By Lisa Scott (Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada).
If somebody asked me what my fresher’s week in England involved, my answer would most likely include making friends, exploring a new city, and participating in all the nights out my residence leaders organised for the new students.
However, if you asked any student from Queens University what their FROSH week included the responses you would receive would vary immensely. The commerce students would explain how they had to run everywhere for the entire week, the Engineering students would explain how they had to die their hair purple and gel it up in weird shapes for the entire week (even the girls), and the arts students when asked ‘Frosh how are you feeling’ would chant you a song. If you’re confused, then watch the video below;
It became obvious to me within my first few hours of FROSH week that community spirit is a huge part of student life here at Queens University and every student is proud of the fact they have a place here. Regularly in England you can read news articles linking FRESHERs week to excess alcohol and trips to A&E for a noticeable percentage of students, however here at Queens University residence has a dry orientation week meaning no alcohol can be present in University accommodation. This was one of the first big differences which made me realise that a FROSH week and a FRESHERS week aren’t the same thing.
To start my FROSH week I had a residence orientation with all the other 500 students that I was sharing my residence with. The floor I live on has 27 rooms, and all of them are occupied by international students from all other the world. My residence orientation started by a welcome from the principle of the university, followed by a night of games ranging from Quidditch (yes they play quidditch here) to board games. The next few days of my res orientation were jam packed with activities involving treasure hunts, gaels football games and book discussions amongst other things.
After my residence orientation I had a NEWTS orientation which was for students from the castle, or students on exchange. NEWTs week was so much fun and extremely tiring. During the day time we had a paint fight, a mystery road trip, capture the flag game, tours of the town, traditions ceremony and general advice sessions from the Canadian students who generously gave up there time to help the new students out. The night activities involved karaoke, a formal dinner and a music concert which had an amazing atmosphere.
NEWTS week and residence orientation together made my FROSH week one of the most memorable weeks of my live, and is a great way to make friends whilst in a new country for the first time. And I know for sure if somebody asks me what I did in my FROSH week, I’ll be able to talk for hours.