Students: Not Going Out
Arguably, the defining feature of Fresher’s Week culture is that of ‘Going Out’. So what about if you’re someone for whom clubs hold no attraction, or you’ve tried it in the first couple of days and fancy something a bit different? Here are a few tips about how to stay involved, even when you’d rather stay home.
- Identify like-minded people
Most of your interactions with other Students in your first week take a pretty standard “Name, course, where you’re from” format, and so getting beyond that can be a struggle; particularly for those of us who are not natural extroverts. Dropping in little questions like “So what’re your plans for tonight?” or “What are you most looking forward to about the rest of Fresher’s Week?” can help you identify and make friends with those who would also rather stay home. This really is the key first step in making the most of evenings in; finding people to share them with.
- Be Bold
The temptation when you don’t want to go out, particularly when all your flatmates have done, is to hide away at home on your own; I know that’s something I’ve struggled with in the past. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with the odd quiet night in on your own, it can be easy to make it a habit during Fresher’s Week when there are so many other night-time events going on. Once you’ve identified like-minded people, be bold in building relationship with them! Be on the front foot, and try inviting them round for dinner, to play video games, watch a film, go bowling, or any other social activity that appeals to you.
- Get involved in Student Groups
There are loads of Student Groups and Societies at Universities which run taster sessions, socials and other events in the evenings of Fresher’s Week. They’re a great opportunity to meet lots of new people, try something new, or get involved with a cause or activity you’re passionate about right from your first week in Birmingham. Check out the society pages for the kind of things that happen at Aston, BCU and UoB.
- Go to pre’s, but not out
Often, the bit before the night out is as important as the night out itself. If you’re comfortable with a pre-drinks environment, don’t be afraid to tag along to pre’s with your flatmates or coursemates who are going ‘out out’ but then call it a night earlier on. It gives you a chance to meet new people and bond with those you came with, and generally by the time people are starting to head out to wherever they are going it’s late enough to be able to head home anyway; just be firm about what you want to do and don’t be pressured into doing the opposite.
- Serve those who do
Not going out provides a unique opportunity, particularly for those of us who would call ourselves Christians, to love and serve those around us. When your housemate stumbles in at 3am, it takes guts to serve them by helping them into bed, listening to their ramblings on the meaning of life, and making them a cup of tea in the morning when they feel like their head is about to explode. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you, but making the most of those moments can really deepen relationships and build a foundation for meaningful conversations later on. For a more organised version of this, a number of Christian Union’s run free water initiatives outside University clubs, which are fantastic for both meeting new people and serving the Campus as a whole.