Freshers Etiquette: 10 Unwritten Rules


Fresher’s Week – it shouldn’t be a worry but somehow it is. Will I meet my best mates in the first week? Will my halls be full of the sort of people I like to be around? What if I can’t find anyone I like?! All the sort of completely absurd questions you will be running round in your head on the lead up to the best three or four years of your life.

Well, fear no more! Your trusty friend The Idle Man went on search for someone to tell you everything you need to know to get through Fresher’s Week. A sort of, Fresher’s Ettiquette, if you will. Who did we find? No other than the VP of Student Engagement at Southampton Solent, Hannah Mullarky. Her job is to engage students, get them partying and fully enjoying their time at University.

We know – what a job. Well without any further ado we give you 10 expert tips from someone who is literally paid to get people partying at Uni.


1. Don't be nervous!

I know this is a lot easier said than done, because chances are you, will be nervous. Keep reminding yourself that everyone is in the same boat and will be just as nervous as you are.

2. Keep your door open.

When you first move in, keep your door open while you're unpacking. It's a great way to meet people that you'll be living with for the next year, and you can see everyone coming and going before you introduce yourself. Also, don't bother buying a doorstop - just pop a can of deodorant or hairspray into the hinge of the door and that'll keep it open. You can also have a crate of beer by your door to have drinks handy for people coming to say hi.

3. Ask loads of questions.

Don't rattle on about yourself and what you got up to in your gap yah; get to know people and what they're about. No one wants to constantly hear about that time you left a vomcano in the streets of Thailand after one too many shots of sambuka and gained some serious 'lad points', so wait until the right time to tell stories. No conversation hogging.


4. Keep saying hi!

The first people you meet in Freshers will be great. But the second, third and fourth lot of people will be awesome too, so don't get comfortable with the first bunch of fresh faces you see. Keep introducing yourself to as many people as possible, because you might soon realise that the first people you met actually store months worth of rubbish at the foot of their bed or fart while you're eating. Get to know everyone you meet, and you're more likely to meet your favourite people ever.

5. Please don't be a dick.

The majority of Freshers can't wait to get utterly bamboozled during their first time living away from home. And that's great, it can settle the nerves, remove your inhibitions and get you hugging total strangers and telling them you love them. Just please don't be a dick. On my first night out in Freshers, one of the boys had one too many tequilas and thought the best way to make new friends, and show everyone how super cool he is, was to kick some wing-mirrors off parked cars. First impressions are vital in this environment, and getting so hammered you think vandalism is the best conversation starter is definitely not big, and not clever.


A brilliant way to meet people is through joining a club or society. It creates a space where you can meet people you might never have come across otherwise, and chances are you're going to be very like-minded. Clubs and societies, or anything extra-curricular, like volunteering, are also great tools to fill up your spare time. Especially during your first year, your timetable won't be full and you'll have a lot of spare time to kill. Extra hobbies like Quidditch or pole dancing can help stave off boredom, homesickness and mental health issues such as depression.


7. Stay safe

After advising you to meet as many people as possible, which is definitely the best thing to do, I'm just going to drop in that not everyone is your friend. Don't invite complete strangers back to your home or tell them where you live - just swap contact details or add them on Facebook for starters. The chances are you'll also be in a new town or city for your Uni experience, so stick to well-lit streets when you're walking home and ALWAYS take a mate. Freshers who have had one too many drinks, stumbling through an unsafe area and unsure where they're going are VERY easy targets.

8. Be open minded

You're going to meet some of the wildest, weirdest and wackiest people you've ever met during your first term at uni - and it is absolutely amazing. Keep an open mind when you're talking to new people. Everyone has a different story and not everyone will be from the same background as you. Take this opportunity to educate yourself in different cultures, different walks of life and different personalities and break free of your bubble. People are beautiful, and by being open minded you will hear some incredible stories and learn how fascinating everyone's lives are.

9. It's not just for shagging.

I read a horrendous article about how Freshers week is all about shagging, and that if you don't do it, you are lame. This is totally NOT a thing. First of all, so many people come to university with a partner. When I moved in about 80% of people in my halls had a boyfriend or girlfriend. And the people you meet during Freshers are not dispensable, for you to use once and throw away. You are spending the next three years of your life with these people, you might want to think with a little bit more than your genitals.

Student-Tips1 (1)

10. It doesn't matter if you don't drink.

Freshers is always associated with excessive drinking, which is fine for the people that want to partake in that (as long as they don't start destroying cars). But what about those who don't drink? Guess what... It doesn't make a bit of difference. You will get people who repeatedly ask you "but why not?", or "come on, just have one, I really want to see what you're like drunk!" and those people just don't realise that it's not a big deal to not drink.

I had a few friends who didn't drink, and they still joined in with everything, came out clubbing and danced all night. Then they could get up in the morning for their 9 am lectures, spritely as fuck, while I was throwing up in my sink until midday. This top tip is more for people who do drink - it doesn't make a blind bit of difference if they have rum in their coke or not, leave them to it, it's their choice. You'll be jealous of them the next morning anyway.

EXTRA TIP: Buy Anadin extra. It's paracetamol, aspirin and caffeine all in one handy little tablet. It saves lives during Freshers week.

Solent VP


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