Student life

The alternative guide to freshers’ week


Over the past few years, ‘clean living’ has increasingly become a part of our everyday culture. And freshers’ are no exception. Where students have always had a reputation for loving a boozy bar crawl, in recent years universities and students alike are trying to steer away from this stereotype by encouraging ‘alternative’ freshers’ activities.

So if you’re not interested in alcohol, or simply want to try something new, we’ve put together the top five ‘alternative’ activities you can take part in this freshers’ week.

1. Paintball

What better way to make friends than to pelt them painfully with paintballs? You’ll usually be able to get a good group deal at your uni freshers’ fair, so it’s a cost effective way to get to know your flatmates as well as blow off some steam after the stress of moving in.

2. Ghost walks

Although this isn’t on offer everywhere, if you happen to be attending uni in a historic town that perhaps has a ghostly presence, this is definitely something to check out during freshers’ week. Instead of hitting the clubs, choose a night during freshers’ week to book onto a tour with your new flatmates. Not only will your mutual fear bond you for life, but you’ll learn a lot more about the town you’ll be calling home for the next few years.

3. Hummous tasting

This one’s pretty specific, but if you’re attending the London School of Economics it’s a very real possibility that the Hummous society will try to draft you for some hummous tasting antics! Even if you don’t want to join a society, a hummous tasting party is a fun, alcohol-free way to spend a night in during freshers’. And if you’re not a fan of hummous, there’s no reason this couldn’t be substituted for an alternative treat.

4. Competitive eating societies

In a similar vein to hummous tasting, if you’re keen to stay away from alcohol and clubbing this freshers’, eating is generally a good place to start. At Kent University they have a competitive eating society – so essentially an excuse to eat as much as you physically can! Why not set up an all-you-can-eat competition in your halls? If nothing else, you’ll save money on food when you don’t have to eat for a few days.

5. Pub quiz

Although arguably this does involve alcohol, it’s always a good idea to limit your alcohol intake during a pub quiz so you remember to call out the answers. Not only that, but it’s generally only a few pounds to enter - a lot cheaper than club entry during freshers’ week. Find out what your flatmates are knowledgeable about and form a team that covers all of your bases – and remember that the team-naming ritual is all part of the fun, so get creative!

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