The Best And Worst Of Freshers’ Week: From Themed Bar Crawls To Foam Parties

How many of these did you have at your university?


by Anna Silverman |
Updated on

Everyone thinks their generation is the group most affected by the pandemic: we’ve all had life plans chewed up, spat out and stamped on over the past few months. But spare a thought for the poor school-leavers who thought they had three years of drunken debauchery at university ahead of them (and a bit of learning, I guess). And now it's announced that while university courses are set to go ahead in September (at the time of writing, because let's face it, who knows???) a number of universities are planning on banning flat parties and sleepovers in order to stay within social distancing guidelines.

UCL,Cambridge and Aberystwyth are among the universities who have already given specific guidelines on what students can expect in September. And it includes a lot of virtual Freshers’ events and applying for guests to spend the night. Which feels like... quite a formal way to set up a one-night stand?

But missing these rites of passage is a travesty - having a one-night-stand and then throwing up on your laptop two weeks into uni is half the fun. Here’s a round-up of our best and worst Freshers’ Week memories..

Remembering The Best And Worst Of Freshers' Week


Remembering The Best And Worst Of Freshers’ Week

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Lethal Drinks Offers

According to recent statistics, today's students aren't quite the binge drinkers their predecessors were, and thank God for that when you think of the liver damage some of us must have incurred. But, if you're over the age of 24, chances are lethal drinks offers will chime with your university experience. Quad vods/trebles/buckets/Skittles/a tray of Jagerbombs – sometimes all at the same time, for under £5 - and that was a quiet night.

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CREDIT: Photo by Karina lago on Unsplash

Foam Parties

We all heard the urban myth about the person who caught chlamydia at a foam party, but it didn't seem to put any first year students off. Nor did tales of people who felt suffocated by the bubbles pumped out onto the dance floor, to the point where everyone skidded, puked, screamed and lost all their friends.

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Traffic Light Parties

Forget wearing your heart on your sleeve, at traffic light parties you wore your relationship status on your dress. Red meant taken (boring, get out), orange meant you were still making up your mind.. (interestiiiiiing – talk to me) and green meant single (get your coat). If only life could always be as straightforward as a Freshers' Week themed night.

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CREDIT: Photo by Rich Smith on Unsplash

Cloakrooms (or lack of)

Snow, hail, sleet, rain.. nothing is going to make a student take a coat with them on a night out during Freshers' Week. Not if it meant paying £1 for the cloakroom, money which could be spent on shots, thank you very much.

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CREDIT: Carnage Bar Crawl

Themed bar crawls

The Carnage bar crawl was one of the biggest nights in the student calendar and customising your themed bar crawl t-shirt was always a must. Obviously you'd rip it up so much your entire bra was on show. Looking back, the themes were questionable: 'porn star'; 'schoolgirl'; 'Baywatch', but let's not pretend it wasn't fun.

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University hoodies

Some people came to university wearing school leavers' hoodies with names of everyone in their year on the back. Others were quick to buy a university hoodie at the students' union on the first day of Freshers' Week. Ten years later many of us are still wearing them to take the bins out or run to Tesco in at 11pm. Money well spent if you ask me.

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The Freshers' Fair

Well where else are you going to buy your Che Guevara poster and first spot the guy who you'll go on to regret dating for the next two years? You could also bag some freebies, like USB sticks, pens, mugs and stickers - and sign up to every society and then never attend a single one.

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The test was, who could keep theirs on so long that the wristband started to disintegrate and smell like something you'd step in on a farm. By the end of the year, some people had wristbands from various bar crawls, club nights and festivals all the way up their arms, acting as some kind of visual brag of the nights they'd been on, pre-Instagram.

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Lining Bottles Up At Your Windows

They might have been Lambrini, Buckfast or £2 Cider bottles, but it didn't stop people lining them up decoratively to have on show. By the end of Freshers' Week, the pyramid of glass in most people's windows meant no one could see out or in and a hazardous avalanche was inevitable.

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