After two long years of social distancing and cancelled events, the Freshers’ Week season is back with a bang.
First off the blocks were students at Trent and Nottingham Universities, who celebrated the start of a new chapter in their lives with a night of wild excess.
Fancy dress options extended from the elaborate – with one new student spotted in a terrifying bunny rabbit mask – to the dangerously minimal.
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Despite bitterly cold temperatures some students braved the evening chill in budgie smugglers, while more than one thought a mini-skirt and a thong might be just the ticket for a Nottinghamshire autumn.
Alcohol might have provided the illusion of warmth, but some freshers had visibly peaked a little too early and were seen being carried by their friends in a state of general disrepair.
One student was spotted peeing in a doorway despite the presence of local police just a few yards away.
The police presence was a light-touch operation, with coppers mainly allowing the students to get the excitement out of their systems.
The number of genuine police officers was bolstered by a small group of students in skimpy “naughty policewoman” outfits that were almost certainly not regulation issue.
Very few of the attendees at the various bars and parties scattered across the city seemed likely to be troubling cloakroom attendants, with most dispensing with warm coats in favour of t-shirts and boas despite the chilly weather.
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While it might seem a messy business, Fresher’s Week is a valuable part of the local economy.
Students in Nottingham spent nearly £15million during freshers' weeks, according to a 2019 survey, with the average Nottingham student spending in the region of £227 on freshers' activities
Despite the expense, everyone seems determined to have a good time.
Former NTU law student Jessica Hawnas told Nottinghamshire Live that she ran up a £2,000 overdraft in her first year.
She said: "I went out every single night. Going out in freshers' is very pricey.”
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Another former NTU Meg Denman, who studied fashion management, had a valuable tip for people embarking on their first year at uni. She said you should never buy drinks when you go out. "You don't need to if you go for pre-drinks before,” she explained.
Dr Paul Greatrix, registrar at the university, said: "Our students make a considerable contribution to the local economy and their support of businesses such as bars, shops and restaurants results in a wider variety of facilities for everybody in Nottingham to enjoy, as well as other tangible benefits including job creation.
"However, our students make a positive contribution that goes much further than supporting the financial health of our city.
"They play a huge role in supporting cultural diversity, take part in a wide range of volunteering initiatives and, in the vast majority of cases, are good neighbours in the communities in which they live."
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