Sara Binti Azizi
As a fresher you typically move to a new city for university. Some of you much like myself, may even have moved countries! I am going into my third year studying BSc Business Economics at Exeter and have had the best two years doing and planning fun activities to enjoy in and around Exeter. Here are some suggestions of what you could do to make the best out of being a fresher!
1. Cook a nice meal or get a takeaway with your flatmates/housemates!
Moving away from home is difficult. However, you’re all in this together! Your housemates are feeling just as homesick as you are and are also still adjusting to their new surroundings. Pick a day and time where you and all your housemates are free and have a nice meal together and bond over games or a film.
2. Explore the Quay and Exeter Canal.
Now that you’ve gotten to know your flatmates/housemates a bit better, this is the time to do a fun activity! Head down to the Quay and explore the area. There are quaint cafes and independent shops along the Quay that may be of interest to you and your new friends. My friends and I have personally enjoyed hiring bikes and kayaks from Saddles and Paddles, making the day of it by doing these activities together.
3. Have a picnic at the Cathedral Green or visit cafes near Exeter Cathedral.
The Exeter Cathedral is certainly a sight to see and this activity can be done alone or with friends. Cafes nearby like Tea on the Green offer cream teas which you can purchase and enjoy in true Devonian style.
4. Go to the beach!
One of my favourite things about studying at Exeter is the fact that you can hop on a train and explore beaches nearby whether its to de-stress or simply to have a paddle. The closest beach to Exeter is Exmouth which is around a 30-minute train ride away. Be sure to try Krispies which is a fish and chip shop located eight minutes away from the Exmouth train station. Their battered chips are amazing! My personal favourite beach to go to is Paignton which is around an hour away by train. Paignton Pier in its entirety is made up of an arcade and there is also themed crazy golf nearby, both of which my friends and I have spent countless hours at. I recommend going on a Sunday so you can enjoy a lovely and affordable Sunday roast at Inn on the Green.
5. Explore local walks like Mincinglake Valley Park.
Half an hour away from the university there is a park which gives you a nice place to walk around. Listen to music or an audiobook or simply the relaxing sounds of nature. At the very top of the hills at Mincinglake Valley Park there are benches where you can sit and enjoy a birds-eye view of Exeter.
6. Join societies like Exeter West Country Society or any that might be of interest!
Through this society I have been able to explore beautiful places in the South West like Boscastle, Salcombe and Dartmoor. I have also made new friends through the society. This society is of great interest to me because I love travelling and wanted to see more of what the South West has to offer. There are hundreds of societies available in the university and through the Fresher’s Fair you will be able to find one that is of interest to you.
Those were some of my suggestions of things and places to put on your bucket list just to get started with your university experience. I certainly enjoy doing all of these activities and look forward to continue doing them! I hope you found these suggestions helpful and do one or more activities from this list. Good luck for your first year in Exeter University!