Why Are Students Asking For The End Of Freshers Week?

Is Hell Freezing Over?

Why Are Students Asking For The End Of Freshers Week?

by Bethan McGrath |
Published on

Yes, freshers week has a reputation for being a 7-day booze fest, and that’s what some students want when they go to university. But for others (16% to be exact), this week of non-stop binge is a source of dread. And it’s completely understandable: ending every night vomming into a bin isn’t the height of fun.

It’s understandable then, that A-level leavers who have this maniacal picture of freshers week, would rather opt out. Head teachers of 280 independent schools have said students want to get started with lectures right away, something that most universities don’t do. One head teacher has said students ‘want to start studies in the first week. I think we’ve heard that everywhere…There is concern about freshers week being culturally very clunky. So the teetotal, faith-based female student who wants to enjoy freshers week…at a venue where you can’t say no to drinking - that’s definitely an issue’.

Let’s put aside the suspicion of trusting head teachers as the genuine voice of students for a moment (‘you’d like to get into lectures right away, wouldn’t you Johnny?’ ‘Oh yes sir, learning is my favourite – I don’t even like alcohol!’) and believe that students coming to university really do want lectures in their first week. Possessing the fountain of wisdom that 21 years on this earth snd one degree has given me, I can tell you that these students are shooting themselves in their own damn foot.

Having recently graduated, my university was one of the few where lectures *did *start right away. I was snoozing through two hour lectures on metaphysical theories right from the first day. And let me tell you, that was not fun. Even if I hadn’t been drunk as a skunk the night before (no judgement, thanks), I definitely hadn’t gone to bed at a decent hour: those first few days were crucial for getting to know my new flatmates. Talking in the kitchen and playing card games late into the night filled most evenings of the first two weeks, as well as going to society taster events and a few nights out because I’m not a saint okay. It was pretty much impossible to turn up to a lecture prepared and well-rested.

Living on your own for the first time, in a new place, surrounded by strangers is, to put it bluntly, bloody terrifying. But I would have loved a lecture-free freshers week to allow time for the things I didn’t realise I had to sort out; my bathroom door was broken, I needed to order certain books which took days to arrive, I found out who to go to when I locked myself out of my room like a numpty, I didn’t know where the launderette was, or where to get change for it, or what to do when the drier ate my money and I was sat on the floor at 3am with a pile of wet clothes on my lap (yep that happened).

What I’m trying to say is that before university, I didn’t know that simply settling in would take so much time and energy. To balance that with lectures right from the off was hard. My message to these sixth formers is to not take what they have for granted. Students at my uni have been requesting a lecture-free freshers week for years.

Wanting a week with no studies doesn’t mean you have to be up for a week-long binge fest; it’s useful for so much more than that. I hope these head teachers ask students again in six month’s time, because I’d bet my billion pounds of student debt that their answer will be different.

Liked this? Then you might also be interested in:

Fresher's Week Is A Minefield If You Suffer From Anxiety

Fresher Firsts: A Guide To Your Fresher's Week Wardrobe

The Biggest Dickheads You Inevitably Meet At Freshers

Follow Bethan on Twitter @BethanMcGrath

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us