Making the Most of Freshers in London

Zombie cocktails

So you’re moving to London to start university, you’ve made a great choice! London is the best city to go to university in in the UK. Why? Because we have everything bigger and better than the rest of the country. Ok, I’m being a little biased and big headed. But going to university in London is a lot different to going anywhere else in the country. Not necessarily in a bad way, but there’s something about London that makes it really weird to go to university in.

First of all, unlike any other large sized town or city, the university isn’t the only thing going for it. Mostly because we have about 40 different universities in one city. Hardly any of them are campus based. Meaning your whole uni life can be spread across the city. And unlike places like Sheffield or Warwick, people don’t just go to London for uni. People travel to London from all over the world for tourism, to work, to live, and they don’t immediately think: “university”. Time and time again I have heard Northern family members say: “Why didn’t you go to Manchester to study? Manchester is a student city.” What does that mean, “student city”? Because to me that means there’s nothing else to do except study.

That’s why in my first year I didn’t feel like London offered the real student experience, whatever that is. Whenever I spoke to my friends from school in the holidays who went to other places in the country to study, they always asked: “What is London like?” But I really wondered what it was like to not study there. (They have this thing called “carnage”. What the hell is that?) To me, their uni experience sounded like living in a tiny village. Everyone you met was a student and when you went to the shops, everyone was a student. The only people you met in clubs were other students and when you met a local, they hated you because you were a student. And during uni holidays, the place was like a ghost town. You were stuck having to live on rubbish food from chain restaurants like Nandos and drinking bad filter coffee from the student union because no one had heard of a ‘skinny latte’, let alone been into a Starbucks. Yeah ok, point made. But that’s what I first worried about when I was a fresher in London. I worried I wasn’t getting the “real deal”. Maybe I didn’t, but I think I got better.

Here’s some of my tips on how to make the most out of freshers in London, so you don’t feel too left out…..

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How to Survive Fresher’s Flu

Image from eco stiletto

Definition: (according to Urban Dictionary):

An awful illness that prevents freshers… from attending lectures in the first term.

Causes: Too much drinking and too many late nights being crammed together with people from all over the country at events like the fresher’s ball that have always been booked in a tiny venue with limited space.

You’re also rarely sleeping. During the day you’re out socialising and trying out different clubs and societies and during the night, you’re out until 3am drinking and clubbing.

You haven’t touched a piece of fresh fruit in about a week, and you might have even had too many greasy take-outs that seemed like a good idea when you were peckish at 1am.

Symptoms: physical exhaustion. Your feet hurt, your legs ache and you have bruises you can’t remember getting. Headaches, nausea and tiredness. You’ve developed a cough that makes you sound huskier than you’d like and not even in a ‘sexy’ way. Plus, you may even lose your voice entirely. This list is not exhaustive; you may also have all of the other gross symptoms of flu that I didn’t want to identify.

Sounds familiar? You have fresher’s flu!

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