole week (and the fresher’s ball ticket on 7th October), and if I did drink on the 4 nights that I went out then it was just a vodka and coke/lemonade to enjoy rather than to get drunk. I couldn’t go out for days on end like others have because I would just be so tired and the appeal would soon disappear. Anyway, who wants a 7 day hangover with the possibility of becoming an alcoholic before the semester officially begins?
It seems to be expected of Fresher’s to go out and get drunk for them to enjoy themselves but in reality I had such a fun time going into Oxford City Centre with my flatmates and buying unnecessary but incredibly pretty stuff from Paperchase.
I have learnt that I don’t need to drink to be sociable and talk to people, and that alcohol in the blood stream does not determine how much fun you’re going to have but instead how much you’re going to remember. I met a few people on nights out who acted sober but I’ve passed them in uni or in my student halls they have no idea who I am. Instead, going out sober is the most fun you can have because you can watch the stupid drunks who think it’s acceptable to salsa dance in a crowded nightclub! There has been no pressure for me to drink an unreasonable amount but just to enjoy what I am drinking (like the koppberg I have on the table currently).
So in conclusion, Fresher’s Week is the best time of your life and I definitely think I have made friends for life because I’ve not acted a complete idiot whilst under the influence. I’ve learnt so much over this past week being sober and partying in my own time rather than feeling forced and uncomfortable about it. You don’t need to drink to have fun but you also don’t need to not drink to have fun. Just find whatever you feel comfortable with and don’t feel pressured by what society says. That’s how I felt and since meeting my flat mates, I know they’ll understand if I don’t want to go out because we can’t do it all the time, sometimes our body has had enough and you end up with Frsher’s flu. If you contract that, then you know you’ve had a good time.