Our first week at Uni was Fresher’s Week and boy oh boy was it a week.
One word and one word only comes to mind when I think of the University of Exeter’s campus. It’s not beautiful (though it absolutely is). HILLS. There are bloody hills all over this city and this campus.
I swear the people that decided to put a University at the top of a massive hill are sitting here laughing at me as I pant and sweat making my way to the Forum (one of the main buildings on campus). For a side note, I have terrible eating habits, I mainly survive on carbs, and I avoid exercise like the plague. After a month at Exeter and maintaining these same oh so healthy dietary habits my jeans are now one size too large. The saying “look on the bright side” comes to mind now. The hills are much steeper than they appear in the photo below.
Now back to Fresher’s Week. Keep in mind students here only go to university for 3 years (unless they are doing a language major and must do a gap year abroad). Automatically I’m older than the average final year student. Participating in a week dedicated to Freshers the age gap really struck out to me… However this feeling was not enough to dissuade me from joining in on the activities. There was way too much free stuff for me to pass up. James hates me for dragging him to things just because it’s free, yet somehow it manages to work out.
Jocelyn (one of the four roommates from Hong Kong, she’s really nice and friendly and we get along really well), Donald (another of the roommates from Hong Kong who is actually studying in Pittsburgh), James and I attended a FREE ROCK CLIMBING TRIP in this beautiful national park called Dartmoor hosted by the Climbing Society. Beware the massive cow patties strewn around everywhere and do NOT pet the wild horses as I did. They have fleas or something, and they bite and it itches for days. Whilst rock climbing was fun I decided one climb was enough for me. Not sure I’m too keen on dangling in the air on the face of a rock. James, far braver than I did all the routes, and ended up cutting his hand while doing the hardest route. I definitely suggest bringing gloves or chalk or something. The view, though, at the top of the rock was worth the climb. While on this trip we met some girls who were also on exchange from Sweden, two of whom Beatrice and Phillipa are in my Money and Banking I module and have become friends with!
Another activity that I dragged James to that he nonetheless enjoyed was a pub crawl hosted by the Cocktail Society. Jocelyn mentioned she was attending so we obviously went with her, even if we weren’t planning to drink we could still go out and socialize. Basically, we met some pretty cool English freshers and enjoyed the atmosphere at Gandy’s. I’m pretty sure my life philosophy is if it’s free, why not?
Lastly, my favorite bit of Fresher’s Week was the food. There’s a society on campus dedicated to eating. You don’t need to ask twice if I joined. Slow food society was kind enough to host a buffet at Oddfellows. Obviously, James and I were in attendance. The spread was great, potatoes, salad, crackers with fancy cheese and petit four style brownies yum. We also participated in an event at the Old Firehouse hosted by Forensics Society where we feasted on free pizza and cider (a must at the Old Firehouse) and met some really cool people and learned a lot about Forensics society – so we signed up. We also attended a bagel breakfast by the Jewish Society – cream cheese and cucumber bagels, and a lunch buffet hosted by the Chaplaincy society. Somehow I don’t have any photos of the great food we ate all week long (apologies). Motivated by food to go to these events worked really well because we ended up meeting people from all over the world and learned about groups I otherwise would have never participated in.
To cap off Fresher’s Week we attended the student fair hosted on Saturday where students joined societies and tons and tons of freebies were given out. Dominoes gave out free pizza slices, Wilko gave a shopping bag (filled with a wooden spoon, laundry detergent, razor, bottle opener), Morrisons gave out cupcakes and a bag of spaghetti, a free burger voucher from Walkabout, 2 free movie tickets, and popcorn, and I managed to acquire 4 t-shirts. For future students attending Fresher’s Week next year…even if you don’t join societies, go to the fair for the freebies.
Total cost per person: FREE
*Well technically £10 ea. since we joined two societies…
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