Freshers’ Festival Dos and Don’ts

After a turbulent year and a half, we know you must be super excited to join us here for a massive welcome to Royal Holloway. But before the chaos begins, it’s important that you’re aware of some Freshers’ Festival dos and don’ts for your first few weeks here.

With Freshers’ Festival upon us, we can’t wait to welcome you to Royal Holloway for the best few years of your life.

After a turbulent year and a half, we know you must be super excited to join us here for a massive welcome to Royal Holloway. But before the chaos begins, it’s important that you’re aware of some Freshers’ Festival dos and don’ts for your first few weeks here.

Do - Reach out for help

University life can be a bit overwhelming, especially at first. Leaving home to a place full of new people sometimes requires stepping out of your comfort zone, and that’s easier said than done.

We want you to know that we’re here to support you all the way. First of all, it’s normal, and second of all, it’s okay to feel scared. Don’t suffer in silence during Freshers’ Festival, the Students’ Union offers free, friendly and confidential advice about a whole range of issues. Be assured you can reach out to our Advice Centre for anything you feel you need help with. So don’t stress, book an appointment with one of our advisors, come and have a chat with them and make the best out of your first weeks here!

Don't - Go too big, too early

For some of you, nights out will involve consuming a few alcoholic bevs. It’s okay to have a couple of drinks with your new friends, however, don’t feel like you need to impress anyone by being the one that drinks the most. It’s important that you avoid drinking to excess, because it can really make the difference between a great Freshers’ Festival, and a not so great one.

If you’ll be drinking, here are some tips to make sure you have a great night without exceeding yourself. Firstly, don’t drink on an empty stomach! We have an awesome Union Shop to give you some food babies before your night out. Another important thing is to stay hydrated – we’ve got your back here too. There will be free water at the bar in all of our venues, so make sure you drink a lot of that good H20. And last but not least, pace yourself! Don’t drink it all before the night has even started because it won’t get you very far.

Not a drinker? Don’t worry. If you’re not into alcohol and you don’t want to be in an environment that is surrounded by it, don’t forget that we have tons of alcohol-free events that you’ll be able to get involved with. Just check out our events page and select the filter “Alcohol-Free”.

The important thing is to be yourself! There’s no pressure to drink alcohol or go out every day of Freshers’ Festival if you’re not feeling it. Whether you’re a drinker or tee-total, there will be loads of chances to meet new people during your first few weeks.

Do - Keep an eye on your student loan

This is a big one – student loan comes in, your bank account’s looking pretty, you think you have tons of money to spend until… wait, where did the money go?

It’s very easy to spend money when your student loan arrives. But trust us, Freshers’ Festival will end and student life will continue, and you don’t want to limit yourself to pot noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day. So make sure you budget your spending and think ahead of the game. We have a ton of helpful tips from our Advice Centre!

Don't - Miss out on Freshers' Fair

There are so many fun things planned for you during Freshers’ Festival and it’s the perfect time to give things a go!

With over 110 sports clubs, societies and media outlets, there is an abundance of great opportunities for you to get involved with. Freshers’ Fair is a great opportunity to meet all of the student groups, get information about their taster sessions, sign up and start getting excited about your potential new BFFs. Come with an open mind to try new things!

While missing Freshers' Fair doesn't mean you won't be able to join groups, it’s a great way to check out what’s on offer and to have a chat with the groups that you’re interested in. You never know what you might enjoy.

The Freshers’ Fair will be held at the Sports Centre on Monday 20 September and Tuesday 21 September. See you there!

Do - Look after yourself

Freshers’ Festival is all about meeting new people and immersing yourself in new opportunities. For sure we think you should make the most of it but don’t forget to look after yourself at the same time.

Now more than ever it’s important to stay healthy, physically and mentally. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day, eating proper meals (including some greens), getting your fix of vitamin C and loads of sleep! Regularly check in with yourself with these 5 steps to mental wellbeing.

You should also be aware that there is a free COVID-19 testing site on campus. Lateral flow testing will be available (Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm) from the asymptomatic testing site situated at The Hub. There's no need to book a testing slot, you can just drop in whenever it's convenient for you. Let's try and keep everyone on campus safe and healthy.

If you aren’t already vaccinated, you can book a COVID-19 vaccine via the NHS website or you can visit a local walk-in centre.

We hope you have an amazing Freshers' Festival and we can't wait to meet you all soon!