(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
People from cities will know what to expect but Freshers Week especially because it is so busy, can seem a bit intimidating if you're not used to city centre clubbing. If you're a guy, expect random drunk chavs to walk past you in the street shouting OOI OOI or FRESHHHHERRRS etc in your face, and then when you get in the club, you'll probably get bashed around by the same type of guys who are coked up and start jumping on top of each other/everybody else, spilling drinks over people, generally being idiots until somebody starts on them.
If you're a girl then those drunk chavs will be shouting "get yer tits out" and "phhwoar fresh meat...you comin home with me then darlin'??" and inside the club because its so rammed in Freshers Week everybodys sweaty bodies are rubbing against each other to walk past and so those guys will be groping girls bums/boobs at every opportunity. I know it's bad and girls will say just because they're wearing a skirt etc doesn't give guys the right to feel them up, but randy rough locals in Freshers Week are not exactly paragons of social manners and so if you are really scared of being groped then stick to the stuff at the Students Union where it at least will only be fellow students (not saying that they won't grope though!) In the town clubs expect some older guys to be hanging around trying to pick up a random fresher, a girl in my flat had a guy well in to his 30s trying to chat her up at the bar on our first night out, telling her he was going to "split her in half".
Over time you'll learn which type of clubs you like and gravitate to the ones that play your type of music but on Freshers Week the big nights that everybody is going to will be at the generic type places, Academy, Gatecrasher, Tiger Tiger and so on, which are just mainstream meat market type places and the local chavs will be out in droves looking to play 'f-k a fresher', so the first week everything will seem a bit hectic. People who have been going clubbing in London/Manchester/Newcastle etc in 6th form will be used to it anyway but it can be a pretty hectic experience if you're not used to it, so just go with the flow and accept the randomness of it all, don't get yourself too drunk because thats when people get scared, when they are separated from their friends and not totally sure of how to get back home, and wandering around looking for taxis/buses and having guys shout at them or whistle at them if they are girls, and then homeless guys wandering around saying can you spare some change for a sandwich and wanting to strike up a chat, asking where you live etc. Also the drug dealers will be out in force during Freshers Week looking to drum up business, I remember getting offered drugs about 4 times walking through town on nights out in the first week...not by young kids trying to push a bit of weed, but by older guys who looked like serious dealers, after Freshers Week I never got offered drugs in the street in the rest of the time I lived in Leeds! And there will be the odd hooker asking if you fancy a good time, although by and large they don't approach students as they know you don't have much money.
Thats the seedy side of going out in Leeds in Freshers Week. The other side that takes people by surprise is the security presence is quite high which should also reassure you (aside from being shouted at/groped/approached by seedy people you are unlikely to have serious trouble). I remember noticing when I first got to Leeds that West Yorkshire Police seem to have quite a high presence on the streets, not only in the city centre but in the student areas throughout the year, I have been stopped and asked questions a lot in Leeds over the years - not stopped and searched - but especially if you're around at night in the student areas, the police will ask you are you a student, what you're studying, what street you live on, why you are out and where you're going...don't take offence at this, they're looking to fish out people who aren't actually students and are out to deal drugs to students or looking for opportunist burglary. But also I found the bouncers in Leeds are pretty militant as well. If they say you need ID, you need ID, no amount of 'banter' or 'flirting' will change it, they will just be blunt and say you can't come in, go home. And also once inside, if you are a guy, don't be surprised if you end up being kicked out for something that's not your fault, if some idiots start on you, you will be thrown out just like they will. If a girl complains that you're hassling them, there won't be any investigation they will just kick you out. They go by the rules that girls are more important to clubs than guys so if you're male they don't care. Having said that, don't give attitude to the bouncers, if you build up a good rep with the bouncers it can be helpful, small things like at the end of the night when they ask people to leave, get your mates together and out quickly and thank the bouncer for the night as you're leaving....if you go to a place regularly then the bouncer recognises you as someone who is a regular customer and doesn't cause trouble. This has been helpful for me because on a lot of the more upmarket bars (eg Call Lane) they only let mixed groups or all girl groups in, if you try to go in as 2 or more guys they won't let you in, but the bouncers that know me usually let me go in with lad mates, so its small things like that whereby building up a good rep with bouncers helps.
But after the first couple of weeks....things calm down in town a lot. Yes Leeds is still very much a Booze Britain city but you can have more of a civilised going out experience than the mayhem you will experience in Freshers Week.