Freshers week is normally the time where first year students would gather for parties, nights out and socialising with people that you’ve never met before.
However, 2020 had other ideas. Although freshers might look a bit different this year, there are still plenty of things to be doing at your uni! Obviously, any activities should be done under local lockdown restrictions within Birmingham and observing social distancing.
Freshers week is made especially difficult in Birmingham as there has been a
“local lockdown”, meaning that further regulations have been put in place here compared to other parts of the country. These restrictions include not
being able to mix with other households, or in this case, anyone outside your
flat. Additionally, there is a nationwide “rule of six” meaning that you can only meet with five other people at a time.
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham are putting on a variety of in-person and online activities for freshers this year. Firstly, they are hosting two weeks of events
on the Vale Village, a hub for first year students. In groups of 6, you are able to go to an outdoor cinema or do fairground-like activities, all with catering.
They charge £12 for a table of 6 people, and it’s a great way to get to know your flatmates whilst having some good fun!
Additionally, their annual Freshers Fair has had an online makeover! Here, students are able to get all the nice discounts that they would usually get
and get to meet many student societies, but without the big crowds! Also
online, students are able to take part in fun online events such as quizzes,
virtual escape rooms and even virtual nights out for you to enjoy in your flat!
Birmingham City University
Birmingham City University is also mixing online and in-person events for their freshers week and beyond. The BCU Student Union Welcome Fair will
enable students to browse the student societies that they might want to join, as well as get their bearings around the campus. The library opening hours have been reduced as a result increased cleaning and extra hours needed for quarantining books after being returned, but the Curzon building and the
learning spaces at the City South campus will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the first semester.
Just like other Birmingham universities, Aston is doing a mix of in-person and online teaching. They have started a programme called “Get Ahead”
where students are able to access support on campus or virtually, giving you help and advice on how to adapt to the university lifestyle. This includes
information on essay writing, understanding your timetable and finding your way around their city-centre campus. All facilities are expected to open,
obviously with social distancing measures in place, and face coverings are expected to be worn where appropriate.
Outside of the universities, there are also freshers events that are being organised within the cities by individual businesses that are socially
distanced and comply with current guidelines. For example, “The Big
Freshers Icebreaker” is a popular choice, ensuring that people are safe when they’re having a night out. There are also many other options within town that you can attend with your flatmates and still get that authentic freshers experience.
If you are unsure about any of the government guidelines, please consult the government’s website for more information. Additionally, make sure to check the restrictions in your area to make sure that you’re safe at all times. Most importantly though, make sure that you have a great time this year, as it is truly unlike any other!