For students nationwide, Fresher’s Week is a highly anticipated event. Newsfeeds are inundated with pictures of foam parties, fancy dress, and people covered in paint, all high on the intoxicating wonders of that well-known drug, alcohol. And possibly some other stuff too, but we won’t go into that.

A lot of students look forward to the never-ending partying of student life, and Fresher’s Week seems like the best time to push the boundaries and really see how stupid, unsociably loud and annoying you can be. But what if you’re not such a fan of the booze? Well I’m here to tell ye a tale, my friends. So listen well.

When I was a wee fresher, I was more or less Tee Total. I’d had some bad (and I mean BAD) experiences in my sixth form years, and I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to drink ever again. Luckily for me, I’d been chatting to some of my to-be-fellow-students on Facebook over the summer holidays, and it just so happened that there were one or two people who weren’t so interested getting drunk either.

So, on the first night of Fresher’s Week, whilst others were filing up outside the Student Union, clad in Where’s Wally outfits and clutching onto glow sticks, my friends and I held a hot chocolate party.

There were several things that were brilliant about this:


1)   Hot chocolate.

2)   We got to know each other sober, and therefore knew that if we got on, it was because we genuinely liked one another, and if we didn’t, it was because we genuinely hated each other’s guts. No platonic beer-goggles were worn that night.

3)   Outside of the humdrum of noise that was the Student Union, we were actually able to hear one another – so we knew we had just been introduced to someone called Gwyn who does Physics, instead of going away convinced that we’d just met someone called Chin who does mimics.

4)   Those little marshmallows you get in your hot chocolate.


A lot of people don’t remain friends with those they meet in Fresher’s Week, partly because you meet SO many people. But I have, to this day, remained friends with more or less all of the people who came to that hot chocolate party.

Of course, I’m not criticising anyone’s decision to drink – if you know you can handle your alcohol (or even if you know you can’t, at least you’re honest) and you enjoy it, then go for it. I myself started drinking again socially a couple of months into Uni, and I had some pretty good times.

Out of all my hot chocolate party friends, one has remained loyally Tee Total, which has proven to be somewhat entertaining at past parties we’ve attended together. I remember one event in particular, when she sat on the sofa the entire evening and single-handedly consumed a whole lemon cake. The next day when I popped my head round her door, she was still in bed. She told me she’d been ‘chundering’ all night and had concluded that she had a lemon cake hangover. It’s been a running joke ever since.

So, if you’re anything like my Fresher self, or my lemon cake eating friend, don’t panic. You can still have an amazing time at Fresher’s Week, and better still, you’ll remember every lemon cakey, hot chocolatey second of it.