Fresher’s Fortnight – I Remember… Drinking Games

Apologies for the delay with this one! But here is my brief account on a few popular and favourite drinking games I had the fun of participating in during my undergraduate years at university:

Whilst this video is published for educational and anecdotal purposes,  please please please, remember to drink responsibly and to abide by your local laws on age and behaviour for your respective country. Alcohol can be fun in moderation and control, but always know your limits.

Now the serious stuff is said, do you have any favourite drinking games or funny stories surrounding them? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!



5 Ways to be Festive with your Student Family

With Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa fast approaching and lots of you preparing to go home soon, I’m sure you’ve thought about the people on your floor or in your flat/house or even your wider circle of friends and getting into the Christmas spirit this season. Whilst many will opt for the Christmas meal or hope to join one of the many themed parties on the town, sometimes it’s hard to get that table when your favourite restaurant is booked out or you’re struggling to balance your budget for your Wednesday night sesh against buying gifts for your family and friends. Fear not, for there are many creative ways to enjoy Christmas with your friends on a tight budget. Here are a few ideas to get started.

Host a Jacob’s Join/Potluck Party or Holiday Dinner

If you’re struggling to afford a full fat meal each at a restaurant, why not host a feast of your own between friends and each bring a dish. This could be done in a traditional bring your own party, or you could make a communal Holiday Dinner together if you all live nearby, each bringing a portion of the meal or liquid refreshment to the host location. This in turn will hopefully mean you all get more food for your money as well as the satisfying feeling you contributed to your respective December feast without the crazy stress of preparing the whole thing yourself or polishing off your wallet on a meal out.

Secret Santa Your Presents

At some point everyone has experienced or heard of an organised secret Santa. If this is your first time hearing of it,  there’s a few different forms of it. The most common form basically works where those participating will enter their name into a hat (or equivalent), the names are shuffled and each participant will be asked to pull out a name. This name isn’t revealed until the end (hence the secret) and you then have to buy a present for the person who’s name you picked out of said hat. On hand in day the people are either revealed by giving your gift to the person, or they are placed on a table in private and the recipient picks it up when everyone congregates. Whether you reveal the senders to each other, or keep it a secret forever is up to you and your group.

Another variation involves no names at all and you’re expected to buy just a gift for the centre circle. Once these are bought it follows the format similar to above where these are secretly placed in a neutral location and chosen in some form (e.g: from a sack, by numbers like a tombola or just straight claimed) and again, the buyer may be revealed or kept quiet – it’s all up to you.

This is often a useful way of gift giving on a budget as you’ll only need to buy one present, everyone participating is guaranteed one and it’s a little bit of fun with your friends.

Group Decoration Session

Whilst you might not be in your student pad on your respective day, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festive times whilst you’re there. With commercial ventures getting scarily earlier and earlier with Christmas decorations and with Kwanzaa and Hannukah occuring long after you leave, it’s worth spending some time together to have an early version of it with your student family. So grab a tree, a candelabra or decorative Dreidals (which can be used for games) to recognise your respective holiday together before you celebrate it officially with the family.

Have some ‘Family’ Time

Whilst you may not be brothers and sisters, if you’re in accommodation and you’re close as friends it’s a great idea to spend the downtime together as a family and what better excuse to unwind with some “family” style fun. So get get out your party video games like Jackbox Games or Buzz, blow the dust off that Nintendo Wii you once thought was cool a few years ago or recalibrate the Kinect or Eye Toy, dig out the old school board games or the new style ‘grown up’ card games, find some pens and paper, or make use of the aforementioned Dreidal and have a blast! If you can afford a cheap night, why not make use of a good old fashioned pub quiz (or indeed it’s smartphone equivilant) or take a go at Rock and Roll Bingo (usually £1 entry at many places). Whatever your chosen method of entertainment, make sure it’s something you can all enjoy!


Sound a bit too sensible? Thought so.


Party Like It’s 1999 All Over Again

It’s just not the end of the year without a little celebrating is it? So if you can’t afford to hit the town, get a few beverages of your choice, compile a playlist of the old classics and a few modern hits. Grab a few more metres of flashing Christmas lights and party on! (Just don’t irritate your neighbours after 11 or you’ll get more than lumps of coal arriving!)


However you choose to spend your holiday, I hope you all have an amazing time and let me know what you get up to in the comments below.




Nights In

So you’ve probably reached that stage part way through the semester where you have either run out of money or partied out enough to have a night away from the clubs & pubs or entertainment venues. Or maybe you have a lecture in the morning or work to get to.

If that’s the case, here’s a few things you can to do keep that night out spirit going, without having to leave the front door (unless it’s to go to a friends house).

Film or Box Set Night

Nothing beats a good social film night and with films being cheaper to buy or rent in and options becoming more accesible by the day (DVD, Blu-Ray, Stream or Download via a video service) the price of a ticket to see it at the cinema doesn’t seem as appealing (though the bigger AV system does seem nice unless you’re lucky enough to have a home cinema system and a projector of your own!)

