“I’ve been looking forward to Freshers’ Week since I got accepted to uni, and now that it’s here I can’t wait to get stuck in. I’m really worried about missing out on things or not getting to know people though, because I don’t drink. Everyone I’ve met in my halls so far has been lovely, but everything we do seems to revolve around getting drunk. I knew drinking would be a big part of Freshers’ Week, but I don’t want to be left out or seen as no fun. I’m also worried I won’t make as many friends if I’m not out getting drunk with everyone. How can I make the most of my week whilst staying sober?” – From Fresh Faced Fresher.
First of all, congrats on your place at our uni, and welcome to Freshers’ Week! You’re right to be excited about getting stuck in – Freshers’ Week can be one of the best weeks of your time at uni, and it’s important to make the most of it. Anything goes during this week, from waltzing in to your new neighbours’ flats to introduce yourself, to eating pizza for breakfast and napping through lunch, to going on some of the most fun and bizarre nights out you’ll have all year (UV paint AND foam in one room? You’ve come to the right place). But non-drinkers may be a bit reluctant to climb on board the Freshers’ Week hype train.
It can seem at times that Freshers’ is just one massive piss-up, which for many of us, it is. For some reason, someone once decided that the best way for a group of strangers to get to know each other before spending the next year together would be for everyone to get very, very drunk. Usually by playing drinking games that often involve being too honest about their sex lives and chanting “DOWN IT FRESHAAA”, pulling some questionable dance moves and some even more questionable strangers, and then battling through every day with a hangover from hell. If this does appeal to you, I can’t say I blame you.
However, fear not. There is, in fact, more to Freshers’ Week than trying to find the answer to the age old question of “how many messybombs is too many messybombs”. This week is the perfect opportunity to explore what the university can offer you, meet new people who may turn out to be life long friends, and settle into your new life as a student.
By not drinking, you actually have a massive advantage over the majority of your fellow freshers – no hangovers! So many freshers miss out on so much because they’re too hungover to roll out of bed, so make the most of those mornings where you wake up feeling like the freshest fresher in Glasgow and get involved in some daytime Freshers Week events. The QMU have loads of events on during the day this week, including coffee mornings with info about joining our various committees, live music, speed mating, quizzes and even a scavenger hunt. You’ll also find the uni’s various societies hosting their own events across the week, with many of them attending the Freshers’ Fair where you can explore all the different clubs and societies on offer. You can try and drag your new flatmates’ hungover bodies out of their beds to join you at any booze-free events you fancy, but it’s also totally cool to go solo – everyone there will be looking to meet people, so pick a friendly face and introduce yourself! After all, it’s probably the only time of the year where it’s acceptable to approach total strangers and say hi without freaking them out a wee bit.
Of course, just because you won’t be drinking doesn’t mean you can’t attend the night time events or club nights if you fancy them. There’s no shame in asking for ‘just a tap water, please’ at the bar, or sticking to soft drinks – you’ll save yourself a fortune, and you’ll have great fun being able to haunt your new friends the next day by recollecting all their drunken mishaps that they don’t quite remember. Alternatively, if you find drunk people kind of annoying and don’t fancy facing the sticky floors and sweaty masses whilst stone cold sober, don’t worry. It’s also okay to say “thanks, but no thanks” when asked if you want to go out.
Ultimately, your Freshers’ Week is YOUR Freshers’ Week. Whether you’re drinking or not, there will be endless opportunities for you to meet people and have fun, all on your terms. You’re likely to meet other non-drinkers over the week too, and those who don’t respect your decision not to drink are probably dickheads, who really aren’t worth getting to know. Now get out there and have some fun!
[Hannah Burke – @hannahcburke_ ]
- Keep an eye out for details regarding how to get in touch with Hannah to submit questions to be featured in our magazine! Coming soon!