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    Hi! So, I will be joining Exeter for a BA in English in September, however I happen to be "underage." Just wondering how student life and freshers would be like till January where I turn 18, and what else I could do till then
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    (Original post by k4bir)
    Hi! So, I will be joining Exeter for a BA in English in September, however I happen to be "underage." Just wondering how student life and freshers would be like till January where I turn 18, and what else I could do till then
    Honestly think the effect will be minimal and you can have a full student life.

    Cant buy alcohol at the bar, but may not drink.
    Cant get into clubs, but you might not be interested anyway.
    You might be less interested in certain things than some older peers, but everyone is different.

    Other than that you will be just another fresher and can join all the clubs and societies. People wont know your age, so dont worry and focus on having a good time plus your studies.
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    Theres always freshers you can enjoy in second/final year....you'll know the city by then too
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    Heya I'm in the same situation too (not at exeter), I will be 17 for all of the first two terms. I think it depends how much social life revolves around clubs/bars/pubs, and how much you'd want to get involved in that. i used to want to study in london but thankful i'm not doing that now as i think the social scene there mainly revolves around clubs. During freshers there will probably be pre-drinking in halls so you won't be completely left out, and you'll still be able to go to the student union and the union bar might not check id anyway.

    either way there will be lots of societies and activities to take up time too.

    tbh idrk either so if anyone who's been through it wants to shed a light?
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    (Original post by ♥Samantha♥)
    Heya I'm in the same situation too, I will be 17 for all of the first two terms. I think it depends how much social life revolves around clubs/bars/pubs, and how much you'd want to get involved in that. i used to want to study in london but thankful i'm not doing that now as i think the social scene there mainly revolves around clubs. During freshers there will probably be pre-drinking in halls so you won't be completely left out, and you'll still be able to go to the student union and the union bar might not check id anyway.

    either way there will be lots of societies and activities to take up time too.

    tbh idrk either so if anyone who's been through it wants to shed a light?
    The union bar (The Ram) doesn't check IDs really - at least, I never saw them check an ID in the four years I was there. They seem to assume that everyone at university will be 18+. Exceptions obviously for people on school trips or kids with their parents, but if you're with a group of students you're unlikely to get IDed. That said, my opinion is that it's not really worth the risk - especially as it's in the uni, getting caught could have disciplinary consequences. The union club though (The Lemon Grove) WILL check ID at the door. Pubs and (especially) clubs in town will also check IDs.

    In terms of how much social life revolves around alcohol and clubs etc., it depends. I'd be lying if I said it didn't with a significant amount of people at the uni. Especially sports clubs. You won't be shunned or anything, but there will be a lot of socials that you won't be able to join in with.

    That said, I believe every society has to host a certain amount of non-alcoholic socials a year. The societies' activities in themselves, of course, also don't involve drinking (exceptions for Real Ale society, Wine society, etc., obviously). There's also nothing to stop you joining in once you're old enough - I joined plenty of new societies and made plenty of new friends in my second, third and fourth years. It also depends on who your friends and flatmates are. While most people are old enough to drink, many people still choose not to.
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    (Original post by BonsaiClouds)
    The union bar (The Ram) doesn't check IDs really - at least, I never saw them check an ID in the four years I was there. They seem to assume that everyone at university will be 18+. Exceptions obviously for people on school trips or kids with their parents, but if you're with a group of students you're unlikely to get IDed. That said, my opinion is that it's not really worth the risk - especially as it's in the uni, getting caught could have disciplinary consequences. The union club though (The Lemon Grove) WILL check ID at the door. Pubs and (especially) clubs in town will also check IDs.

    In terms of how much social life revolves around alcohol and clubs etc., it depends. I'd be lying if I said it didn't with a significant amount of people at the uni. Especially sports clubs. You won't be shunned or anything, but there will be a lot of socials that you won't be able to join in with.

