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It’s here. Freshers’ Week has arrived, and the class of 2017 are making their presence known. This was most evident last night at the first Union event, fittingly titled “Welcome to the Bubble”.

As is customary, each hall put on their own welcoming event, from pre-drinks to pub crawls to barbecues, however it was clear that the final destination would always be the Union.

The billed start time was 22.00, and when I arrived at 22.30 there was a horrendous queue to get in, with a surprisingly small number of bouncers checking IDs. Even though the queue stretched down to the Vic, I’m told it moved quite fast, and by midnight only smokers and those leaving were outside.

After doing a quick recon to see what was going on (Venue 1 relatively empty; DJs and bubbles galore; everyone squashed in at the bar), I feared the worst. Just another overcrowded night at the Union, except it was filled with shrieking and overexcited freshers. But as the night went on, it did get better. As the alcohol took over and inhibitions lowered, freshers flooded the dance floor to show off their moves (including, I’m sorry to say, twerking). It was at this point that I left, feeling far too sober and far too old for what was essentially a bop with a bubble machine.

I was intrigued to see how Freshers’ Week would run, given that the Union looks partially demolished. Credit where it’s due though – when I got inside, I couldn’t tell that there were building works going on, apart from the interesting portaloos.

It was great to see a strong sabb presence, with Dan Palmer running around all night keeping tabs on everything. Teddy Woodhouse expressed his enthusiasm for how well the first day of Freshers’ had gone and joked at how weird it seemed to him that all these students were just beginning their first week at St Andrews when it was his fifth Freshers’ Week.

As I left the Union, it was clear that some were highly unimpressed with their first night in the Bubble; I even heard one group exclaim that they “were never going back there” in despairing tones. I suspect, however, that this was largely bravado and showing off for their new found friends for life (read: people that they will awkwardly acknowledge by October).

All in all, it was a decent night. Not the best, but then the first night of Freshers’ rarely is – all the new students are taking their first baby steps towards freedom, and all older years are hiding in alternative venues / house parties. So don’t judge the Union by its redeveloping cover, and give Clan Warfare a go tonight.

All photos: Henry Legg

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