Taking part in fresher’s crew – doesn’t initially sound like everyone’s cup of tea does it? A whole week drunken nights followed by very early mornings, days of being made to carry the entire contents of a fresher’s room to their new home through the absurdly complex corridors of Castle Leazes, and a lot of drunk fresher’s spewing all over you. People so often say, “but I can’t believe you’re doing this when you don’t get paid!”, but time and time again, taking part in fresher’s crew has made the best weeks of my uni life, a lot better than my own fresher’s week surprisingly enough.
Almost 400 students at the university take part in crew each year, and it’s easy to see why. On the first day, you’re put into a crew of around 15 people, none of which you know, and are assigned to a supervisor for the week. Your supervisor will have picked a fancy dress (mine this year – builders), which the whole crew wears for the entire week, with brownie points if you manage to keep hold of it all. Of With 25 different crews, and therefore 25 different types of fancy dress, it’s easy to spot your own crew from a mile off. Even across the dark and grungy dancefloor of Sinners, which has come to be a personal favourite amongst crew.
The first few days of fresher’s crew are always the most interesting, as no one knows anyone and the activities you’ve got on are the most tedious, such as hall move-ins. Then everyone goes on their first night out together, hilarious things happen and you all become pals.
After that, the week really kicks off. One of the biggest perks of being on fresher’s crew is the fact you get to do all the activities on the £65 wristband that fresher’s buy for free! The list of activites you get to go on for seems endless, and there’s bound to be something everyone enjoys. From quadbiking and mudbuggying to bubble football or paintballing. Even if those activities don’t take your fancy, there’s all the free food you can ask for so surely that’s a winner in everyone’s books. Plus, getting to do all these activities with your crew which you grow to adore really does make them that much better.
Then, every night after crew have finished carting fresher’s along a bar crawl, all of crew go out together in one big fancy dressed up mass to a certain trebles bar, and have a great night just like the freshers. It’s surprising how even though you’re getting older, and the hangovers are getting worse and worse, you can still pull yourself together to go out every night- and still wake up in the morning for a round of battlezone laser!
Once the week is over, (and you’ve had a night or two’s rest after your phteven day bender), the whole of crew get their glad rags on and head out for a nice meal with their crew, then to Vodka Revs for a crew party – free cocktails included.
Not only does this night make your crew unrecognisable, as you’ve only ever seen them in mucky fancy dress looking like shit before now, it also happens to be that beautiful night that everyone gets absolutely smashed. Tears will fall as those just-graduated final years finally have to admit to themselves for the last time that they will have to leave Newcastle, along with their crew family that they have adopted whilst here, forever. But really, this night ends up being a very messy and emotional night for all.
Taking part in crew has hands down been one of the best experiences I’ve had at uni, and through both fresher’s crew and RAG crew, for Raising and Giving week in January, I have made so many friends for life and couldn’t recommend them both enough.
Finally, just like to give a special mention to John Cena for his contribution to fresher’s crewchis year, you and DJ Bud have absolutely smashed it out the park!