    That said, I believe every society has to host a certain amount of non-alcoholic socials a year. The societies' activities in themselves, of course, also don't involve drinking (exceptions for Real Ale society, Wine society, etc., obviously). There's also nothing to stop you joining in once you're old enough - I joined plenty of new societies and made plenty of new friends in my second, third and fourth years. It also depends on who your friends and flatmates are. While most people are old enough to drink, many people still choose not to.
    i'm not going to exeter btw but I'm sure OP will really appreciate this! and probably a lot of this can be generalised to most universities so thanks.
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    Thanks, both of you! Just wondering though, does being 17 really impact your uni experience? I'll only be 17 for one semester though, unlike Samantha (sorry buddy!)
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    (Original post by k4bir)
    Thanks, both of you! Just wondering though, does being 17 really impact your uni experience? I'll only be 17 for one semester though, unlike Samantha (sorry buddy!)
    It depends on a lot of things (I'm afraid). It depends on what you mean by impact for starters. What it will mean is that you can join pre-drinks, but you can't go out clubbing afterwards with the others if that's what they're doing. In Freshers week in particular, it usually is what they're doing.

    It'll mean that if you join pub socials and that kind of thing you'll probably need to drink soft drinks or something (unless you want to risk getting caught with a fake/someone else's ID, or not having one and drinking, neither of which I would recommend).

    So that'll impact your experience for sure, but how it impacts you is down to you really, and what kind of person you are. If you'd feel comfortable being sober at a pub trip or whatever, then you'll probably hardly notice. If you're super keen to go clubbing and all of your friends go clubbing every other night, you might have a rougher time of that first semester.

    Depending on how you feel about it, it might be a bit of a bummer not being able to participate in the clubbing and drunken antics of Freshers week. But, as you say, it's just one semester, and there's a hell of a lot more to uni than Freshers week. Most of my closest friends I didn't meet until third year anyway, so I really wouldn't worry from any kind of socialising/friend-making aspect.
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    (Original post by BonsaiClouds)
    It depends on a lot of things (I'm afraid). It depends on what you mean by impact for starters. What it will mean is that you can join pre-drinks, but you can't go out clubbing afterwards with the others if that's what they're doing. In Freshers week in particular, it usually is what they're doing.

    It'll mean that if you join pub socials and that kind of thing you'll probably need to drink soft drinks or something (unless you want to risk getting caught with a fake/someone else's ID, or not having one and drinking, neither of which I would recommend).

    So that'll impact your experience for sure, but how it impacts you is down to you really, and what kind of person you are. If you'd feel comfortable being sober at a pub trip or whatever, then you'll probably hardly notice. If you're super keen to go clubbing and all of your friends go clubbing every other night, you might have a rougher time of that first semester.

    Depending on how you feel about it, it might be a bit of a bummer not being able to participate in the clubbing and drunken antics of Freshers week. But, as you say, it's just one semester, and there's a hell of a lot more to uni than Freshers week. Most of my closest friends I didn't meet until third year anyway, so I really wouldn't worry from any kind of socialising/friend-making aspect.
    Thanks for this! I know I've been asking a lot, but what exactly is a pub social and how often do they happen?
    Do you have any idea what the younger folks did at Freshers?
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    (Original post by k4bir)
    Thanks for this! I know I've been asking a lot, but what exactly is a pub social and how often do they happen?
    Do you have any idea what the younger folks did at Freshers?
    Sorry, slipped into jargon I picked up at uni. A social is just an event hosted by a society, basically. It doesn't have to be related to what they normally do. For example, the Surfing Society might organise a event where they all meet up at a pub for an evening - that'd be a social. Or it could be more involved, like Campus Bands could have a social to an open mic night. Basically just societies organising meet-ups, in a slightly more official capacity than just friends meeting up - for example, the social secretary of a society is responsible for making sure people (particularly freshers) get home okay and for making sure things don't go nuts - they have sessions with the Students' Guild about that sort of thing.

    How often they happen depends entirely on the society. I was part of PearShaped (music magazine/society) and we tried to hold 2-4 socials a term usually, and we usually went to gig nights at the Cavern or hosted our own gigs at various places.

    Some societies will even have them weekly (sports clubs, especially big ones like football, tend to do this as Wednesday as a club called Timepiece was a regular fixture).

    To be honest, it often depends on who's on the society's committee. If committee are good friends who hang out a lot anyway, they're likely to host more socials. For a better indication of a particular society, you can ask them at their stalls at Freshers Fair how often they tend to have socials and what they're like.

