I’ve asked some of our LSU Media’s Exec to find out what their advice is to freshers this year and what they would recommend in Loughborough.
What accommodation were you in and what did you like the most about it?
Chris Leroux, LSU Media Vice Chair: I was in Royce Hall and I loved the community aspect of the Hall. Pride in Royce was paramount to my experience there.
Lucie Lewis, LCR Station Manager: I was an outlier and never actually lived in halls. In my first year, I lived in town with two guys I’d never met before. They weren’t students, so I was terrified. Turns out, they were great friends and mentors and I’m still friends with them now.
I actually loved not living in halls. When I visited friends’ flats I knew I wouldn’t have liked it. Sharing a kitchen, or even a bathroom with that many people would’ve really freaked me out. Plus, I didn’t have to experience 6am fire drills.
It was also the first time I’d ever had a double bed, so I absolutely adored that.
Helen Forest, Head of Lens: I was in Butler Court, it was great being so close to the students union and the town center! Not being in the student village meant it was a much quieter place to live, which was helpful over exams.
Ben Cooke, LSUTV Station Manager: DC. The proximity to lectures! Being able to roll out of bed at 8:45 for a 9am was a plus!
Joshua Gray, LSU Media Technical Officer: I’ve been here long enough that I was in a room that now doesn’t exist anymore! Thankfully, the days of Butler Court shared rooms (yes, you read that correctly – two people in one room!) are now over, and Butler is now just comprised of single en-suite rooms, and very nice ones at that! In my third year I was on the Claudia Parsons Committee, which is a fantastic new hall with a brilliant atmosphere!
Natalie Doyle, LSU Media Wellbeing Officer: I was in Royce Hall for my first two years in Loughborough. My favourite part was definitely the people!
What was your favourite part about freshers?
CL: I loved meeting all the amazing people and the friends I have made are the best friends I’ve ever had.
LL: I had a pretty quiet Freshers. I went to an induction with a hall I’d affiliated to and was told that VKs were “basically pop” when I asked for a non-alcoholic drink. So I stayed away for the most part.
I was pretty unwell at the start of uni, so I spent a fair bit of time in bed and in the doctor’s surgery. But I still got to explore the campus and get to know Loughborough, which was a lot of fun. There’s just something magical about exploring a new place.
HF: The sports and societies fairs! It was incredible to see how many different AU clubs we have and the range of societies there are to join.
BC: Meeting a group of fellow like-minded people who have become friends for life!
JG: The best part about Freshers for me was meeting new people and exploring the fantastic campus! Loughborough was my second-choice university, so I hadn’t properly explored campus beforehand, and it’s a fantastic place to live, work and study!
ND: Cringe and obvious but my favourite part was getting to know so many random people, half of whom I haven’t seen since!
What should new students do in Loughborough? (Can be a favourite restaurant, bar, pub etc etc)
CL: There are so many things you can do! I recommend doing as much as you can, but if I had to pick one thing, go to Fernandez Grillhouse – perfection.
LL: When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I like to walk around. I’ve found Queen’s Park and the LAGS Garden to be absolutely fantastic places to visit. They’re very calming.
Also, Peter’s Pizza is amazing.
HF: Slider Town do amazing cocktails and really good food! It’s a great place to hang out with friends.
BC: Get out and see the surrounding countryside, take a walk up to Beacon Hill, you won’t regret it!
JG: Take a trip up to Beacon Hill sometime, the views over Loughborough are fantastic and it’s a great place to take some sunset photos with you and your friends!
ND: Go to Toby Carvery – you’ll thank me later.
Something you would have done differently as a fresher?
CL: I would have spent more time socialising, I spent a lot of time in my room for the first few weeks and I regret it.
LL:I wish I’d actually done more things I’d signed up to at the student activities bazaar. I signed up to so much but was too nervous to go to anything.
I’m forever grateful that I actually went to LSU Media’s first social. However nervous I was, I found my people.
HF: Go out more – I spent a lot of time studying, which, admittedly is important, but I feel like I could have gotten a lot more out of first year if I spent more time having a good time with my friends.
BC: Don’t feel like you have to go every night! If you’ve worked out that clubbing isn’t for you then take a break for a night of two, there are plenty of other ways to make friends and plenty of other people probably feeling the same way you are.
JG: I should have got involved with the Students’ Union, societies and clubs earlier on! I was coerced into getting involved with LSU Media by one of my friends, and even though it was something I had thought about joining I didn’t do so until a few weeks after Freshers! Make sure to get your memberships early on and make the most of the time you have at Loughborough – it really will fly by!
ND: I came to uni with a boyfriend at home which eventually didn’t work out. In hindsight I think I would have liked to spend less time worrying about our relationship and more time enjoying everything Loughborough threw at me.
What advice would you give to freshers starting this year?
CL: It’s not going to be a normal year by any means, but take every opportunity you possibly can, you’re only (normally) at Uni once.
LL: It’s okay to be freaked out and scared. You’re going to grow so much over the next few years, you’ll barely recognise yourself. Uni is exciting and fun and terrifying. And that’s okay.
LCR is releasing a podcast for you, called How To Adult, which will give you an insight into the things you’ll need to learn. It covers all kinds of stuff, from cooking to working to love. It’s everything I wish I hadn’t had to learn the hard way, so give that a listen on radio.lsu.co.uk.
HF: Sign up to as much as possible! Your first year is the best time to try out something new, whether it be a new sport or joining a new society – there’s something for everyone.
BC: Try as many new things (sports, my lifestyle, societies, LSU sections) as you can during freshers but also try to start something new at the beginning of each academic year. I’m still trying new things in my 5th year and freshers gives you the best chance to try loads of things for free.
JG: Make the most of it – even though it’s going to be a tricky year, you’ll still have a fantastic time and become part of the ever-growing Loughborough Family! Get involved in as many clubs and societies as you can (maybe even LSU Media!).
ND: Obviously it’s a very different year, but don’t let that stop you. Go to the virtual union events, go to the in person stuff if you can. Some of your best friends won’t be in your hall or on your course, you’ll meet them in Action/Rag/Societies/Clubs, don’t miss out on them.
Header photo by Joshua Gray/LSU Media.