• It’s the first day. You’ve been here since ten and you’ve been trying to shake off your parents since ten thirty. You’re pushed into a room and encouraged to talk to people. This is the naffly-titled ‘Blind Mate’ or similar. You will learn to ignore the puns.
• Starting with ‘Are you a first year?’ ensures the obligatory patronisation of third years.
• Don’t be too rehearsed. You are a ‘fresher’, not a ‘freshman’. Beer pong is not your favourite sport. You have not been ‘strawpedoing’ since 9am.
• Don’t try too hard – take off your brand new Barbour, at least for the first day.
Monday: The Pre-Club karaoke
• A heavy dose of enthusiasm is encouraged. But don’t take it to the extreme.
• Don’t hog the mic and ensure you’re blacklisted forever for murdering that Geroge Michael/Elton John duet.
• Avoid anything too vocally weird. Kate Bush. Nursery rhymes. Anything which requires a dance routine or pronounced accent.
• Unless you’re having an existential crisis, don’t attack ‘I Will Survive.’ It’s only Monday.
Tuesday: The Sober Activity
• Don’t ignore this. Contrary to popular opinion, you will spend most of your time sober. You’ll need to interact with people. Get some practice in.
• Having said that, not going to ‘The Sober Activity’ is probably fine. Going, feeling last night’s Vodka Red Bull Absinthe Oblivion cocktails preparing to emerge for an encore and hot-footing it out of the door is definitely not fine.
Wednesday: The College Admin
• At some point in the week you’ll have to register with your college. There is one simple must-do: actually go.
• When you’re there, answer to your name. They call it. You answer. Sounds basic but many people vastly underestimate the amount of mental preparation this requires after four hours’ sleep.
• Pay attention and fill in whatever forms you’re handed. Arriving back at 3AM to find a latecomer has been allocated your room could ruin…or make a night.
Thursday: The Very Public Break Up
• They may have been the love of your life. You may have even been betrothed…but being found slumped on the floor of Bridge will not help you find their successor.
• Let your emotions out, especially to your scout. They should be your best friend if you want your room to remain sparkling clean all term.
• Reveal intimate information to your New Best Friend at your own risk. You may not be friends in a few weeks and scandalous information may hit the pages of your college gossip column.
• Now is the only feasible time to indulge in your Oedipus complex – seduce a college parent.
You freshers’ week crush may have been the love of your life. You may have even been betrothed…but being found slumped on the floor of Bridge will not help you find their successor.
Friday: The Sixth Day New Best Friend
• They’re the other half to your new bromance, girl crush or totally platonic (honestly really) man-meets-woman combo… You really bond tonight when you both fall over on the way to Park End and every song on the cheese floor is your ultimate favourite!!?!! You really are NBFs. But…
• Don’t invite them to visit you at Christmas. The ties of Park End are not that binding. A week with someone you last spoke to 9 ½ weeks ago and your entire family is not ideal.
• Don’t think about doing things you’ll regret for weeks and weeks just because you’re getting on so well. Getting real cosy with your NBF could be worth an STI, A&E or being MIA. Even worse, you may find out they’re from Brookes. (Complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Saturday: The Bop
• You’ve been in fancy dress all week. But this is the pinnacle. Your holy grail. The theme will probably have been shrouded in secrecy until today and you’ll be experiencing the ‘one in one out’ policy of Celebrations costume shop.
• There’s not much you can do wrong here. Even the extremely politically incorrect are welcomed with open arms.
• The only piece of advice we can give you is to go big. Go so very big.
AND THE REAL ADVICE…
• Do something for your first tutorial – No essay/drunk essay/a synopsis from Spark Notes will not be acceptable. We’ve all had to earn the right to hand in a one-line argument on the back of a napkin. You’re still at the bottom of the ladder, my friend.
• Silly string, fluorescent paint or Skittles vodka stains will also not make a good first impression. Wash.
• Most people don’t know you – if you hate your new nickname, break it to your new friends gently. If there’s a chip on your shoulder, polyfill and/or eat it. There’s no need for an alter ego, but if you want to change, university’s a great opportunity.