Whenever somebody mentions freshers week, people generally think of clubbing and chugging questionable spirits 24/7. But, believe it or not, this isn’t the only thing to do. Here are a few things that I regret neglecting in my first few weeks of university:
- Find nearby cocktail bars.
(Photo: Ming Tang Evans)
Okay I admit this also involves alcohol. Leeds has plenty of cocktail bars to choose from, with funky interiors and lots of inventive menus. I discovered Revolution cocktails in the Electric Press in the summer, and will definitely be back for more Tom and Cherry drinks (essentially vodka slushies which come with a packet of cola bottles). Cocktail bars are perfect for when you want a lazy (and boozy) night out or a swanky, sophisticated change to your usual pre-drinks.
2) Search for gigs and tickets.
(Image: (Author’s own) Lucy Rose in Stylus, LUU)
Call me old-fashioned but I love going to see bands much more than going out, and I spend a lot of my budget on tickets for various plays and live music. Stylus in the Union have a range of artists that perform throughout the year and tickets are usually pretty cheap, as well as Leeds Beckett’s university union.
3) Check your emails.
This is a boring point but a crucial one. The worst part of my freshers week was discovering a lot of seminar prep that I had failed to find on my email the week before. Four manic days of work ensued. Not good. Make sure to explore the academic admin tab to avoid embarrassment and extra work during your first week of lectures.
4) Socialize more.
New people and unknown places are fun but daunting prospects for many students. There is nothing wrong with staying in rather than going out, but by choosing to watch Netflix in bed most nights, you might not be getting the best university experience. However if struggling to leave the house to talk to people becomes a predominant issue, there are a number of facilities for you, such as Leeds student mental health support in the Chemistry building. Never feel ashamed to reach out for help.
5) Find your favourite coffee place.
(Photo: Gary Null)
No TV series is complete without a favourite bar or café, and the same goes for your university experience. Whether you’re studying alone in the Brotherton, chatting with friends in Laidlaw’s Café Nero or going out for drinks after lectures, finding your favourite place is a must.
6) Explore University of Leeds’ campus.
(Image: Author’s own)
It was two whole semesters before I stumbled across the Balcony café, and I was generally a bit of a campus dunce. In fact once I missed a LUU play because I was too shy to ask for directions. Don’t follow in my fresher footsteps- have a wander around and don’t be afraid to get lost- you never know what you may find.
7) Don’t think so much.
University is a last-chance saloon for having a small amount of responsibilities. Yes it’s good to study hard, yes it’s good to save money, but some cocktails are never bad for your soul. Pack up your stuff and come up north for some fun. For, as most sentimental adults will tell you, university years are the ‘best times of your life’…