Freshers’: Expectation vs. Reality

Becoming a Fresher is most students’ first real taste of freedom and widely recognised to be the best week of your life. So it’s no wonder that we have high expectations for university life as a Fresher. However, many returning students will have a more cynical outlook on Freshers’ and realise that on top of being struck down by Freshers’ Flu, you will probably come across a number Freshers’ Week bombshells that you didn’t sign up to.

Student Loan


When you receive your first instalment of student loan you will be left feeling like King Midas. Jägerbombs are on you and that £250 shopping spree and endless Dominos orders won’t even scratch the surface of your hefty bank balance.



Once you’ve forked out on your overpriced student accommodation (if your loan even covers that) you will realise that your student loan really isn’t a lot of money. You will spend the next three to four months living off pasta and baked beans and the Tesco Everyday Value range will become your life saver.

Student Halls


Considering the dent that the cost of living in halls leaves in our student loans, you will come to University with the vision of a stylish sanctuary with a double bed scattered with cushions and photograph collages covering every inch of wall space.



Forget the double bed, your mattress will more than likely dip in the middle and you will spend many a night being impaled by springs. The floor will be strewn with Dino’s takeaway boxes and random leaflets and vouchers you have accumulated from Freshers’ Fair. The only time you’ll be able to see your carpet, let alone hoover it, is at Christmas when your parents come to pick you up.

Coursework and Deadlines


Before you arrive at University you will convince yourself that you are going to transform yourself academically. You will be organised, attend every lecture and pull an incredible work ethic from thin air. You will more than likely have bought every single book on the reading list and have spent a small fortune in WHSmith on stationary that you are certain will get you a 2:1.



You will leave the majority of your coursework until the last couple of days before the deadline and you will be no stranger to all–nighters. You will come to realise that if you go out during the week the majority of the following day will be a write-off and 9am lectures will become an extremely rare sighting.

Your image


University is a fresh start and a chance to reinvent yourself so you are going to make your best efforts to look good at all times, from nights out to just doing laundry, as you need to make a good impression.



You will almost certainly end up going to lectures with remnants of UV paint from the night before on yourself or get caught out doing the walk of shame in last night’s fancy dress. Even if you’re not hung over, your outfit choices will be based upon what doesn’t need ironing and if things get really bad you may even dabble with the joggers/flip-flop combo.

Your flatmates

Enjoying party

 You will envisage that all your flatmates will be the coolest people you have ever met. They will all have similar interests to you and within one week of moving into your new flat you will have met your best friends for life.



These people are randomly selected to live with you so the chances are you probably won’t get along with them all. Any communal areas will become a mess very quickly and you will probably spend a lot of first year leaving passive aggressive notes telling your flatmates to get rid of their lumpy milk or unclog their hair from the shower plug.

But even though your Fresher dreams may be crushed with the reality of becoming a poor, impoverished student, being a Fresher is an unforgettable experience and you will always look back on your first year at University as being the best time of your life.

Abby Ross

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