Fresher’s Week

From BBC Learning English:

The UK has a well-respected higher education system and some of the top universities and research institutions in the world. But to those who are new to it all, it can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing.

October is usually the busiest month in the academic calendar. Universities have something called Freshers’ Week for their newcomers. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends, join lots of clubs and settle into university life.

However, having just left the comfort of home and all your friends behind, the prospect of meeting lots of strangers in big halls can be nerve-wracking. Where do you start? Who should you make friends with? Which clubs should you join?

Luckily, there will be thousands of others in the same boat as you worrying about starting their university social life on the right foot. So just take it all in slowly. Don’t rush into anything that you’ll regret for the next three years.

Here are some top tips from past students on how to survive Freshers’ Week:
blend in. Make sure you are aware of British social etiquette. Have a few wine glasses and snacks handy for your housemates and friends;
– be hospitable. Sometimes cups of tea or even slices of toast can give you a head start in making friends;
– be sociable. The more active you are, the more likely you’ll be to meet new people than if you’re someone who never leaves their room;
– bring a doorstop. Keep your door open when you’re in and that sends positive messages to your neighbours that you’re friendly.

So with a bit of clever planning and motivation, Freshers’ Week can give you a great start to your university life and soon you’ll be passing on your wisdom to next year’s new recruits.

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admired, considered to be very good

putting you under a lot of pressure, very difficult to cope with

academic calendar
a period from one October to the next October when all the lectures, seminars, assignments, exams and extra-curricular activities (i.e. activities which are not part of the usual college course) that a student’s life is made up of take place

here, first year students

settle into
become familiar with and start feeling comfortable and happy about

causing great anxiety or distress

in the same boat
in the same difficult or worrying situation

on the right foot

take it all in
understand and get used to the new environment

blend in
look or seem the same as people around you, fit in with others

social etiquette
rules of behaviour that are accepted by a certain group of people

ready to give out

give you a head start in making friends
help you make new friends more easily and quickly

passing on your wisdom
explain and teach the rules of university life


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