It's almost three years to the day that I left behind my entire life as I knew it and made the journey 'down South' for this very reason.. and what an experience it was.
I gained many things from my time as a student, such as:
- A shit load of weight
- A shit load of debt
- A shit load of memories
Despite the dark times (and believe me, there were a few) it was easily the best time of my life so far. In fact, I hadn't realised how much I miss student life until I've sat here writing this blog at my desk at work (soz employer, cheeky procrastination break, everyone needs a couple of these a day). Yes, you're skint, and most likely living like a tramp - but so is everyone else. Unless you go to Oxbridge.
I was going to write a big list of advice for any freshers reading this but I've already stumbled across a few good ones and so quite frankly I'd just be wasting my time. To summarise:
- Freshers Fayres are THE TITS
Who doesn't love free stuff? Freshers Fayres are literally crammed full of people throwing free things at you. Forget all the free pens, fridge magnets and condoms you'll get - although do hold on to those, you never know when they might come in handy - these events are usually chocker with local eateries giving out some hefty discount vouchers. Dominos, Nandos, Subway - you name it, they'll be there. You're deluding yourself if you think you'll be cooking for the first half of the term - your student loan will be distributed nicely amongst not only the owners of local bars/clubs, but the local takeaways too. Seriously, the amount of money you'll spend on this stuff is a shocker. Enough to buy Mr Wetherspoon and Ronald McDonald a private island each in the Seychelles... Aside from free stuff, the Freshers Fayre is the time where representatives from all the Uni's sports teams and societies try to reign you in. Sign up for any society you think you might be interested in. In all honesty, unless you already have a hobby that you wish to continue such as a sport then it's unlikely that you'll actually commit to any of these societies but there's no harm in going to the initial meeting to see what it's all about. It's a great way of meeting new people, and who knows, you might see the fittest guy/girl you've ever laid eyes on. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.
- Don't be the dick that writes their name on their food
Pretty self explanatory. Nobody likes that guy and I guarantee you'll be more likely to have your food stolen as a result. I know you're skint and I know it's annoying when your last round of bread disappears when you're massively craving a bacon butty, but if you're nice to your flatmates I'm sure they'll donate their carby goodness to the cause. Sharing is caring and all that.
- Those who do not participate in fancy dress parties/nights out are cranks
What's not to love about fancy dress costumes? During my time at uni I collected an impressive array of costumes. Sailor/clown/ladybird/Minnie Mouse, you name it, I've got it. There's nothing more fun than a themed night out, and believe me, there will be LOADS. So if you don't like this sort of thing, you'd better start! I've found a direct correlation between those that do not take part in such things and those that turn out to be massive knobheads who cannot be trusted. Gospel truth.
- Of course that road sign will be a fantastic momento of your night out
The bigger the better.. just don't get caught by the police. Or underestimate the effort that dragging this thing back will require, especially when you live at the top of a massive hill. Plan regular breaks to catch your breath, take photos, and vomit.
I honestly don't speak from experience...
- And finally - never let your house parties get so out of hand that you end up with a MASSIVE steel sign for the local bowls club in your back garden and/or a hole in your bedroom door
Not much to say on this one. Just be careful - turns out these things are pretty difficult to hide from your landlord.
Just a few snaps from my first few weeks as a student. El oh el.