A Muslim's Guide to Freshers Week and Uni

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quasa
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Every year, I keep seeing threads from muslims asking and worrying about university life and freshers week, so I thought I may as well give a few tips about how to enjoy yourself at uni based on the experiences of myself and others.

A bit of background, I did an undergrad masters degree in pharmacy and graduated with a 2:1 at the age of 21 (would have been a 1st were it not for personal health issues during my final year)

So, here are my tips:
.
1a) pubs. bars and clubbing arent the only places to meet people - you have societies, gyms, libraries and obviously courses you study, as well as accomodation. All of these are sufficient enough to avoid pubs bars and clubs.

1b) All unis even have islamic societies (isocs) which tend to be filled with practicing muslims, so its worth checking them out (although be warned, some members can be far right extremists, so try not to socialise with them).

2) Prayer timings are surprisingly good for sorting out your revision / daily schedule. If you are doing a degree which involves heavy workload of going into uni 5 days a week 9-5, fajr can be used as a starting point for revision (or after fajr if your read stuff like yasin or kahf) / finalising stuff before heading into uni (leave an hour break for having breakfast, toilet, getting ready). When you come back from uni, depending on the time of year, you can revise until maghrib or isha / do homework or make notes in that time. After maghrib / Ishayou can spend the rest of the day doing something else to keep mind of education. Also Wednesdays tend to be a half day / rest day at a vast majority of unis so you can spend 1-5 doing society stuff, going gym, hanging out with mates etc. before revising / praying after 5.

3) A lot of university societies have a drinking culture / drinking games as a form of initiation, so if you are interested in joining a society, let them know you dont want to take part in drinking games and if they still say no, just leave them / start your own society (no-one can force you to do something against your wishes and at the end of the day, its their loss and not yours)

4) If you are in student accomodation, you do sadly have to put up with some lout playing their loudspeaker 24/7, drunken idiots doing stupid things and countless fire alarms (particularly around exams whilst you're sleeping) . My advice is to try and ignore it, or if you are being bothered, text a mate of yours who isnt at your uni and tell them to make a complaint to your uni (sadly it doesnt work against children of foreign diplomats ). Ideally, I would recommend moving out of uni accomodation asap (do not stay year 2 onwards) but make sure the private one is good and try moving in with someone else if it is a bit dodgy.

5) if you feel like your being discriminated against based on whatever reason (belief, appearance etc), contact a relevant person at your uni (in healthcare degrees, this tends to be whoever deals with fitness to practice). If you are dealing with any stressful situations which may require support, find out about your uni's counselling service (which is usually free to students). Also, this is a bit bizarre but unis with different courses do provide student clinics where students can help each other out (law clinics and phsyiotherapy clinics for example).

6) Just because you are a muslim, it doesnt mean there is anything holding you back from enjoying yourself at uni in a halal manner. Im a practicing muslim who never went clubbing, pubs, bars etc, yet Ihave had tenures as the head of different societies at my uni...despite my aversion to haram things and most council members (or other members) not being muslim. Most people only experience university once in their life, so enjoy it while you can
Last edited by quasa; 4 months ago
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TasteLikeChicken
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If you don't pay for your course in full without the use of tuition fees or any other loans, you've fallen at the first hurdle.

Muhammad the Merchant didn't like interest, remember.

EDIT: A bit curious, isn't Pharmacy a 4-year degree? How did you complete it by age 21?
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quasa
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(Original post by TasteLikeChicken)
If you don't pay for your course in full without the use of tuition fees or any other loans, you've fallen at the first hurdle.

Muhammad the Merchant didn't like interest, remember.

EDIT: A bit curious, isn't Pharmacy a 4-year degree? How did you complete it by age 21?
I was barely 18 when I started freshers (in the UK, you have to be 21 by graduation to enrol in a Healthcare degree like med, dent, pharmacy, nursing). Because my graduation was quite early (July), I was still 21 when I graduated.
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Dunya
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(Original post by quasa)
Every year, I keep seeing threads from muslims asking and worrying about university life and freshers week, so I thought I may as well give a few tips about how to enjoy yourself at uni based on the experiences of myself and others.

