Blog of Justin Cheuk, home to writing on London, Hong Kong, Studying Abroad, Trains and Travels.

Recap on Frepping

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Freshers week is now largely behind us, as university students (struggle to) stop partying indefinitely and attempt to return to the library. If you are a fresher, especially one at Durham, I hope you have enjoyed the festivities throughout the week and more importantly made some good friends at the same time.

Of course I am not a fresher anymore (in fact a finalist of all things), but this year I have involved myself a lot with freshers events by becoming a freshers’ rep, or in uni-speak, a ‘frep’. While the last few days have certainly been amazing, it was also very tiresome. Ultimately I have fallen foul for the notorious freshers flu too.

(And I already had it easy by only working as an international frep, which only lasts for 4 days instead of seven. I admire you, freps.)

The most important thing about being a frep is of course to help the freshers ‘settle in’, and the meaning of this phrase really did vary from carrying heavy luggage (which, unfortunately, proved a big test for my athleticism), organising different activities to spare their boredom, to just having a chat with them in general. As a chatterbox the latter task was probably my favourite: it was just so interesting to learn about everybody’s stories (and with internationals there tend to be plenty of it) Even walking the freshers back from Durham’s most ‘sophisticated’ clubs had not turned out to the sort of disasters that I have imagined. 🙂

While those club nights had been 14-16 hours straight (admittedly I have been counting because it was an impressive statistic), they actually had been enjoyable enough that I was quite willing to volunteer for it. From the sports during the day (I am terrible at ultimate frisbee though) onto one of the better international student parties I have been to. It was worth it. Not to mention the week of free food back at college!

Now that I am two years removed from being a fresher and the mixture of anxiety and excitement that comes with it, I suppose I was in quite a position to churn out advices for all the practical issues, and about how university life in Durham really is about. Although that ‘suppose’ is of no bearing of what I have actually said about the university in the last few days…

Meeting the freshers has made me think a lot about myself too. I didn’t turn up for international freshers because I thought it would mostly consist of introduction into the country which I didn’t need by that point. However, now that I know what actually happens during the week and the friends that they have (and I have), I cannot help but think how I would turn out had I arrived on time, whether my life now would be any way different.

Maybe that is simply nostalgia of the good times. Who wouldn’t want to go through Freshers again? All the friends (freshers and the freps that I have fortunately gotten to know better), all the bliss. Something to treasure.

If you are a fresher in Durham this year, I hope we (collectively) have done well in welcoming you into this wonderful place, it’s your turn next!

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