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A Look Back at Week One

The Week One reps and yellow buses may be gone, but there’s many a fresher out there who still hasn’t quite recovered their voice. The mind-numbing blast of Nottingham’s Week One (which, incidentally, is by far the best in the country) is a hell of a way to start your uni career. Being a fairly laid-back individual, I approached the beginning of university as I did most things in life – unprepared, unresearched and barely aware of what was going on. Under the impression that freshers’ week consisted of finding my way round campus and something called freshers’ flu, arriving at Nottingham was a pleasant surprise. A week-long party is exciting enough, and the fact that it was all done in fancy dress made me sure that I’d definitely picked the best uni in the UK. Fond memories of a week dressed in interesting combinations of borrowed clothes, screaming undying loyalty to a hall I hadn’t heard of a month or so before, made me wish I was back on the buses with the rest of them.

While the tattered remnants of your fancy dress may be useless as anything but dishcloths now, Impact were there recording some of the choicest moments of Week One 2008. Has your picture made it into the collage? Manage to find a pic of yourself and you’ll be enjoying a warm glow inside yourself as you realise that yes, that’s what you look like when you’re drunk and that yes, that’s been printed in several thousand copies of Impact.

Week One 2008 kicked off with Funked Up at Ocean – which, though retaining its characteristic smell and oozing carpets, had upped the game by giving over part of the dancefloor to a stage. A fairly impressive funk band gave a refreshing alternative to the usual Ocean staples of Bon Jovi and the Baywatch theme tune, and the freshers showed admirable determination to dance on the podiums, despite the bouncer’s best attempts to stop them.

The Tuesday night events included a caveman-themed Isis night, a chance for those lucky freshers to familiarise themselves with some pole-dancing moves they will doubtless perfect as the year goes on. Enthusiastic waltzer-ing and dodgem battles led to the partial destruction of some pretty impressive costumes, but with double vodka red bull at £1.50 it’s safe to assume a good time was had by all.

The ‘Traffic Light’ themed Oceana of the Wednesday night always strikes me as an interesting concept. I generally assumed anyone to don the ‘come get me’ green attire was much more confident, outgoing, and presumably attractive, than I will ever be. However, a vicious anonymous text into one URN show raged that it was ridiculous for… Ahem… “Fat social rejects” to think they can pull just by putting on a green t-shirt. Calm down guys. It’s not meant to be taken seriously.
Cripps Hall definitely had a good deal of it on Wednesday with their own uniformity party in the hall bar and marquee. Hall parties have gained something of a reputation for being the less exciting Week One nights, but this definitely wasn’t the case. The Cripps-residents-only party was an invaluable chance for all of them to get to know their hallmates, and perhaps some of them can even remember it despite the free bar organised by their lovely JCR committee.

Along with the various club nights, Thursday saw something slightly different come to the Venue. The Moonlighters big band played to a full house – there were obviously a fair few freshers who didn’t fancy another night at Ocean! Despite only having had a week to prepare, the crowd absolutely loved it and the Moonlighters definitely came out swinging.

Friday night’s Silent Disco in the Fresher’s Fayre marquee began as a bit of a shambles. The headphones didn’t arrive on time, so that when they did the crowd surged forwards with literally hundreds of people pushing towards the front. With no available exits, those near the front of the crowd began to be crushed. Thankfully the gallant Willoughby Week One reps kicked out some of the side panels of the marquee, allowing those being trampled to get out to safety. Many people gave up and left, but despite the unpromising start the silent disco eventually took off and proved a good night for those who persevered.

Things slowed down considerably on Saturday night, with a poorly attended indie night at the Venue. It seemed this was the evening many freshers chose to have a night off to get their energy back up for the next day – either that, or the daytime trip to Alton Towers had proved too much for them.

The Week One party was, as always, of epic proportions. The Week One exec didn’t fail to deliver, with sets from Audiobullies, Reggie Yeates and Reverend and the Makers in Rock City getting the crowd going. The ‘Basement Boudoir’ delivered more on décor than performance, which isn’t that much of an insult to the performers as the Moulin-Rouge-style decoration was an impressive sight. With rooms ranging from the UV aura surrounding the Hoodoo set to the camouflaged hip hop and R’n’B stage, there was something to suit every taste. Firefly and Detonate at Stealth were enough to get anyone dancing, not that the freshers would have needed much encouragement (holding up remarkably well after a week of all-out partying). The only complaint of the night was that on such a large site, it’s impossible to stay with your friends, and once you lose them you’re fucked. But it was still freshers’ week, and so more than acceptable to wander up to a stranger and greet them like a long lost friend.

As another Week One drew to a close, the sad realisation dawned on thousands of freshers that they are in fact at uni to get a degree. Perhaps beginning to do some work would be a step forward – never forgetting the first year’s mantra. Forty percent, forty percent, forty percent…

Lucy Hayes

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