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Freshers’ fayre

The national period of mourning has affected events to welcome new students

This weekend, culminating in Monday’s royal funeral and bank holiday, will be a key transition period between one monarchy and the next. And, since Boris Johnson only handed over the prime ministerial reins to Liz Truss on 6 September, two days before the Queen died, and government has been on pause since, it also marks a transition between one administration and the next. For anyone involved in policy, the coming week will be a busy one.

But for thousands of young people, this weekend will be the long-planned end of one era and the beginning of another in a very different way. It will involve travelling across the country not to stand in a queue to pay their respects to a monarch but to start independent lives for the first time and to meet new friends who could influence their looks, outlooks and careers far into the future. For many, Monday marks the start of freshers’ week and university towns will be full of laden cars, tearful parents and overexcited 18-year-olds.

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