Everyone’s Freshers’ Week is a bit different!
It’s a good idea to bring easy to store boxes when you move in, because remember you are going to have to move out again at the end of term! Fairy lights, pictures from home and cute throws can all make your college room feel more homely!!!
Club tickets! You’re going to see loads of events on Facebook advertising tickets and club nights and saying they’re going to sell out soon - but you don’t need to worry about this, as your college Freshers’ Rep will have liaised with Oxford’s clubs and got enough tickets for you - and there’ll be a huge group of people going from your college on a specific night, so you’ll definitely have company and older years to look after you!
But if clubbing isn’t your thing, don’t worry about that, either! It’s not the only way to make friends in Freshers’ Week - there will be some sober events like ice skating and there will be loads of time to just chill in your college JCR (Junior Common Room) and talk to people there!
Freshers’ Fair: this is where you can find all the societies and groups to join!
It’s ok to sign up to loads and loads of things and get loads of emails the week after! Inevitably at Freshers’ Fairs everyone signs up to more things than they can do - it’s in the time after that you figure out what things you really want to do (and learn where the unsubscribe button is on your email account)
Freshers’ Fair also isn’t the be all and end all - there are plenty of opportunities to sign up to different things throughout the year or go to new events, and there will be a fair few Second Years at the Freshers’ Fair, too, looking to join new societies!
Formal dinners: all you need to know about what cutlery / glasses to use when there’s loads of it at a Formal Dinner is work from the outside in. That’s it. So the cutlery on the outermost edges is for the starter and then you work inwards. And for glasses, the hall staff will fill them up at each course so you’ll know which one to use - except for the water, which is in the one glass which looks really different to the rest
Dress codes - we’re going to write another blog post about formal dress codes and what they mean!
Meeting your tutors for the first time
Usually you’ll have a meeting with your tutors during Freshers’ Week to explain how the term is going to go, schedule classes and introduce themselves, which makes everything super clear. Some tutors really helpfully go through some essay technique tips too - so don’t worry too much about being rusty! Nobody expects the first work you do to be good - everybody is just learning the ropes
At Christ Church we also have a dinner with our tutors in Freshers’ Week, which actually isn’t as awkward as you might imagine, because the tutors really want to welcome you and make a good impression, and they try so hard to talk to you! One of my tutors told me all about his daughter’s trip to Greece, which was actually super cute and interesting (and really humanised him!)
College parents: tours and teas and things
Before I came here I was super worried about my college parents hating me for some reason - if they weren’t like me or we just didn’t click etc. etc. - but even if you’re not destined to be best friends (not everybody is and that’s ok) they will still definitely look after you in Freshers’ Week and will be more than happy to ask any questions and won’t hate you - after all, that’s why they signed up to be a college parent! As a Second Year, I can’t wait for my college children to message me and ask me loads and loads of questions (literally no question is bad - I asked my college mom whether or not there would be a microwave in my staircase!)
It’s completely ok to want to be alone for a bit - Fresher’s Week is quite intense, especially if you’re trying to talk to loads of people. If you’re in your room resting for an hour or so, there’s no need to worry, you won’t be missing any sort of key opportunity!
It’s ok to miss home, too
Most people have a small cry in their room at some point - you are not alone in this. We both thought that we were the only one of our friends who did this in Freshers’ Week, but we later found out that all of our friends did this!
Freshers’ Week is also not the only time you’re ever going to make friends - you’ve got the rest of the term to find your people (including people at other colleges), as well as the rest of your degree!