What have the arts got to do with Freshers’ Week?

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For our latest offering in a 'what have the arts got to do with...' series, Hudi Charin explores the dark arts of Freshers' Week.

As the most mellow and soothing artist of all time, Bob Ross, once said, ‘you need the dark in order to show the light’. Although he probably wasn’t thinking of Freshers’ Week when he said it, this quote can easily be applied. In the first weeks of uni, there may be some highs and lows. The one thing you need to make sure you have more highs than lows? Well, art of course. Here’s the many ways art can guide you through those first few weeks.

The Art of Room Décor

Probably the most important one. Did you even take a gap year if you don’t have a tapestry hanging over your bed? Do you even have any friends if you don’t have photos of them perfectly blue-tacked on the wall? Are you even able to study if you don’t have Instagram-worthy stationery arranged on your desk at the start of term?

"did you even take a gap year if you don’t have a tapestry hanging over your bed?"

Make sure to get this one right as it will define you forever. That’s a lie, no one pays as much attention to your bedroom as you do, and deep down you’ll know that, but it won’t stop you from Pinteresting colour schemes for weeks before hand, and asking your parents desperately if they have any old records you can display on your shelves to show you’re musically knowledgeable.

The Art of Self Reinvention

This is it folks. You’ve known pretty much the same people since you were 11, and most of your friends remember the time you wet yourself in the middle of a club like a cast member on Geordie Shore. Never before have you had such an opportunity to reinvent yourself and start over. Be who you want to be.

"most of your friends remember the time you wet yourself in the middle of a club"

This is a fine and important art, how to present yourself exactly the way you want without coming across as too try-hard. Wear frames with clear glass in them to come across as ‘bookish’. Wear fake tan every day but tell people it’s natural. Wear t-shirts with obscure band names or geographical places to seem cultured. Except on the fourth day of Freshers you’ll get smashed playing Never Have I Ever and tell all your flat mates the weeing story and all your hard work will be for nothing.

The Art of Fashion

You’ll spend a good few hours contemplating what to wear on the first night out, and will borrow so much from your flat mates that you all enter SWX wearing an amalgamation of everyone’s wardrobes. You’ll soon decide all the clothes you wore back home aren’t 'Bristol' enough and you’ll head for the vintage shops on Park Street.

"maybe £80 isn’t that reasonable for a sustainable reworked revamped vintage shirt with a hole in the pocket"

By November, you’ll realise you’re broke and maybe £80 isn’t that reasonable for a sustainable reworked revamped vintage shirt with a hole in the pocket. Anyway, by TB2, you’ll have given up completely on looking good for uni and you’ll have finally resorted to rolling out of bed, into your coat and out the door.

The Art of the Arts

The only thing on this list that’s actually artistic: the arts in Bristol! Get acquainted with Banksy, go to a play, drag someone to listen to a free performance on Gloucester Road. Not only will the activities make you more rounded and arty –always a good goal- but they’ll be a great way to meet people and have something to do together, other than going to Spoons.

It’ll also help to know a little bit about the graffiti culture in Bristol because it’ll invariably come up at family functions when an uncle tries to come up with something they know about Bristol. Yes, it’s where the ‘Boris and Trump kissing’ mural was. Yes, I got my septum done in Pierced Up, where Banksy did a free artwork. Yes, my Dad’s gonna kill me for getting my septum done.

# The Art of Self Love And in amongst all of this stressing, shopping, Pinteresting and aspirational living, you’ll need to make time for the trickiest art of all, actually staying true to yourself throughout! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t find your feet at first. The best bit about Freshers’ is everyone is doing exactly what you’re doing, and by the end you’ll have realised your new mates might also be artists of their own reinventions. Wait it out and you’ll see that under their £100 Fila jackets, most people are also wondering how to navigate the highs and lows.

"under their £100 Fila jackets, most people are also wondering how to navigate the highs and lows"

Bob Ross also once said ‘just go out and talk to a tree. Make friends with it.’ I’d recommend maybe not doing that in Freshers’ Week.

(Featured image: Unsplash / Keith Luke)


What are your thoughts on the art of being a fresher? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.

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AUTHOR

Hudi Charin

Hiya, I'm a 3rd year history of art student. Unsuprisingly, I love art. Other very varied pass times include writing about, reading about and creating art.