Introductions: James Sproston

Get me pictures of Spiderman: Editor of The Courier, James SprostonGet me pictures of Spiderman: Editor of The Courier, James Sproston

Now then, freshers. I’d like to welcome you all to Newcastle University, though you’re all probably sick of people saying that. I might have even already said welcome to some of you in one of the several induction lectures that I’ve been gracing with my presence, so apologies for repeating myself.

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m the Editor of the fine student paper you’re currently reading, The Courier. It’s one of the three branches of student media that we offer through the Student’s Union, along with NSR and NUTV, our radio and TV stations. It’s just one of the brilliant volunteering opportunities that are on offer; I’d tell you more about the awards we’ve won, but I’m sure you don’t need any more convincing. Anyone can participate, be it writing, filming or presenting, so make sure you hit us up if you’re interested.

Though The Courier may be the best thing about Newcastle, there are plenty of other quality things up here. Since Manchester has everything except a beach, this Mancunian’s favourite day out is a trip to Tynemouth on the coast. Another top tip is to get your fresh food from Grainger Market in town, where your average meat and veg is often fresher, tastier and (most importantly) cheaper than your run-of-the-mill supermarket.

“You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that you can learn all about your Freshers’ Week in this paper; there might even be a word or two of good advice if you dig deep enough.”

A visit to either of those places is probably on the cards during Freshers’ Week as part of the daytime activities programme. Ask any second or third year and they’ll say that their biggest regret during Freshers’ Week was not doing as many activities as possible during the day, potentially amongst some other alcohol-related encounters. Don’t let lazy housemates, “compulsory” lectures or a nasty hangover stop you making the most of your week.

You’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that you can learn all about your Freshers’ Week within this paper, with a nifty little day-by-day guide in the middle of the issue. We’ve also put together some features that give you an idea where’s good to eat some food, watch some films and listen to some music; there might even be a word or two of good advice if you dig deep enough.

Leading up to Freshers’ Week, and throughout your university life, a lot of people will enjoy telling you how lucky you are to be where you are. However, most of them won’t remember or have experienced the odd combination of excitement and nerves. Once you’ve been dropped off it feels like you’re out on your own, which will be a first for most of you. Don’t worry about it though, it’s natural and you can find a shred of comfort in the fact that everyone else will feel almost exactly the same.

You’ve probably reached the end of your tether with my “wise” words, but if you’ll bear with me, there’s one more thing I’d like you to consider. That little mugshot that’s been plastered on your student card may not be your best side, but that person will go through a lot in the next three or four years. One way or another you’ll change to the extent that that geezer staring back at you won’t be unrecognisable.

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