So, here goes. Weeks of organising and packing, months of waiting and studying, years of planning and decisions. It all comes down to one thing: Move-In Day.
This time a year ago most of us were filling out application forms, trying to remember what exam board our GCSEs were done by and tackling the terrifying prospect of writing a self-glorifying but definitely-not-too-cocky personal statement in less than 47 lines.
Now it’s here, and you’ve packed the car, driven however many miles you have to go to get here, and convinced smiley helpers to give you a hand with your luggage up to your brand new room. You’ve unpacked, said goodbye to your loved ones, maybe had a little cry, and then you’re on your own. What on earth are you supposed to do next? If you’re like me, you may have over-eagerly jumped on the next flatmate to arrive and offered to help her with her things before she’d even fully opened the door, like some sort of mad, over-excited concierge. Then comes the surreal experience of getting to know your flatmates, the people with whom you’re going to live for the next year of your life.
“Where are you from?”
“How old are you?”
“What do you study?”
Tip: to win over your new flatmates quickly, maybe bring a peace offering of cookies or other tasty please-like-me-because-I-can-cook snacks. They show you’re a friendly, approachable person, and they go down a treat, if you’ll excuse the pun.
SUSU is responsible in a big way for how much fun my Freshers’ Fortnight was. Not only is it exciting because of the new experiences – ranging from big things like being away from home, meeting so many new people and cooking for yourself; to little things like having for the very first time in your life an en suite bathroom or a double bed – but also the events that SUSU hosts, which cater to literally every taste. Glen Bar’s Welcome Evening was a good way to chat to people from your own and surrounding flats, with similar events happening in the other hall bars.
Then, once most people had arrived on Sunday, the week really started with the SUSU Welcome Parties. For me, a personal highlight was being at the front when Chris Stark from Radio 1’s Scott Mills Show DJ’d in Pulse on Sunday (yes, I may have reacted a bit like a 13-year-old girl meeting Justin Bieber), and it was also everyone’s first real taste of the halls rivalry rife throughout Southampton (CHAM-BER-LAIN. CHAM-BER-LAIN.) with everyone sporting their halls t-shirt. Despite the foam party perhaps not being as… foam-y as we might have liked, the whole event was an amazing start to the festivities.
One of SUSU’s biggest Fresher events was the Bloc Party which, despite sadly not being an actual gig by the band Bloc Party, was still a brilliant event, with freshers flocking down to Bedford Place in Portswood, where their tickets allowed them to jump between the resident clubs, including Orange Rooms, Buddha and Tokyo. This was a great way to bring all the freshers from across different nationalities, halls and courses together.
However the various JCRs across the campus did organise their own individual parties. Chamberlain was lucky enough to witness the brilliance of the Burrito Boys, even if they weren’t the actual ones off the Doritos adverts, who treated everyone to covers, from the Sex Pistols to the Killers, at the Mexican Fiesta.
To find out more about how Freshers’ Fortnight is about much more than just going out, look out for Part 2 of Freshers’ Week: The Good, The Bad and The Bunfight.