Now more than ever it seems students are demanding much more from their Freshers’ experience than seven days filled with fancy dress and party wristbands. With more young people than ever before favouring a hangover-free life, the need for an ‘alternative Freshers’ has never been greater.
A 2018 study published by the National Union of Students (NUS) concluded that the tide is turning when it comes to students’ drinking habits. More than one in five students said they were teetotal, and the report also found that the demand for alcohol-free university events and party-free halls is on the rise, with almost a quarter of participating students believing there should be more social events at university that do not involve any drinking at all.
Here at LJMU we believe that, at its core, Freshers’ should be about exploring your new surroundings, meeting likeminded people, and having as much fun as possible along the way – whatever your idea of fun is. It’s important to us that all students are catered for, no matter what their interests.
JSMU Student Development Coordinator Caitlin Hare has been working hard with her team to put together a calendar of events that can appeal to everyone for Freshers’. She says:
“For a number of years, JMSU have put on a huge range of events as part of the Welcome Week programme. We recognise that many students are choosing not to drink as much alcohol, if any at all. We are committed to giving all students a fun, well-rounded experience which enables them to explore the city and make life-long friends, so we put on a broad range of big and small events designed to introduce students to cool places in the city, enhance their experience, and help them feel as though they belong to Liverpool!”
So for those of you who want to make your first weeks memorable for all the right reasons, here are some ways you could spend your Freshers’ experience.
1. Freshers’ Fair 2019
An essential and unmissable welcome to student life. Discover JMSU’s 100+ clubs and societies, meet hundreds of national and local brands, find out important information about your University, and say hello to your Students’ Union reps in person. We’re putting on free shuttle buses to the fair all day from all campuses, or you can walk from the town centre in just 10 minutes. Oh, and did we mention we’ll be giving out free Domino’s pizza? We’ll see you there…
When: Wednesday 25 September, 10:00 - 4:00
Where: M&S Bank Arena
2. Kick back with some popcorn
Get nostalgic at one of our film screenings as we show some old school favourites, including the likes of Aladdin and Matilda. There’s free popcorn included and students with children are welcome to bring them along too.
When: Sunday 15 September, 6:00 - 8:00 (Matilda)
Thursday 19 September, 7:00 – 9:00 (Aladdin)
Where: Frederiks, Hope Street, Liverpool
3. Take a trip to flatpack heaven
Did somebody say Swedish meatballs? Join us on a home decor pilgrimage to IKEA, so that you can turn your student halls into a real home. When it comes to assembling your new cabinets, however, we’re afraid you’re on your own with that one…
When: Tuesday 17 September, 6:00 - 10:00
Where: Coach will be departing from Grand Central, Renshaw Street at 6:00
4. Explore the great outdoors
We’re lucky in Liverpool to have some real beauty spots just a short train ride away. West Kirby beach, just across the Mersey in the Wirral, is the perfect place for a brisk autumnal walk. Join the student Conservation Society as they take freshers on a tour around this lovely beach and town, and grab yourself some fish and chips.
When: Friday 11 October, 2:00 – 4:00
Where: Meet at Sainsbury's in Liverpool Central train station at 2:00
Price: £3.50 - £5
5. A brew in your SU
It’s time to grab a cuppa with the Students’ Union, as well as a bag of freebies! This is the perfect afternoon to get to know your new SU social space and mingle with some new faces too. We’ll be popping up across all your JMSU social spaces, including Byrom Street, Tithebarn Street, Redmonds Building, IM Marsh, John Foster Building and the John Lennon Art and Design Building.
When: Friday 27 September, 11:00
Where: All SU social spaces
6. Get competitive at Roxy Ballroom
Enjoy a drink of your choice on us at Roxy, the home of indoor games, craft beers, pizza and cocktails. We’ll be holding a friendly(ish) student games tournament – so it’s time to show off your competitive side with a spot of bowling and ping-pong. You won’t want to miss this one.
When: Thursday 26 September, 7:00 - 9:00
Where: Roxy Ball Room Liverpool, Hanover Street
7. Food and mood
Join us as we celebrate World Mental Health Day with a free afternoon dedicated to wellbeing, mindfulness and stress-busting, situated in the beautiful venue, Love Thy Neighbour. Expect inspiring performances, creative activities, nourishing food, and a talk from a special guest speaker.
When: Thursday 10 October, 4:00 - 7:00
Where: Love Thy Neighbour, Hatton Garden
8. Take a trip to the Adventure Docks
This one is for the thrillseekers. Don’t miss your chance to master the incredible 92-metre inflatable obstacle course on the Albert Dock, featuring giant free-fall slides, climbing walls, jumps, drops and more. Just bring your swimming cozzie and towel, and Adventure Docks will take care of the rest.
*Please note: you must be able to swim to take part in Adventure Docks
When: Thursday 19 September, 2:00 - 4:00
Where: Liverpool Adventure Docks, The Albert Dock
9. The Ultimate Friends Quiz
How well do you know the gang? Will you win the Geller Cup or end up losing your apartment? Expect spot rounds, themed prizes and an appearance from our very own Gunther…
When: Tuesday 24 September, 7:30 - 10:00
Where: The Scholar Restaurant and Bar, Roscoe Street
10. Hop aboard the open top bus
What better way to see the city? Hop on and off wherever you fancy as the Liverpool sightseeing bus takes you on a fascinating tour. You’ll learn about Liverpool’s history, take in the sights, and pass all of its most beautiful and iconic attractions.
So there you have it, a little insight into our agenda of ‘alternative’ Freshers’ events. For the full list of Freshers’ activities visit the JMSU events page where you can purchase your tickets. You’ll also find details of all Freshers’ nightlife events here too. Ultimately, just remember to relax and embrace the experience – whichever event you choose.
We can’t wait to welcome you to LJMU.