Freshers week has been and gone, and as lots of first years settle into their accommodation and start their university adventure, many may well understandably be feeling a little more anxious than normal due to the changes caused by the pandemic.
Despite Freshers looking very different this year, there’s still a wide variety of activities for you to partake in with your flatmates. After consulting with my housemates, here’s a list of 10 things for you to do, from six seasoned and very nostalgic finalists:
One of the first things my flatmates and I did when we moved in way back in 2018 was all sit in the kitchen and play games like ‘Never Have I Ever’ and ‘Two Truths and One Lie’. They’re a really fun way to get to know your flatmates and also a great icebreaker, and they help to diffuse any initial awkwardness that might be there. If you like to drink, you could also turn these into a drinking game.
2. Cocktail or mock-tail nights
As freshers are only allowed to socialise within their flat this year and with clubs being shut, a really fun idea might be to have a flat cocktail or mocktail night. It may well help soothe the pain from the lack of POP or Skool Dayz and a few societies are also hosting online Cocktails nights, such as Warwick RAG.
3. Board games night
One of the biggest perks of first year is the kitchen space that you’ll have available to you, providing you with the perfect opportunity to have a board games night with your flatmates. Whether it be Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, Cluedo or anything else – board games are a good way to both pass the time and also bond with your flatmates. If you can manage not to fall out over a game of Monopoly, you can get through anything.
4. Taking a trip into Leamington Spa
While Warwick being a campus university is one of its big selling points, sometimes the affectionately named ‘Warwick bubble’ can leave you feeling a bit isolated and cut off from the rest of civilisation.
I would highly recommend taking a trip into Leamington with your flatmates, both to get away from campus for a bit and also to get to know the town that will play such a big role in your University experience. Whether you choose to go for a meal, explore Jephson Gardens or introduce yourselves to the magic that is the Benjamin Satchwell, getting off campus is never a bad idea.
5. Cook a flat meal or order a takeaway
One of the easiest things you could do as a flat is to cook a meal together. Not only is this great for bonding with your new friends, but it’ll give you the opportunity to go and explore Canon Park when you go to get the ingredients. There’s a Tesco and an Aldi, as well as a variety of other shops for you to make use of during your first year of university.
You could even do what my housemates and I have decided to do this year and turn this into a flat Come Dine With Me – split into pairs or small groups and take it in turns to cook each other meals. Then score each other based on your cooking and hosting skills and offer a prize at the end.
6. Brunch at Canopy
The SU has a variety of outlets for you to grab a bite or eat to drink at and eating brunch at Canopy is a student favourite. Served from 9 am-3 pm Monday through Friday and boasting a delicious menu with both vegetarian and vegan options at an affordable price point, you definitely don’t want to miss out.
7. Virtual pub quiz
One of my absolute favourite things to do is go to a pub quiz, and there’s plenty of opportunities to partake in one with your flat this year. A number of societies are holding virtual pub quizzes, including Warwick RAG, Warwick QuizSoc, Comic Book Society, Argentine Tango Society and Warwick Lib Dems, just to name a few.
8. Explore campus
Warwick’s campus is vast, and it can sometimes feel a bit intimidating. I remember thinking I’d never learn my way around when I first moved in so I’d highly recommend taking the opportunity to have a proper explore in your first few days at Warwick and familiarise yourself with campus. This will help you feel more settled and at ease ahead of classes starting. I’ve been at Warwick for over two years now and can still safely say I still haven’t been in half the buildings on campus.
9. Student’s Union (SU) online events
The SU is offering a variety of fun online events for you to partake in with your flatmates, including live streams where you get to witness the Warwick legend that is Disco Dave doing what he does best; a virtual escape room and virtual beer tasting, just to name a few.
10. A pint at the Dirty Duck
The entirety of Warwick’s student population let out a cheer as the Dirty Duck finally reopened its doors last week after a long six months. The Duck is one of the most important parts of campus, and you’ve definitely not had the proper Warwick experience until you step foot into its hallowed halls.
If you drink, a pint is a must, but if not there’s plenty of other food and drink options available. Once the COVID nightmare is over, the Duck will be restored to its former glory and you will all be able to partake in its legendary Karaoke and quiz nights once again. For now, a pint and meal with your flatmates is more than satisfactory.
Hopefully, some of these ideas appeal to you and remember to not let the pandemic stop you from making the most of your first weeks of university. Things may look very different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be fun.