Freshers’ Week – The Sequel

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By: Hillevi Gustafson

There are a few things that I have already learnt this new academic year. Among them is the epiphany that I am getting too old for Freshers’ Week. This realization hit me on a crowded dance floor at last week’s Yacht Party. When you start using terms such as “sensory deprivation torture” to describe a club scene, that’s when you know it’s time to go home.

Another lesson is that returning as a second year student to this Bubble of a home is a rather strange experience.  All you know of St Andrews is that wild ride that is first year. You don’t fully realize that it won’t be the same the next year. While Freshers’ Week is fun, it isn’t the same.

On the plus side you don’t have to deal with the stress of knowing nothing and no one anymore. It’s nice being able to wander around town and not only know that you are going the right way, but also knowing the people you meet.

But with that comfort comes a certain degree of laziness. There isn’t the same incentive to participate. The fear of being left out isn’t there to force you to go out. The urge to stay in with a cup of tea and a few friends sure sounds tempting after the umpteenth newly matriculated fresher tries so spread their particular brand of intoxicated enthusiasm your way.

There is a pesky nostalgia rearing it’s ugly head when I observe it all. You realize that your time at university is finite, that there will always be a group of new kids to replace you and that before you know it, you won’t even want to go out every night.

More than once this week I found myself missing the St Andrews that I grew to love last year – the one that emerged after the haze of Freshers’ week subsided. I went to the Tribal Bop this time and missed the generally nearly empty dance floor. I missed being served instantly at the bar. I longed to go out and not have to elbow my way through the crowds in order to get anywhere.

Freshers’ Week, the sequel, is a rather sobering affair. You realize exactly how annoying the rest of the world most likely found you the first time around. When you’re busy enjoying yourself and making new friends every second of the day, you don’t really have time to reflect on the impact on the rest of the population. I’ve met several lovely individual first years, but the collective of Freshers is another entity entirely.

I don’t hold it against you, though. Not in the the slightest. Being a Fresher is great and Freshers’ Week even more so. We were all Freshers once, and I bet you we were all equally insufferable. But I think the reality is that it can only be fully enjoyed once. You need the adrenaline from the novelty of it all in order to maintain that energy needed to cope with the overcrowded dance floors, the hour long waits at the bar and the constant flyers from every society under the sun.

So as I sit here in bed, nursing a bout of the dreaded Freshers’ Flu, I feel decidedly too old for it all. But if I’m going to be perfectly honest with you, this realization will probably disappear along with this common cold. Once this time rolls around again in a year I’ll most likely be up and ready to do it all over again. You are only a St Andrews student once and Fresher or not, I’ll admit, this week is fun.

Besides, next year I’m allowed to adopt.

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