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Getting through freshers’ week

Orientation and freshers’ week can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also be a time of mixed emotions.

Champagne bottle and party popperYou have to adjust to being away from home at the same time as making new friends and having loads of new experiences.

Getting involved in activities

Fresher’s week is a great way to become involved and settle into college and there are often many activities during the week, like campus tours, gigs, special demonstrations and parties.

Throwing yourself into this can be a really good way to make friends and settle into college.

It can be a lot to take in though, so if you feel overwhelmed, remember to take some time out and relax.

Making friends

During freshers’ week, there’s often a wide variety of stalls set up by clubs and society groups so it’s a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends.

The groups are mostly college-based and have regular social activities throughout the year.

It’s pretty normal to join way more societies than you’ll get really involved with, but you’ll find a couple where you can meet loads of people, do what you love and feel at home.

Managing alcohol during freshers’ week

You may find that drink plays a prominent role in the activities of freshers’ week.

It’s important to keep yourself safe when drinking, so here are some pointers:

  • don’t drink and drive
  • avoid mixing drugs and alcohol
  • don’t leave your drink unattended – this could allow someone to spike it
  • if you’re on medication, read the instructions to make sure it’s safe to have alcohol with the medication – speak to a doctor if you’re not sure
  • don’t wander off alone, particularly if you are in an unfamiliar place avoid going off with people who are not your friends and you have had a few drinks
  • avoid swimming after drinking.

Feeling pressure to drink?

When friends are drinking, you may feel pressured to drink more than you feel comfortable with.

You are the only one who knows your limits. Some ideas to help you stop drinking discreetly may be:

  • avoid drinking in rounds
  • order water at the same time
  • drink mixers rather than straight spirits
  • move away from the drinkers by going for a dance or having a game of pool.

It is OK to be a non-drinker. If you have your reasons for not wanting to drink try and be firm and stick by them.

Helping a friend who has had too much to drink

If a friend has had too much to drink, there are a number of things you can do to make sure they’re safe.

Look out for them

If they need to lie down make sure it is in a safe place. Don’t leave someone if they have passed out. Make sure they are breathing and their airways are clear.

Call an ambulance

If someone has stopped breathing or can’t stop vomiting call an ambulance immediately.

Drink water

If you’re helping a friend lie down or putting them to bed it’s a good idea to get them to sip some water. As a guide it is a good idea to treat someone as you would like to be treated if you had had too much to drink.

Sexual harassment

If you have been sexually harassed or are concerned about someone you know, check out the section on sexual harassment. Many colleges have a member of staff appointed or a counsellor to speak to if you have been sexually harassed on campus.

Alternatively you can speak to your GP, public health nurse or you can ring Rape Crisis Network Freephone on 1800 778 888.

This article was last reviewed on 03 May 2017

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