So make some popcorn in your machine/pan/microwave, turn up your speakers, drop your lights down to minimal (or just turn off the “big light”), get out the bean bags and floor cushions and enjoy a film or two with your friends!

A word to the wise, if you’re watching an action movie late at night, drop the subwoofer (if you have one) a few decibels if you want to keep the neigbours on your side! (Save it for the party nights 😉 )

Games Night

Depending on your interests, this can take many forms, but all follow the same basic principles. Find a format of game you all like (playing cards, board games, video games or make a game of your own), decide on a game to play and pick your rules. If you want to add a little twist to it more more excitement you can always make forefits to your games – for those that like to drink and gamble, more than just card games can deliver this (not that I condone or condem this of course, you make your own choice), or for the more family friendly option make a rule for something simple like doing the housework or paying for takeaway (heaven help your bank account!)

If you enjoyed your night as much as a night out, why not make it a regular thing? For Instance:

  • You could create your own FIFA tornament
  • Have a Sunday night meetup online Destiny/Left For Dead/Team Fortress/GTA/Any other multiplayer game that supports a few of you.
  • Have a regular tabletop session of Exploding Kittens/Million Dollars But/Cards Against Humanity/Bears vs Babies/Secret Hitler/Joking Hazard (but not all at once unless you’re pulling an all nighter).
  • Blow the dust of your old EyeToy/Wii/Kinect/Dancemat
  • Do a board game torunament (Scrabble/Monopoly/Boggle/Cluedo)
  • Do a real life tournament (Wheelbarrow Jousting Race!?! – definitely not for the faint hearted!)
  • Have an tabletop RPG night.
  • Arrange a murder mystery night, where you’re given a character in advance and you follow the scenario from the moment you walk through the front door.

Whatever you choose, play responsibly, have fun and try not to destroy any flat panelled screens!

Have a Communal Meal/Takeaway Night

Whether you and your friends all live together or in seperate accomodation everyone is so busy with their own schedules, you never get around to haivng a proper sit down meal and if your loan has run out and the bank of mum and dad isn’t quite paying out as much as it used to, a Sunday roast every week isn’t going to happen (it certainly doesn’t for me and I graudated first time 5 years ago!)

With that in mind, going out for a meal isn’t always an option for meeting up, so why not have one at home instead? If you can cook, all chip in towards it or if you want a real communal feel all pitch to bring something to share together. If you’re not the greatest cook, why not keep it low key and buy elements of it or all chip in for a takaway meal? You’ll soon find out that ordering 4 large pizzas between 6 of you works out much cheaper sometimes that ordering a large one for yourself and you also don’t have to choose between different topping sets when you could have 4 (8 if you go half and half).

Combine this with either good talk and whitty banter or one of the options above and you’ve got a great night sorted. Easy!

Create Something New

Many great creative projects spring from inspiration, boredom or great conversation – so why not act on some of those proposals on a free night? YouTube/Vimeo/Daily Motion channels, blogs, bands have all begun from a simple bit of free time.

If you’re a budding motion picture person, pick up a pencil and start storyboarding or drawing a frame of animation. If you’re more of a documentary or vlogging type, charge up your camera and pick somewhere to film.

If you’re more an arts and crafts person, maybe team up and create a piece for the household or each other’s apartments. Create your own photo poster or art collage. Whatever items you’ve got, recycle them into something interesting. If you plan it in advance, treat it simiar to the meal night and all bring different materials.

If you’re more of a music maker, maybe grab and instrument and strum out some chords or lyrics with your friends, you never know you might just end up with the start of a new song. If you’re more for just performing great work and want to play with others, see if any of your friends play too and have a jam session. I’ve seen many great collaborations and bands form from both my time at uni (I suppose with my studies often being based in a studio helped) and at work through just playing together for a couple of nights.

Perhaps you’re more of a writer. Whilst blogtober is coming to an end, it’s never to late to sign up for a free platform like Blogspot or WordPress and get your voice out to the world (have a look at the hashtags #blogtober or #blogtober16 on Twitter if you want some ideas to get started). If blogging isn’t your type of writing have a look at some of the more traditional methods. with fanfiction and poetry being everwhere on the internet these days, why not join the trend and collab at building a story. Sites like Poems & Quotes or Figment are great communities where you can swap and share your work and discuss each other’s pieces too if your friends can’t stick around.

Whatever your craft, try it out whilst you have the time and share it with your friends, you never know what you might make.


It sounds a bit of a cop-out to this list, but let’s be honest – as a studnet you like your sleep right? So if none of the above appeal to you, you don’t feel like hitting the town and you can’t think of anything else to do, why not grab an early night? This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t sleep in like a rockstar, you just get to unwind after a busy day and store up a few whisps of engergy for your next day of adventure.


If you like the occasional night off from partying, what do you like to do? Feel free to leave a comment down below and have fun…but not too much fun.