    As for what under 18s actually did during Freshers week, I couldn't say as I've never known any myself. I knew plenty of people who didn't drink, and they did all kinds of things - pubs (soft drinks of course), coffee, sports, parks, board game nights, video game nights, film nights, etc. etc. There's plenty to do without drinking and plenty of people to do it with. The clubbing/drinking mentality is just a bit ramped up in the first week is all.
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    (Original post by BonsaiClouds)
    Sorry, slipped into jargon I picked up at uni. A social is just an event hosted by a society, basically. It doesn't have to be related to what they normally do. For example, the Surfing Society might organise a event where they all meet up at a pub for an evening - that'd be a social. Or it could be more involved, like Campus Bands could have a social to an open mic night. Basically just societies organising meet-ups, in a slightly more official capacity than just friends meeting up - for example, the social secretary of a society is responsible for making sure people (particularly freshers) get home okay and for making sure things don't go nuts - they have sessions with the Students' Guild about that sort of thing.

    How often they happen depends entirely on the society. I was part of PearShaped (music magazine/society) and we tried to hold 2-4 socials a term usually, and we usually went to gig nights at the Cavern or hosted our own gigs at various places.

    Some societies will even have them weekly (sports clubs, especially big ones like football, tend to do this as Wednesday as a club called Timepiece was a regular fixture).

    To be honest, it often depends on who's on the society's committee. If committee are good friends who hang out a lot anyway, they're likely to host more socials. For a better indication of a particular society, you can ask them at their stalls at Freshers Fair how often they tend to have socials and what they're like.

    As for what under 18s actually did during Freshers week, I couldn't say as I've never known any myself. I knew plenty of people who didn't drink, and they did all kinds of things - pubs (soft drinks of course), coffee, sports, parks, board game nights, video game nights, film nights, etc. etc. There's plenty to do without drinking and plenty of people to do it with. The clubbing/drinking mentality is just a bit ramped up in the first week is all.
    Thanks again! So, I'm assuming I wouldn't even be allowed to enter the Lemon Grove will I?
    Also, how many societies would you recommend joining?
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    (Original post by k4bir)
    Thanks again! So, I'm assuming I wouldn't even be allowed to enter the Lemon Grove will I?
    Also, how many societies would you recommend joining?
    Also a student at Exeter so wanted to throw in a bit more information!

    Yeah you won't be able to get into the Lemon Grove because they scan your student card which has your birthday on it so that would show you're under 18.

    I remember during freshers week last year the uni events calendar could be filtered to only show alcohol-free activities/events and there were a lot so you shouldn't be stuck for things to do!

    Personally I joined four including a sport and I found that that was about right for me personally because I didn't spend tons of money joining, but I also had enough to do. A lot of societies and sports have free events and taster sessions during freshers week so go to tons of those and it'll make it easier to decide what to sign up for at the freshers fair. The good thing is if you want to join something later in the year you can online
    Hope this helps!!
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    (Original post by k4bir)
    Thanks again! So, I'm assuming I wouldn't even be allowed to enter the Lemon Grove will I?
    Also, how many societies would you recommend joining?
    No, you won't. They check ID on the door.

    Hmm, that's a tough one. There are three factors for you to consider really: interest, time, and money.

    Let's get money out of the way. The minimum a society is allowed to charge is - unless it's changed recently - £3.50 for a year's membership. £3.50 - £10 is what you'd be looking at paying for societies that don't really have a lot of overhead costs like equipment hire or things like that. But there's a huge variety in pricing really. It depends on what they do, what equipment it needs, and whether some of those fees are included in the membership or if you need to pay additionally. For example, I believe one of the walking societies has relatively cheap membership, but you still have to pay to go on each trip (albeit at a reduced rate to non-members).

    Sports societies will be a lot more, typically. You'd expect to pay £60 minimum for a sports society membership, though some can go into the hundreds. Again, it depends on how popular the club is, how much equipment and stuff they need, whether or not that's all included in the membership, etc.

    So, whether the money is worth it is going to depend on the other two things.

