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2017-09-02

How not to flunk freshers…

What is flunking?

Normally you flunk exams, coursework, lectures or standard work. Traditionally, it refers to the act of failing some set task and the establishment then asking you to leave and thus not being able to continue, but more colloquially it is known as simply failing to do something.

Traditionally at university, there are a number of fellow students that flunk out every year. You may not know them you may not see them, but it happens. Rather than it being due to “failure” in some sense of the word, it due to complex situations often beyond their control.

Most universities are particularly lenient on first years as they don’t particularly want to give up the £9,000 worth of fees you’re paying them straight up and the exorbitant housing fees that sometimes last all throughout your time at university.

So all in all, it's pretty hard to flunk your first year of university.

So if people aren’t really flunking out of university, how does one flunk freshers?

Well for starters it depends on your opinion of what successful freshers or failed freshers is. For some, all they want to do is make a couple of good friends have a laugh in their new accommodation and stretch their metaphorical wings after they’ve flown the nest of mum and dad.

Others feel the need to prove something, rightly or wrongly. They have an agenda to get wasted, get crazy, and ‘explore’ as many substances as they can. Example includes commandeering a traffic cone - slowly establishing it as a member of your house and get outraged the minute Sally from down the hall asks when ‘Connie Cornetto’ will be leaving and can she have her bra back….

A cone dressed up with a hat and sunglasses and a bloke posing with a thumbs up next to it

Or maybe you’re not a true fresher anymore, maybe you’re masquerading. A second, third or fourth year lurching to be part of the yearly celebrations before the soul-crushing reality of the university bubble gets popped and working life begins. Trying your best to keep up with the young blood, you make a solid effort.

Sunday — Tick!

Monday — Tick!

Tuesday — Double Tick! (I got this)

Wednesday — Trembling Tick!

Thursday — FML.

Drunk man on a grassy field with a bottle of vodka next to him by Thom Masat

Or maybe you have resigned to the fact you’ll never relive that first year, and Freshers Week is more about catching up with friends you haven’t seen all summer. Figuring out whether you really have any power as Media Sec of the Badminton Club and whether or not you’ll be invited to Jonny’s 21st, you’ve heard after all its going to be in a castle.

Whatever your goals are for freshers are there are ways you can avoid “flunking” it.

1. Beat the Freshers Flu

Freshers Flu is a thing and is caused by a variety of factors, which can be overcome.

A) Vitamins

If you’re going to binge drinks (and let's be honest the only way that you are not going to is by abstaining completely), then you need to know how to recover. By the time you’re hitting the 3rd night in a row, your body is depleted of vitamins. How to beat it? Give Morning Recovery a try — the post night out drink that relieves hangover symptoms. Split with 5 other mates and it costs £5 a bottle. Too expensive? Take a pinch of salt and put it in a bottle of water (1 pinch per litre). Cheap easy hack to help you recover some of those vital nutrients.

You could also splurge on some vitamin pills, just make sure your housemates don’t get hold of them and suddenly they are all blue.

b) Energy depletion

How to beat it? Get enough sleep. Your schedule is going to be wrecked, we all know that just try and stay in bed “sleeping” for at least 8 hours. A tried and tested method is down a litre of water before sleeping (salt optional) then when you inevitably wake up a few hours before you should get up, down another litre of water (preferably with salt). You’ll horrific the first time you wake up, but vaguely human by the time you get up that second time.

c) If you develop symptoms?

If you can’t help, if you get run down. We suggest Beechams All in One: MAX STRENGTH. This stuff is the boss, an absolute nuclear weapon when it comes to fighting the common cold. Despite Freshers Flu being called ‘Flu’ 99/100 it really isn’t the flu. It’s just you getting run down and a common cold or a cough. So we’d advise NOT using the Beechams Flu Capsules they will have little to no effect.

2. Let's not catch the clap

Right, let's get this over with.

Public Health England says it is the first time the infection cannot be cured with first choice antibiotics.

There is a new strain of gonorrhoea making the rounds that is incurable. Yes. Incurable.

This one is problematic because normal medicine won’t work. The man in the study, linked in the quote above, is probably going to become “Subject — A” in a scientific journal about treating untreatable sexual transmitted infections.

So lets just all be safe in our fun aaaaand we’ll move on.

3. Save cash

Whatever your goals for freshers one of them will be not spending every penny you have. Take advantage of the start of year deals. They don’t last forever. That's why they are the start of year deals.

We’ve rounded up a couple of our faves:

a) Dominos

You’ll miss the days when you can’t get a dominos large pizza with 5 toppings for £8.99. Jump on the Dominos deals why you have a chance. Get to it. There will be fliers everywhere on campus. Nab a few, ‘drunk you’ will thank ‘sober you’ when you’re not spending £30 on pizza at 3 am.

b) NUS Card

Damn, I miss those things. You think a standard student card is good? These bad boys really step it up. Odeon tickets become affordable, eating out at other places than McDonald's becomes feasible, the co-op becomes a place you can now shop without crying at the total.

Check out all the discounts here.

c) Rail Card

On the same vein as the NUS card, get yourself a railcard . You can then go visit your friends, take day trips, go see your high-school partner who’s at the other end of the country, all without breaking the bank. The trains are ridiculous here, so don’t let them scrape any more from you than you have to.

d) Prime Time

What's better than Netflix? Pretty much nothing. But if you’re on a budget Amazon Prime is not bad - and beyond that, you get free one-day shipping. You get a great deal. Stuff you forgot? Items your friends have but you want? Something broken? Not a problem.

4. Mums not the word

Send a message to your mum or your dad. Or both.

What why?

Just do it.

But why, I’ve just escaped their clutches. And stop sounding like a bad Nike advert.

Because they raised you for 18 years, the least you could do is let them know you’re alive and you appreciate them.

Eh…

Still no? Well then statistics, that I am definitely not making up on the spot, show that the more contact a student has with their parents the more likely they are to receive a care package of goodies.

5. Do the people around you a solid

Going to university is hard. Leaving home is hard. No matter how much you think you’re suited to it, or how easy it is. Remember, people are different, they have different experiences. And everyone, even you might have one or two misgivings about the experience.

If you are having a difficult time, talk to people about it. Be open, be honest. It's not weak to admit you’re struggling. Its damn strong. Mental health is important, and you should take appropriate action. If talking to your new roommates or flatmates isn’t going to work for you, find someone at the university. There are entire departments set up to help students like you cope with the stress of moving to university.

If you’re not struggling, amazing! That's genuinely brilliant and couldn’t be happier for you. University is an incredible experience and one that we would encourage everyone to take part in. Revel in your freedom.

However, do your fellow students a solid. If the girl down the hall doesn’t leave her room for more than a few minutes at a time every day. Say ‘hi’, ask after them. If a guy has red eyes and has been crying, give him a hug.

Everyone has low moments. It’s a thing, it happens. Just do your best to offer a hand or a shoulder if someone else is having one.

Let's be honest

You aren’t going to flunk freshers. What you might do is make friends for life, make mostly unforgettable memories and absolutely destroy your liver.

Have a bloody good one.

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© 2020 Sam Loyd. All rights reserved.