Firstly, if you are a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed fresher who is just about to embark on their uni career having left the bank of Mum and Dad to strike out alone, this isn’t the post for you. In fact, this probably isn’t the blog for you. Try not to channel your inner Glinda and store the excitement of living with people in a safe place; I’ll remind you in five years, when you’ve lived with someone who works nights and rolls out her crazy if anyone breathes too loudly while she’s sleeping, or the student who sees washing as an optional life choice.
I am too old, and I cannot use the words ‘totes emoshe’ to convey any feeling other than one of a prize penis for actually saying it. All I know about university is from what friends and family have told me, given that I never went. It sounds like a smorgasbord of late nights, trips to A&E with alcohol poisoning, too much coffee, and if you are unlucky, an STD, and that’s not what I’m about. Yeah yeah, and the studying, but the studying part isn’t the problem, is it?
What I am well qualified to help out with is how to survive fresher’s week, if, like me, you live near a University, a campus, dorms or any other holding cell where they put the teens these days ( I also live neatly between 2 prisons, and I’d take my chances on one of those over halls any day).
I have the pleasure of a lovely flat that looks out over a courtyard. When we moved in we thought it was lovely, a quiet location near the tube that would provide peaceful solitude. Shame on me for not doing my research, but the flats opposite turned out to be student accommodation for UCL, and this is how I reach my new authority on dodging the bullet that is … freshers week.
They come, and one by one they occupy their rooms, like creatures in a zoo. They sit behind their glass windows as if they are in tanks, and they stare into our windows. And we stare into theirs, marvelling at the innocence of the new student creature that is staying.
If, like me, you have found yourself in the middle of a
zombie fresher apocalypse, take heed of these tips:
- Never look them directly in the eye. They feel threatened and might bite. Hahaha, that’s not one really. (Might be).
- Keep windows closed at all times. No matter how hot it is inside, and however it feels way more sensible to open the window than fork out for a fan, keep them closed. You do not want to hear the sounds of retching when the wind changes nor do you want to ever experience the pain of drunk freshers singing, in choir like symmetry, Celine Dion. I swear that sound will haunt me forever.
- Become fast on your feet. You may be innocently on your way to catch the 91 to work of a morning, but they are sleeping off last nights antics. Learning to be spritely of step will allow you to dodge various piles of sick on your walk and negotiate the delicately strewn scores of used condoms, in assorted shades, lining the pavement.
- Always carry headphones. When popping out to get groceries or waiting for the bus of a morning, ensure you are plugged in and calmly listening to music to take you to your happy place. This will ensure you miss all (loud) conversations about who did what last night, charity work and gap yaaaaahs. No one cares, youth.
May the force be with you.
What’s your favourite fresher related story? Do you have any good Uni memories?