    Interest is self-explanatory really. Especially for the more expensive societies, do have a good think about whether you're actually going to continue going. It's pretty much inevitable that everyone signs up for societies and then stops going to some of them, but some forethought can save you a bit of money. That being said, don't be afraid to try some new things - you're not likely to get this kind of chance again. I took up archery in my master's year for example and absolutely loved it. Across the board there are some weird and wonderful societies, and whether or not they're good often has a lot more to do with the people running it than the subject matter itself. I know English students who were members of the Geography society, for example, just because it was a great laugh.

    Time will end up being a very big factor as your course goes on. Of course, it's all about how you want to balance study, social life, sports, etc. I'm someone who would hang out with friends quite regularly (3-4 times a week maybe? including houses, parties, pub, club) and spend a decent amount of time in the library (I studied English). I had time to regularly attend one sport (2-4 sessions a week), semi-regularly attend another (once a week usually), be on the committee for one society and regularly attend another. That ended up being a pretty packed schedule, but it was doable.

    Especially at first, it can be hard to tell which you're likely to stick with. So it's probably a good idea in your first year to see what societies your friends join, pick a few that interest you and see which ones end up holding your interest. You can always chop and change and join new ones in later years when you have a better idea of which ones are run well, which you like, etc. In fact, I don't know anyone who didn't. I'd also say that you'd struggle trying to keep up with more than two sports societies at once - they hold training sessions and go on socials more regularly than most societies.

    If I had to give you a number, I suppose I would say 0-2 sports societies, and 1-10 non-sports societies. The 10 depends on whether you're happy to spend some extra money on just trying a load out and seeing which stick.
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    (Original post by BonsaiClouds)
    No, you won't. They check ID on the door.

    Hmm, that's a tough one. There are three factors for you to consider really: interest, time, and money.

    Let's get money out of the way. The minimum a society is allowed to charge is - unless it's changed recently - £3.50 for a year's membership. £3.50 - £10 is what you'd be looking at paying for societies that don't really have a lot of overhead costs like equipment hire or things like that. But there's a huge variety in pricing really. It depends on what they do, what equipment it needs, and whether some of those fees are included in the membership or if you need to pay additionally. For example, I believe one of the walking societies has relatively cheap membership, but you still have to pay to go on each trip (albeit at a reduced rate to non-members).

    Sports societies will be a lot more, typically. You'd expect to pay £60 minimum for a sports society membership, though some can go into the hundreds. Again, it depends on how popular the club is, how much equipment and stuff they need, whether or not that's all included in the membership, etc.

    So, whether the money is worth it is going to depend on the other two things.

    Interest is self-explanatory really. Especially for the more expensive societies, do have a good think about whether you're actually going to continue going. It's pretty much inevitable that everyone signs up for societies and then stops going to some of them, but some forethought can save you a bit of money. That being said, don't be afraid to try some new things - you're not likely to get this kind of chance again. I took up archery in my master's year for example and absolutely loved it. Across the board there are some weird and wonderful societies, and whether or not they're good often has a lot more to do with the people running it than the subject matter itself. I know English students who were members of the Geography society, for example, just because it was a great laugh.

    Time will end up being a very big factor as your course goes on. Of course, it's all about how you want to balance study, social life, sports, etc. I'm someone who would hang out with friends quite regularly (3-4 times a week maybe? including houses, parties, pub, club) and spend a decent amount of time in the library (I studied English). I had time to regularly attend one sport (2-4 sessions a week), semi-regularly attend another (once a week usually), be on the committee for one society and regularly attend another. That ended up being a pretty packed schedule, but it was doable.

    Especially at first, it can be hard to tell which you're likely to stick with. So it's probably a good idea in your first year to see what societies your friends join, pick a few that interest you and see which ones end up holding your interest. You can always chop and change and join new ones in later years when you have a better idea of which ones are run well, which you like, etc. In fact, I don't know anyone who didn't. I'd also say that you'd struggle trying to keep up with more than two sports societies at once - they hold training sessions and go on socials more regularly than most societies.

    If I had to give you a number, I suppose I would say 0-2 sports societies, and 1-10 non-sports societies. The 10 depends on whether you're happy to spend some extra money on just trying a load out and seeing which stick.
    Thanks a lot for this
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    By the end of the first term you'll only be going to 2 or 3 of the societies you joined, but it's good to join lots at the beginning to see which you like
 
 
 
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