Freshers’ Week, the week everyone remembers, or at least tries to. From numerous parties, to finding new friends, the 1995 coming-of-age film, Clueless, offers an extensive guide to the ins and outs of Freshers’ Week. Maybe you’re feeling ready for Freshers’ Week and whatever university throws at you like Cher, or perhaps you’re feeling apprehensive about all the change like Tai. Regardless, one thing is certain, there is nothing wrong with being ‘Clueless’ about Freshers’ Week.
Most importantly, Freshers’ Week is the time to be your true, authentic self. Unfortunately, Durham University accommodation cannot afford Cher’s iconic outfit generator, but the message still stands – dress how you want. Now is the time to experiment with that dress you might have thought was a little too tight or perhaps that androgynous outfit that would be far too scandalous to wear in college. Freshers’ Week is far too short to be worrying about what other people think of you, so dress unapologetically.
In terms of friendship, Clueless offers an interesting insight into finding your feet. Like Cher, you might not find lasting friendships straight away, but the key thing to remember is that this is okay. Just like in Clueless, Cher takes time to realise Josh is the one for her, so don’t worry if you bump into a few people reminiscent of Christian at first. Similarly, don’t worry about struggling to find people with identical interests or attitudes as you. A good way to combat these fears is to sign up to as many societies as possible during Freshers’ Week. Don’t worry about trying new things either, there will hopefully be no resemblance to the tennis scene in Clueless. One thing the University recognises is people’s different abilities within sports, or societies in general. So, whatever your skillset is, there will be something for you.
Another factor of Freshers’ Week is the alcohol you may consume at numerous parties. Unlike when Cher goes to the party in The Valleys, it is important to make sure you come prepared. Freshers’ is about getting stuck in, so if the word ‘Klute’, is mentioned, don’t wear your most expensive red number as Cher did. Klute, admittedly rated the worst nightclub in Europe, offers nothing but a massive laugh. From cheesy music to literal buckets of cocktails, please make sure you have some clothes you wouldn’t mind getting ruined. Equally, the party scene in Clueless reminds me of the unquantifiable amount of drinking games I was introduced to. A deck of cards and Uno will leave for some interesting nights.
Unfortunately, Freshers’ Week will inevitably end as the prospect of work dawns on you. As an English student, a scary comparison can be drawn to some seminar experiences in the scene where Cher uses a completely unrelated, yet undeniably hilarious anecdote to discuss oppression in America. So, whilst Freshers’ Week is a time for playing hard, keeping your work on the back burner is something you will thank yourself for later.
In essence, the main thing to remember about Freshers’ Week is to enjoy every minute of it. Take Clueless as a guide through Freshers’ Week to remind yourself of a couple of things. Be yourself, and don’t worry if that feels alien to start with. It took Cher a whole movie to find her feet so if a week doesn’t feel long enough to settle down, many other people will feel the same. Also, Freshers’ Week is just the start, so see it as a period of trial and error in the lead-up to your university experience being the best it can be. Ultimately, you must remember there is nothing wrong with feeling ‘Clueless’ about Freshers’ Week because, trust me, so is everyone else.
Illustration: Verity Laycock