By Inah Dela Cruz

Enrolment Week, or more commonly referred to as Fresher’s Week, is an exciting time of change for new students starting at Brunel. Newcomers are treated to thrilling activities such as library induction sessions, registering with the Medical Centre, and – wait for it – attending exhilarating departmental welcome events! However, despite these obviously amazing opportunities, we all know that soon-to-be first years view Enrolment Week as something completely different.

Fresher’s Week is widely painted as a week-long party that every university throws for first year students. Prior to moving to Brunel, Politics student Amika Gandhi envisioned Fresher’s Week as a time to meet new friends and “make the most of partying hard.” This notion is definitely not incorrect because as soon as the dreaded A Level results day comes along, Facebook and other social media sites are instantly plastered with invitations for Fresher’s Events that range from campus events, parties held in local clubs and even coach raves.

Monica Deol, an English student, says that she made sure she attended a range of different events, such as coach parties in the evenings and on-campus activities such as barbeques on the quad and karaoke nights in order to make the most out of Fresher’ Week. She said that clubbing was a fundamental part of her Freshers Experience because it gave her and her flatmates a chance to let their “hair down and enjoy with good music and drinks.”. Monica says that attending coach parties gave her the “chance to experience Fresher’s with other university students and visit different places around London.” History student Alex Vincett, who exclusively attended Brunel events, also says that although partying is not necessary during Fresher’s Week, it did help her get to know her flatmates better and “experience Brunel nightlife which can be a big part of university life.”

Brunel alumni Robert Jones admits that he “set the bar far too high when moving into Brunel” as he expected Fresher’s Week to be some sort of party thrown especially for him, when “in reality it was like any other night out at home”. Truth be told, Fresher’s Week has somewhat been over sensationalised. When else is it acceptable to go out every single night in a week without anyone judging you? People say you can be whoever you want to be because no one knows anything about you. With this mentality, Robert gives advice to upcoming Freshers: “Running away from your true self or attempting to convey a character to these new people will only leave you stressed at maintaining your facade at all times.” If clubbing is not something that you are interested in, there are countless other ways to have fun in and around Brunel during Fresher’s Week without the need to get drunk and party. Robert says that he found other ways to have fun, such as “going down in the evening to watch the contacts hold ‘court’ in Lancaster complex” where “forfeits for everyone got more disgusting/impressive with each night.”

Eddie Leggatt, English Literature student concluded that he did not like clubbing after going to Academy. He says: “I spent the rest of the week in a tiny bedroom in Mill Hall, playing the Lord of the Rings drinking game to the extended editions. Anybody that survives that with you is a friend for life.” While Eddie was recovering from his ‘horrific academy experience’ his girlfriend, Erica, a Creative Writing student was at their flat levelling up in World of Warcraft. She said “I went to one Academy event and that was me done for the week, so I attended lots of movie screenings. I felt guilty that I wasn’t living up to expectations but I realised enjoying myself was more important”.

Alternatives to Partying

While new Fresher’s are overwhelmed with the miscellany of partying choices for Fresher’s Week, students who are not into the ‘clubbing scene’ may feel like there is not anything on offer for them. This is untrue, however, as there are still a variety of things to do, both in and out of Brunel.

  1. London – The city is just a train ride away from Uxbridge and it will never run out of things for you to do. Simply walking around the city and getting yourself acquainted would be an exciting experience, especially if you’re not from the area. We are also lucky that most museums in London are free! There’s the British Museum, National Gallery, Museum of London, Victoria and Albert Museum and Natural History Museum to name a few
  2. Uxbridge itself also offers students a variety of things to do. The town centre has more than 300 shops and two shopping malls for those who love to shop and a cinema. For those who want to experience the countryside, Colne Valley Park hosts a mosaic of farmland and woodland laced with 200 miles of rivers and over 60 lakes. Brunel is also only a 15-minute walk away from the Grand Union Canal, where you can find a variety of waterfront pubs, or even just nice scenery for a stroll.
  3. The Union also hosts many events that do not involve drinking or partying during Fresher’s Week. In addition to various day events, there are movie screenings in the Lecture Centre starting at 6pm every day during the week:
  • Monday – Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy
  • Tuesday – The Big Lebowski
  • Wednesday – Reservoir Dogs
  • Thursday – A Clockwork Orange
  • Friday – The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Other low-key events offered by the university includes Comedy Central Live, which is headlined by Paul Chowdry from Live at the Apollo, Stand Up for the Week in the Academy at 7-10pm and a Karaoke Night in Loco’s Bar at 9pm-12.30am, both on the 16th of September. So there’s definitely something that will take your fancy!