Freshers’ Week: A week packed with music, alcohol and fun parties


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The British have a thing called “Freshers’ Week,” which is basically a week-long party. And when I say party I mean party, with famous DJs and more alcohol than anyone should consume.

During the day, there are activities like paintballing, kayaking or beach trips. You know those things around Burlington that you always want to do, but never seem to get around to?  I’m talking about taking a tour of the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory, or visiting the Shelburne Museum or going apple picking and eating as much pie and cider doughnuts as you can.

These are the types of trips we went on. The ones that as a resident of your great city, you feel like you should do, but haven’t yet.

That’s why something like Freshers’ Week is amazing. You get to do all those things that require the car, planning skills and money that you don’t necessarily have.

At night, it’s a whole different story.

Each night there is a party with a different theme. I have walked around the city dressed as a giraffe, a French woman, an American and a panda. All of these events are sponsored and paid for by the university. All you have to do is buy the wristband and whatever alcohol you’re drinking.  

So for £69, which is about $100, I have eaten free food, free admission to museums, free transportation to and from local parks, and access to the hottest clubs, DJs and bands in England.  

St. James' Park, home of the Newcastle Union football team, is pictured in Newcastle upon Tyne, England  HUNTER COLVIN/The Vermont Cynic

St. James’ Park, home of the Newcastle Union football team, is pictured in Newcastle upon Tyne, England
HUNTER COLVIN/The Vermont Cynic

We even got to take a free tour of St. James Park, home of the Newcastle United football (a.k.a. soccer) team. That was incredible.

They showed us everything from the top of the stadium to the locker rooms that players use on game day. We even got to walk through the tunnel onto the pitch to the players’ entrance song, “Local Hero” by local musician Mark Knopfler. If you know how serious Europeans take soccer, you will understand how big of a deal that was.

The only way I can describe Freshers’ Week is if you turned the Outing Club into a frat and then gave them a week to do whatever they want. Literally whatever. That is Freshers’ Week.

So while you have been taking midterms and writing essays, I have been dancing on tables in German beer halls. And I have to say, I like my week a little bit better than yours.