If you’re setting off for university this autumn, then you’re in for a real treat. Or rather, lots and lots of real treats. The student calendar is positively heaving with parties, talks, entertainment and traditional (and not-so-traditional) annual events. Here are a few of the key ones worth looking out for:
1. Freshers’ Week
The very first week of your university career. Traditionally a variety of social events which, thanks to all the nervous excitement, is likely to pass in a bit of a blur. One thing definitely worth going to is the Freshers’ Fair – a chance to sign up for whichever of the university societies happens to take your fancy. (Hang Gliding Club, anyone?)
2. Freshers’ Ball
The massive party that usually wraps up Freshers’ Week. This tends to be one of the highlights of the first year and it would be a real shame to miss it. Especially as the entertainment may well include a big-name act.
3. Careers fairs
There will be opportunities for you to attend careers fairs throughout your time at university, although the majority tend to be in the autumn. This is your chance to meet employers earlier and work on your networking skills. Look out for posters or ask your careers service for more details.
4. RAG Week
An annual week of charitable events, in which students dress up in costumes, rattle buckets and raise money for a good cause. RAG stands for “Raising and Giving”.
5. Sporting events
Many universities have annual sporting events that can be great fun to go to, whether you’re a fan of the sport or not. The London Varsity is a famous example – an annual rugby union match between King’s College and University College London.
Employers will hold presentations on campus every so often. It’s worth keeping an eye out for any talks, seminars or training sessions that may be relevant to you. In the past, events were aimed squarely at finalists but they are increasingly targeting first and second years as well.
7. Application deadlines
As you make your way through university, you’ll need to start thinking (if you haven’t already) about your future career. An internship can be an excellent way to gain experience and insight into potential career paths. But competition can be fierce. So be sure to check when applications open and – even more importantly – when they close.
8. Summer Ball
The massive party that marks the end of the academic year. Almost every university has one these days. Some are black-tie affairs; others are more like mini music festivals. They all tend to be sell-outs, though, so make sure you book your tickets in plenty of time.