This week will see thousands of bright eyed, overly developed, emotionally unstable adolescents infest and tear through the UK’s finest towns and cities, whipping up a tornado of destruction laced with used condoms, nose vomit and Haribo Star Mix.  As a Fresher you will, as stomach-churningly cliché as it sounds, experience and learn certain things in your first year of University that you may not have necessarily been privileged to yet.


As a past Film Studies ‘Fresher’ (or huge geek who does nothing but watch downloaded films and television shows all day), the only way I can properly express the unpredictable, revelatory hedonistic journey of a first year at University is through the comparative medium of film. So, if you’re among those preparing for this life changing next chapter, the following recommends a film that is either appropriate viewing or a soothing tonic to certain situations Freshers might be faced with.


Upon arrival, you will be met by the eclectic bunch of fellow Freshers that’ll be your new family for the next year. This’ll no doubt include a timid art photography student, a computer nerd intent on being the next Bill Gates and a rugby meathead, wider than he is tall. That said you’ll dig deep and embrace this lot the only way that is legally acknowledged: booze. And plenty of it. This’ll start with a celebratory bottle of tepid champagne someone’s brought with them and deteriorate into a debauched party probably involving bad draw, worse cider and a life size cut-out of Hans Solo.

Now these sessions never end up as they do in the movies, but if they did, you’d really want it to represent something along the lines of Richard Linkater’s Dazed and Confused. Set in a simpler time where moustaches were cool and weed was easier to get hold of than beer. The film’s big party took place in a field, keg’s abound, every archetypal student character in attendance, and Matthew McConaughey being all weird and creepy (but still cool).

And while you’ll almost certainly wake up hugging the bowl on your morning after, it’d be nice to think you could placidly leave the party with your dignity in tact and watch the sun rise with a new friend and smooth joint.


With a hangover fiercer than a Gordon Ramsey backlash, you’ll crawl out from wherever the hell your night ended. But as healthy, robust young adults, you should be up and elbow deep in Coco Pops within minutes. However, if you do require a pick me up then I’d recommend a watch of Hoosiers (or Best Shot as it was re-titled over here).

Inspiration doesn’t come in purer form than this tale of a disgraced basketball coach who takes a similar position at a small redneck high school, leading them to unforeseen Championship glory. This may sound like every sports film ever made, but Hoosiers offers so much more.

Set in 1950s rural America, it paints a beautiful picture of a humble farm town whose hopes and ambitions rest on the shoulders of youngsters not yet equipped to handle them. Nevertheless, through love, trust and community they overcome adversity and triumph in spectacular fashion.

Still every sports film ever made, I know, but the brilliance and unmistakable charm of Hoosiers though is in its picturesque aesthetic. The whole film seems to take place during the autumn and is an endless stream of golden brown surroundings and attractive, yet modest set pieces. It’s like watching a series of understated watercolour paintings. These visuals alongside a heartening and emotionally rousing narrative should have you brimming with more energy than a six pack of Red Bull. If not, you’re soulless. You have no soul.


As a Fresher you will initially bound to lectures everyday, ready and excited to learn some serious adult education. That enthusiasm will quickly fade, especially after you hear “the first year doesn’t really count” rumours and eventually cave to their screaming throng.

You won’t spend these wanton days doing anything constructive, enlightening or even vaguely entertaining. You’ll most probably use this time to beat a high score on your Xbox, discover a new genre of porn (I hear Asian Squid is taking over) or see how many Silverskin pickled onions you can eat (one and a half large jars, for the record). But how awesome would it be to plan a day like that in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The boy took full advantage of skipping out by taking off into the city for thrills, spills and impersonating a “Sausage King”. I’d rather overlook the logistics of weekday parades, large-scale choreographed street dancing and car park attendants who can go unnoticed at work all day. Suffice to say, we should probably try and treat all our days off as Ferris did because opportunities to hijack a huge float and sing TWO songs without opposition come few and far between.


All Freshers are horny bastards and I’d say that a good portion is in attendance to get their ‘mack’ on. Alas, you can never quite attain the girl/boy of your desires. No matter how much light-hearted back and forth, delicate arm touching or awkward pauses you engage in, that person always seems just out of reach. It’s this sort of unrequited love that sends normal, Family Guy-watching folk to write poetry. Makes me ill.

Anyway, films involving unrequited love are released more often than convicted paedos, but few really capture the torment. A good one though is the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ Rules of Attraction, a love triangle involving an impulsive drug dealer, a virginal idealist and an affluent bisexual.

It explores all the themes you would equate with a rom-com but without sugar coating real emotion with absurd situation comedy or slapstick. I certainly wouldn’t condone following the self-destructive paths of the film’s characters, but watching them deal with that which they cannot have will make your magazine collage appear reasonably tame.