Refresh Refreshers: A Fourth Year Plea

Now in her final year, Bri Paterson finds herself at her concluding Refreshers.

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See, call me nostalgic but I really like the idea of refreshers, particularly at the Union. The reintroduction to various societies and sports teams, the reunions with various people and of course the agglomeration of various social events that ensure no ones calendars will be empty.

I mean after all everybody loves actual freshers week as an introduction to term so why not throw yet another week long excuse to party? But, sadly, this years refreshers were somehow missing their usual magic for me. If I had to describe them in one word I’m afraid to say it’d be underwhelming.

Though perhaps it wasn’t this way for everyone. Maybe it’s me and I’m just old and jaded in my third year, thinking back to my glory days as a first year when waking up for my classes wasn’t quite so important? But from my alcohol-hazed memory somehow the refreshers events I went to just seemed kind of bland. Certainly nothing really worth talking about or going to again. The rodeo night was a really good idea of a theme (who doesn’t love a mechanical bull?) but in practice it just felt like a normal night out in 601. The bull itself was the only change from normality and the queue for that was so drunk-enly disorganized that I waited for 30 minutes and didn’t move, meaning I didn’t even get to ride it.

Now I don’t want to drastically agree with someone else – at my own admission this may have been just a ‘me’ effect because I’m now in honours. But I managed to enjoy freshers events this year just fine, so why did I feel so let down this term? The most obvious answer is that unlike freshers week which is held the week before classes start, refreshers is held the first week of term. Obviously a big difference for us honours kids. While this is an unavoidable side effect of the University gods not wanting to split the two, the result is that less and less third and fourth years attends these events.

Suddenly at the Wax Collective night I looked around and all of a sudden felt myself surrounded by freshers. Which is in itself a nightmare, despite the brilliant music. But the fact they overtook the most ‘grown-up’ of events (I call it that because it’s so recently started and appears to me overrun with honours students) doesn’t bode well. After all refreshers is meant to be for everyone and if older students aren’t attending anymore that means profits are down as well as the much needed variety at these events.Another thing I was surprised about was the cost of some of the events. Going to the Ceilidh on Monday was an exciting prospect for me but costing £6, double what their more impressive rodeo night was, I felt it was a little bit steep. I get they have to pay for a band unlike some of the other nights in 601 but still, it’s just a ceilidh that other places do for free during the term, nothing in particular made this one special.

Refreshers just seemed a let-down to me, from the pricing to the variety of 601 events to the people that attended. I hope that next year brings better things like I remember from previous years, it’d be nice to have more excuses to have a week long party.

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