What I’d tell my first-year self: Alternatives to a ‘Big Night Out’

Megan Brown

There is the conception that as freshmen attending the University of Nottingham, it is a need to participate in social events may be focused on attending clubs or parties, or the need to join as many student societies as possible, to maximise your student life experience at Nottingham University yourself. However, the social aspects of University does not just focus on attending parties or joining societies, it is in reality, more diverse and broad than that, as Megan Brown, a current 2nd Year Student at the University of Nottingham studying International Media and Communication, writes in this article titled “What I’d tell my First Year Self: Alternatives to a ‘Big Night Out”.

The University ‘experience’ can be overwhelming, underwhelming and everywhere in between. The idea of clubbing and nights out can often overcloud the many other social opportunities up for grabs in Nottingham. During my first term as a university student, I felt that clubbing was the only option for meeting new people due to the culture often associated with freshers’ week and first-year university students. Do not get me wrong, I do enjoy a night out myself, however, it is always nice to know that you have other options and opportunities available for when you feel like having a relaxing and chilled evening.

One of the best alternatives for a ‘Big Night Out’ that I have found personally enjoyable would be a good old-fashioned pub quiz. Whether you drink or not, attending your local student pub with a few friends is almost always a good time, from creating your team name to laughing when you get silly questions wrong. My favourite pubs that hold weekly quizzes would be Mooch or The Rose and Crown, as they are not a far walk from student accommodation and are always filled with countless students looking for an easy and casual evening.

Another alternative that I find entertaining, would be joining a variety of student societies and attending their events and socials. Whilst many societies’ socials are clubbing orientated, there are equally many events that don’t require arriving home during the early morning hours. For example, I attended events that included bingo, pottery painting, ice skating, dog walking, movie nights and bowling, which were equally enjoyable, social, and reasonably priced. Consequently, I personally met one of my closest friends through a student society, as I found it easier to meet people who shared similar interests to me as you’re in a more close-knit and personalised environment.

The University of Nottingham’s very own residential experience team, also known as ResX, provides great alternatives for students living in UoN accommodation. They put on a variety of events, which are all completely free. Last year I attended multiple events, from sushi-making classes to seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 at the Arc Cinema – Beeston, however, I would have to say my favourite would have to be either the end-of-year fair that they had set up on campus or the LUSH cosmetics pamper parties, where we got to make our own bath bombs. Therefore, I would definitely recommend checking out the ResX team and all of their unique activities, as there is something for everyone.

Something as simple as going for a walk or getting a coffee with friends is almost definitely underrated. The University of Nottingham’s campus is massive, with countless meeting places for students like me. My particular favourite campus spots for catching up with friends would be at any food or drinks venue found in the Portland building, around the lake and the Downs – especially during spring and summer. Similarly, if you wanted to get off campus, you could also head to one of the many parks found in the surrounding areas. My preferred park to visit would be Wollaton Park, as it’s not a far walk from campus and it has the most beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Megan Brown

Featured image courtesy of Sawyer Bengtson via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

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