I remember my first ever experience of Freshers Fayre at the University of Portsmouth – it seems like such a long time ago! Wherever I went there were people in the streets handing out leaflets and free things: a flyer for Ken’s Kebabs, a bag of coupons for a restaurant I’d never heard of, a free can of drink from club I would never visit, a free haircut, lollipops, badges and discount shopping vouchers. It was overwhelming! And that was even before I’d pushed my way towards Ravelin Park!
Already my hands were aching from carrying so many flyers. Then I was hit by the noise and the sheer amount of people mingling in the park. More vouchers were thrust into my hands, and then inside the tents so many societies vying to attract new recruits. It seemed like total chaos, and I remember going home to feel relieved to be alone again.
Freshers Fayre is pretty much like that, but I’ve learned to love it during my time. Rather than getting frustrated at the constant leafleters, I smile and gladly take their offerings in the hopes of finding a free pen or some sweets buried amongst the multitude of leaflets in their advertisement packs. I can feel the music pulsing through me at I get nearer to Ravelin Park, and I sense a twinge of excitement as I marvel at the huge number of sports clubs and societies there are on offer. You could never join them all – though what a blast it would be if you could! And I can’t really complain about queuing for one (or six) free slices of pizza from the Domino’s stand.
What to my younger self seemed like pure disorder has actually become one of my favourite times of the academic year. I now come back from Fresher’s feeling pumped and tingling, enthused to start a new year of study.
I was even lucky enough to spend this Fresher’s Fayre with a great bunch of my friends, representing the Japanese Language and Culture Society. How strange it was to be on the other side of this whole little festival. No longer was I the bemused boy wandering around in confusion – now I was the guy behind the stall, standing with the kimono girls and telling potential members about our great new society. It was a lot of fun!
The moral? Enjoy Freshers Fayre, and seriously sign up to some clubs. Any clubs. There’s no excuse for not finding at least one which interests you. Please take it from me: you will have a load more fun at uni if you get involved and meet some new people!