Freshers’ Week – To be or not to be?

I remember the night of the 31st of December 2019 as clear as day: It was a cool summer’s night, and the minutes leading to 2020, I was sitting outside and looking up at the stars. 2020 had been set up to be a fantastic year; I was studying overseas, had made some amazing friends, and I couldn’t wait for the next year to start. In a million years, I could have never predicted what was to follow that night, especially a pandemic that has resulted in over seven hundred thousand deaths.

The Coronavirus has affected all of us in many ways. A lot of us have lost loved ones, seen a decrease in our mental health or have missed out on much-anticipated experiences. The future has been more unclear than ever, and I think this has taught us to be grateful for the little things and just how unpredictable life can be, and for a lot of university students it has been a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. I think the biggest one on most soon to be university students’ minds are, “what about Freshers’ week?”

Freshers’ week is one of the most anticipated weeks for new students, and here is a general explanation of what’s to come for Freshers in 2020.

Freshers’ week is conducted in two different ways. You have the universities and the Fresher night events hosted separately.

In terms of the universities, each university is different. Most universities are either postponing their Freshers’ week or doing it online, with teaching being either fully online or a mixture of online and face-to-face. Notably, the University of Birmingham are not changing anything, and Leeds are returning to campus too, but stressing the importance of social-distancing. If you would like to find out more information on what your university is doing, here is a link with a summary of each university city.

And what about the club events and parties hosted separately? Well, freshers, good news, Fresher week events are still on, with tickets on sale now for all venues. The first events start on the 12th of September, starting in London and ending on the 9th of October in Leicester, and will be conducted in Surrey, Guildford, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Southampton, Derby, Leeds, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Newcastle, and Nottingham. Prices range from £4.00 to £8.00 and tickets are available from the following link:

This year has definitely been a never-ending obstacle course for everyone, and you never know what is going to be thrown at you. It may seem like Freshers’ week is going to continue with only a few differences, but you never know; tomorrow it could all be cancelled.

Freshers of 2020: here is my advice to you. If Freshers’ week continues per normal, do as much as you can, live it up and have the time of your lives. However, this week does not define your university experience. While I thoroughly enjoyed my Freshers’ week and I would live it all again, looking at my university life in terms of my friends and experiences, even if Freshers’ week did not happen, I think I would have been in a similar position as I am now. I know that university is scary – you’re entering a whole new chapter, with new characters and new adventures that you don’t know, but I promise you all, that whether Freshers’ week continues or not, you and your university experience is going to be okay.

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