A bit of background, I did an undergrad masters degree in pharmacy and graduated with a 2:1 at the age of 21 (would have been a 1st were it not for personal health issues during my final year)

So, here are my tips:
.
1a) pubs. bars and clubbing arent the only places to meet people - you have societies, gyms, libraries and obviously courses you study, as well as accomodation. All of these are sufficient enough to avoid pubs bars and clubs.

1b) All unis even have islamic societies (isocs) which tend to be filled with practicing muslims, so its worth checking them out (although be warned, some members can be far right extremists, so try not to socialise with them).

2) Prayer timings are surprisingly good for sorting out your revision / daily schedule. If you are doing a degree which involves heavy workload of going into uni 5 days a week 9-5, fajr can be used as a starting point for revision (or after fajr if your read stuff like yasin or kahf) / finalising stuff before heading into uni (leave an hour break for having breakfast, toilet, getting ready). When you come back from uni, depending on the time of year, you can revise until maghrib or isha / do homework or make notes in that time. After maghrib / Ishayou can spend the rest of the day doing something else to keep mind of education. Also Wednesdays tend to be a half day / rest day at a vast majority of unis so you can spend 1-5 doing society stuff, going gym, hanging out with mates etc. before revising / praying after 5.

3) A lot of university societies have a drinking culture / drinking games as a form of initiation, so if you are interested in joining a society, let them know you dont want to take part in drinking games and if they still say no, just leave them / start your own society (no-one can force you to do something against your wishes and at the end of the day, its their loss and not yours)

4) If you are in student accomodation, you do sadly have to put up with some lout playing their loudspeaker 24/7 or having to listen to drunken idiots doing stupid things. My advice is to try and ignore it, or if you are being bothered, text a mate of yours who isnt at your uni and tell them to make a complaint to your uni (sadly it doesnt work against children of foreign diplomats ). Ideally, I would recommend moving out of uni accomodation asap (do not stay year 2 onwards) but make sure the private one is good and try moving in with someone else if it is a bit dodgy.

5) if you feel like your being discriminated against based on whatever reason (belief, appearance etc), contact a relevant person at your uni (in healthcare degrees, this tends to be whoever deals with fitness to practice). If you are dealing with any stressful situations which may require support, find out about your uni's counselling service (which is usually free to students). Also, this is a bit bizarre but unis with different courses do provide student clinics where students can help each other out (law clinics and phsyiotherapy clinics for example).

6) Just because you are a muslim, it doesnt mean there is anything holding you back from enjoying yourself at uni in a halal manner. Im a practicing muslim who never went clubbing, pubs, bars etc, yet Ihave had tenures as the head of different societies at my uni...despite my aversion to haram things and most council members (or other members) not being muslim. Most people only experience university once in their life, so enjoy it while you can
JazakAllah for the tips

Was actually quite excited to join the ISOC at my uni during Freshers but I found out a couple of days ago that it was suspended...

I am slightly nervous for Freshers, do we honestly just walk around? :curious:
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quasa
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(Original post by Dunya)
JazakAllah for the tips

Was actually quite excited to join the ISOC at my uni during Freshers but I found out a couple of days ago that it was suspended...

I am slightly nervous for Freshers, do we honestly just walk around? :curious:
Your welcome
most unis tend to have freshers fairs, so different socs host different events / set up stands and try to recruit freshers (also you tend to get free grub at these fairs as well). this tends to provide a good opportunity to socialise but a problem virtually all uni students have is that they make friends during freshers week but dont see / communicate with them afterwards .

It might be worth joining volunteer, RAG, unicef, St Johns Linjks, your course socieities as the former 3 is great for doing charitable work, the 4th one si good for learning and applying 1st aid skills and the lattermost is a great opportunity to socialise with 2nd / 3rd/ etc years
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Zamestaneh
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(Original post by TasteLikeChicken)
If you don't pay for your course in full without the use of tuition fees or any other loans, you've fallen at the first hurdle.

Muhammad the Merchant didn't like interest, remember.

EDIT: A bit curious, isn't Pharmacy a 4-year degree? How did you complete it by age 21?
I have gone into this more in depth before regarding Ribaa (not synonymous with the English word interest) - please refer to my post on the ISOC first page.

