Best before, use by, sell by: Understanding Freshers’ Expiration Dates


There is absolutely nothing worse than when you remember you forgot something in the fridge, and when you go to check it, it’s gone off. The problem worsens when you realise that something is you.

Let’s be real, nobody actually wants to be labelled as a fresher. The suggestion is that they are lame and embarrassing and young (ew!), but there are ways to check whether or not it is actually a bad thing.

Firstly, there is some confusion as to what constitutes a fresher. The simple answer: anything fresh!

If you have never seen that person’s face before and you’ve been at a place longer, then the chances are that they are a fresher. They are easier to spot when they are university freshers: they are usually wearing whatever is in fashion these days (is it still gold chains?); they look like they should probably still be in school; they will make you feel old. Even if they are a more mature fresher, they are still fresh, just with a richer taste. It’s best that you can admit you’re a fresher before people start pointing and laughing, because then you can own it.

But, wait, why do people keep calling me a fresher?‘ This is the voice of a confident third-year Politics student who has much to prove. ‘Because you’ve joined Monte football quite late, mate.

Despite the outcries, you can become a fresher again after undergoing the original fresher period if you do something that makes you fresh. Obviously! While this does mean you are encouraged to join clubs at any point during your degree and are able to engage with things that are bespoke for clubs’ freshers, many students will fear this label because being labelled a fresher is très embarrassing. It’s important to use the fresher experience by the end of university, because the fresh look really won’t last past your uni years.

The opposite to a fresher is a rotter, and we have definitely all seen these before. They look like they should work in accounting and drive a saloon car. They have an actual beard and wear outrageously thick glasses because their eyes have stared at so many online tax forms that their retinas are disintegrating. And yet, they are still here. Why? I can’t really say. Maybe they just enjoy the flies. The editor decided to suggest a joke that most rotters end up in SUSU uniform, so I believe that is a declaration of war? [Editor’s note: that joke has been taken way out of context, please direct all artillery fire towards Emily’s house.]

Truth be told, there are worse things than being a fresher. It doesn’t take a fresh 18 year-old to embarrass a group of people; that can easily be achieved by literally anybody who has drunk enough and is also a victim of peer pressure. There are some stories in this magazine about embarrassing fresher stories, but you just have to look at my 24 year-old ex-housemate to see that embarrassment never ages. In case it wasn’t obvious enough, 5 years is probably the sell-by date, meaning you should sell yourself off to the corporate giant and stop trying to pull college leavers in Jesters.


Wessex Scene Editor 21/22. Living vicariously through other people.

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