Cut freshers some slack for crazy antics

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Another year and another fresh crop of young and eager freshers descend on student cities, anxious to ‘tick’ that ‘must-do’ checklist of Freshers Week.

From upholding the traditions of their predecessors, whether it’s drinking until silly o’clock, terrorising the local neighbourhood with their drunken antics and excessive noise at ungodly hours of the morning or even vandalising the local community, it’s not surprising that Freshers Week is reviled among local residents.

Who could forget just last year a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) taking to Twitter to document a southern university’s Freshers Week?

While the behaviour of freshers as revealed on the social networking site was by no means excusable, such criticism of students during Freshers Week is unnecessary, especially so when this for the most part rarely reflects their behaviour for the remainder of the academic year.

Just take the outstanding commitment to make a positive difference in the local community demonstrated by the very students who are subjected to such negative coverage.

Just this month, University of Sheffield’s student-led RAG (Raising & Giving) society won the Community Impact Award at the annual National RAG Awards.

Raising a record-breaking £174, 627 last year for local charities including Missing People Charity and Haven House which provides temporary support for women and children fleeing domestic violence, such charities would otherwise not be able to provide much-need support.

Students are working harder than ever before to stand out from their fellow graduates in the competitive job market.

In an era of gloomy employment prospects (at present employers are now reported to be receiving 56 applications per graduate position). Now a 2:1 and part-time job doesn’t always secure post-graduate employment, so many students are increasingly under pressure to spruce their CVs, even from Freshers Week.

Whether it’s seizing opportunities to make a positive difference in their Students’ Unions by representing fellow students as Union Officers, running student societies and clubs on campus or juggling unpaid internships alongside essay deadlines, undergraduates are more often than not investing their free time wisely rather than frittering it away hung-over three or four mornings a week.

So if next week you find yourself awoken at 3am to the raucous noises of freshers returning home from the obligatory Freshers Week Foam Party, perhaps we should cut them some slack…