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Freshers' fair survival guide

The freshers' fair is a staple of any freshers' week at uni. Find the right clubs for you amidst the madness...

The freshers' fair is bound to be on your student itinerary. It’s a good way to get into campus life, feel like you 'belong' and find out about social groups, activities and scenes you may not have known even existed. Plus, if you're starting to get homesick, it's a welcome distraction.

Inevitably, with every other student migrating in the same direction and so many things to see, these can get very busy and manic. Here are a few survival tips to arm yourself with:

1. You'll be bombarded with information

You'll get to learn about all the weird and wonderful societies, clubs and events your university and students' union has to offer. But with so many people vying for your attention, you might feel like you’re being pulled in many directions!

Try looking on your students' union’s website for a full list of all the societies available beforehand so you can handpick the ones you're particularly interested in and seek them out first. 

2. You WILL sign up to everything

Perhaps you start by signing up for interesting-sounding things such as the Poetry Society, perhaps a music society too. Before you know it, though, you've been talked into 30 other societies and the Tiddlywinks Club because, well, why not? Needless to say, you'll never attend any of them.

Try to be realistic. Once classes begin, your schedule will fill up quickly so choose one or two societies you're prepared to commit to (and enjoy). Can you really see yourself as a surfer when you’re not that great a swimmer to begin with? 

And maybe it's best not to 
use your primary email address to sign up for things or you’ll be spammed for months by clubs you have no interest in.

3. Bring a bag

You’ll have a lot of leaflets, pens, gift bags, free samples and other swag thrust into your hands by societies trying to lure you into signing up.

Soon enough you’ll find yourself just accepting things even if you’re not all that interested in them. Bring a bag to stuff things into so you don’t lose anything you actually want.

4. Some societies are flashier than others

Don't be distracted by bells and whistles. Some societies may have the resources to put together big displays, bake trays of cupcakes and fashion some very visual demonstrations of what they're about. But it doesn't mean that they're right for you.

Keep an eye out for the smaller, less flashy societies that are actually centred around an interest of yours.

5. It can connect you with future friends

You're probably sticking close to your new housemates in your first few days at uni, exploring everything together. While this is a good safety blanket – especially if you’re not good at approaching people on your own – you need to know when to do your own thing. 

The good news is that making conversation with new people tends to be easier when it's centred around something you’re already passionate about. So you may find yourself coming away from the freshers' fair with some budding new friendships.

Oh, and if you haven’t caught freshers' flu already… 

You probably will at freshers' fair, surrounded by so many students in such a small space. Sorry, there’s no avoiding that one.
 

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