How to enjoy Freshers' Week from your childhood bedroom: a guide for students

JUST because universities are moving online doesn’t mean you can’t have a debauched Freshers’ Week. Here’s how to kick off your university experience from your childhood bedroom at your parents’ house.

Go on a Zoom pub crawl

This is just like a regular pub crawl, only without pubs. Instead you’ll be drinking in front of a laptop camera while you listen to a bunch of strangers talk about their A-level results. Maybe trudge to a different corner of your room every now and then to get that pub crawl feeling.

Pin up predictable posters

Freshers’ Week is traditionally a time to shed your insufferable teenage personality for a new but equally awful one. A quick way to do this is to hang up generically alternative posters of the Joker or Jimi Hendrix to show just how edgy you are. If you want to pass yourself off as a horny intellectual like Oscar Wilde, go for a Gustav Klimt poster.

Only eat takeaway food

To feel like a fresher you need to eat like a fresher. That means a diet of kebabs, pizzas and curries, which, combined with not walking to lectures, clubbing and so on, will soon make you dangerously obese. Don’t worry though, the blubber will sustain you through years of living on nothing but beans on toast once you’ve frittered your grant.

Let your laundry pile up

Even though there’s a perfectly functional washing machine in your parent’s house, purposefully ignore it until you finally decide to hand over three months’ worth of your smelly pants to your mum in a bin bag at Christmas. She’ll be overjoyed to finally experience this repulsive rite of university passage.

Phone a sex line

Awkward and unsatisfying sexual encounters are par for the course for freshers, and dialling a sex line is the perfect way to recreate them. On top of the feelings of guilt and emptiness you’ll be left with, you’ll also have the added thrill of explaining a sky-high phone bill to your parents.

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The Guardian reader's guide to breaking up a rave

AS a socially responsible Guardian reader, it’s your duty to prevent young people harming themselves at weekend raves. But how? Here are your questions answered.

What exactly is a ‘rave’?

It used to be getting high in a field with poor toilet facilities and a musical accompaniment, but now can mean anything from a slightly loud house party to an event attended by extremely hard drug dealers. Whatever the case, you must intervene.

What should I say to the young people? 

Get them onside with some hip street slang, eg. “Hello bro, glad you’re chillaxing to the max. I just want you to be aware that Covid remains a serious public health issue. So if you could, like, turn the music off, dude, that would be wicked.”

What if they refuse to shut down the party on my say-so? 

Then it’s the nuclear option. Go back to your house, look up graphs of Covid infection rates, take your laptop over and show them the devastating statistical evidence. You may be offered a can of lager and some crisps, which shows your message is getting through. 

What can I do to stop the spread of Covid at the rave?

In the case of a house party, go inside and pretend to socialise while subtly pushing people away from each other until they are correctly distanced at 1m or more. Also gradually turn the music down and explain you can have just as much fun making a really nice Nigel Slater recipe.

What if they turn violent?

Arm yourself with a pasta machine. No one wants to get their fingers caught in that, and London gangsters will think it’s a horrific torture device used by the Richardson Gang.

What if I can’t break up the rave myself? 

However socially responsible you are, you can’t win them all. Send an angsty email to Mariella Frostrup in the Observer. She will pretend to understand.