The Freshers’ Guide to University Life On Screen

The results are in and teenagers all over the country now know whether or not they have secured a place at their university of choice where they hope to continue their quests for knowledge and meaning that will more than likely turn into endless, trashy club nights. Freshers’ minds are no doubt full of questions, such as the ever troubling – Will I make friends? But more importantly - What’s the nightlife like?

If you’re a soon-to-be fresher, here is a guide to some films and television programmes from the last 5 years that will ‘accurately’ prepare you for what’s in store.  

Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat represents some of the very best of British comedy and I haven’t met a single person from our generation who hasn’t found it hilarious. If Fresh Meat characters were colleges, Kingsley would be Mansfield (friendly, fairly liberal, kinda left wing), Oregon would be St Johns (loaded, but conceals it’s wealth behind those walls), Josie would be Jesus (she is Welsh after all), Sabine would be Merton (‘it’s where fun goes to die’), JP would be Christ Church (red. trousers.), Howard would be Corpus Christi (small, unnoticed, situated in Christ Church’s shadow), Vod would be Wadham (don’t think this one needs explaining).

“First year is beer year. Third year is fear year. But second year is spear year.”

(Good news – it’s on Netflix)

See my thoughts on Fresh Meat season 1 here.

21 and Over
Asian kid gone wild. This is the film for any impending fresher who had really strict parents growing up. The newfound freedom at uni will no doubt be far too much for them to handle and they’ll go completely craycray. It’s set in America so, of course, the legal drinking age is 21, but pretend this film stars a bunch of 18 year olds and it’s spot on.

“Yeah, she’s cute, but she’s not my type.”
“What is your type?”
“Girls who want to have sex with me”

(Also on Netflix)

Monsters University
Being a ‘Mike’ (Grade A nerd) and ending up with a ‘Sully’ (lads lads lads!) as your roommate is probably every fresher’s worst nightmare but you’ll grow to love your corridor/staircase/flat (probably). This story teaches you that nothing should get in the way of you and your bros and that despite your differences you can make friends with anyone! (Cheesy, I know – it’s Disney). Unfortunately nothing quite as exciting as the Scare Games happens at university, but we have University Challenge and that’s basically the same thing, right?

“Imagine a university…”
“Where I can be unique in a sea of thousands”
“Where I can learn to learn”
“and learn what I love”

- Said no one ever

The Social Network
You can only hope that you’ll be creating something quite as amazing as Facebook during your time at university. Prospective E&Mers who think this is going to be the story of your university years, I’m sorry to break this to you, but that probably isn’t going to happen. When you leave university you’re likely to be broke, alcoholic, and to top it all off you’re going to have to look for a ‘real’ job in ‘real’ world.

“I need to do something substantial into order to attract the attention of the clubs.”
“Because they’re exclusive. And fun. And they lead to a better life.”

The Inbetweeners 2
Finally, for those of you off on your gap yahs before heading to university, here’s what you’ve got to look forward to! You’ll probably have plans to travel far, far away from dreary old England, maybe even as far as Australia like Jay, but hopefully you’ll have something more meaningful planned than hunting for ‘klunge’.

“Everyone knows the backpacking girls are the loosest. That’s why it’s called a gap year”


These are just a few of my top picks for films and series to watch before heading off to uni. Of course there are tonnes of other student-based series worth noting: Legally Blond, American Pie,  Starter for 10, Animal House, Greek and more!


Congratulations to all those who made their offers! Are you off to university this year? If so, where are you going and what will you be studying? I'll be going into my second year in October - time flies! 

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  1. This was pretty awesome. I don't watch too many movies so I haven't seen any of the ones on your list (except Legally Blonde, which was only kinda on the list).

    I'm starting school in September and in ten days I'll be moving to Montreal to study commerce (although I'm not doing much commerce in first year). I'm kind of terrified, but also excited. :)

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex


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