Whether the student loan says it contains 'interest' or not is not deterministic on the loans permissibility - rather it is whether a loan contains Ribaa.
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quasa
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Because of the obvious pandemic which is plaguing the planet, I may as well give some additional advice using my healthcare brain:
  • try to avoid going outside your flat unless essential
  • always wear face masks (even if you wear face veils -wear a mask underneath it) and wear gloves
  • try and avoid using public toilets
  • as soon as you re back to your flat, immediately have a wash / shower (might be difficult if you share a toilet / shower) and keep clothes you wore in a sealed bag to take to wash (worse case scenario, hand wash clothes in sink of bathroom using detergent / fabric softener).
  • If you want to know more about societies without actually going to them, speak to your uni's student union and ask them to give details of different socieites you're interested in. Hopefully different societies are all hosting things via virtual meetings.
  • if you are told to isolate, it is usually calculated from the day someone starts showing symptoms. AVOID LEAVING YOUR FLAT IF ISOLATING ELSE YOU WILL GET A £10,000 FINE. the people who need to isolate would be the person with the virus and those they have been in close contacts with / living in same flat or house.
Last edited by quasa; 3 months ago
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AKK423
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(Original post by quasa)
Because of the obvious pandemic which is plaguing the planet, I may as well give some additional advice using my healthcare brain:
  • try to avoid going outside your flat unless essential
  • always wear face masks (even if you wear face veils -wear a mask underneath it) and wear gloves
  • try and avoid using public toilets
  • as soon as you re back to your flat, immediately have a wash / shower (might be difficult if you share a toilet / shower) and keep clothes you wore in a sealed bag to take to wash (worse case scenario, hand wash clothes in sink of bathroom using detergent / fabric softener).
  • If you want to know more about societies without actually going to them, speak to your uni's student union and ask them to give details of different socieites you're interested in. Hopefully different societies are all hosting things via virtual meetings.
  • if you are told to isolate, it is usually calculated from the day someone starts showing symptoms. AVOID LEAVING YOUR FLAT IF ISOLATING ELSE YOU WILL GET A £10,000 FINE. the people who need to isolate would be the person with the virus and those they have been in close contacts with / living in same flat or house.
Wearing a mask underneath a face veil would surely make it difficult to breathe, no?
I would propose simply pushing down the face veil and covering that area of the face with a mask.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by quasa)
4) If you are in student accomodation, you do sadly have to put up with some lout playing their loudspeaker 24/7, drunken idiots doing stupid things
To clarify, are people who get drunk, idiots in your opinion, or there are some idiots who get drunk?
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quasa
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
To clarify, are people who get drunk, idiots in your opinion, or there are some idiots who get drunk?
People who act idiotic when drunk.
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Ali_shah2019
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(Original post by quasa)
People who act idiotic when drunk.
Salamu alaykum. This thread is so useful. I’ve had a pretty public profile whilst at school but want to be a bit more discrete at Uni. Do u reckon it’s still possible to be involved in socs without becoming well-known?
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by quasa)
People who act idiotic when drunk.
Define 'idiotic'.
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quasa
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
Define 'idiotic'.
Vandalism, violence, things that can get people into trouble /arrested . Vomiting, urinating in public. Doing stupid things they wouldn't do when sober.
EDIT forgot to include being loud and obnoxious
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quasa
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(Original post by Ali_shah2019)
Salamu alaykum. This thread is so useful. I’ve had a pretty public profile whilst at school but want to be a bit more discrete at Uni. Do u reckon it’s still possible to be involved in socs without becoming well-known?
What do you mean by public profile at school?
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Ali_shah2019
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(Original post by quasa)
What do you mean by public profile at school?
Like being well-known. Always leading things.
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quasa
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(Original post by Ali_shah2019)
Salamu alaykum. This thread is so useful. I’ve had a pretty public profile whilst at school but want to be a bit more discrete at Uni. Do u reckon it’s still possible to be involved in socs without becoming well-known?
w/salaam. yeah, you can join different socs and have a quiet profile. its your choice how involved you want to be tbh
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