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Thoughts of an Ex-Fresher

An Ex-Fresher shares some advice on surviving Freshers week

So I’m no longer a Fresher. That’s depressing. But there is
a silver lining in the fact I can now adopt an all-knowing attitude towards
University; I can patronise the young with my brilliant advice and experience.
Being that I am currently undergoing a mid-university crisis, I am going to do
just that, don’t be too disheartened with my smug wisdom Freshers, I’m only
doing this because I’m secretly insanely jealous and want to be you.

I’m guessing that you Freshers have all turned up at university with lots
of stuff and are starting to settle in. Advice number one, put all those pans
and plates back in the suitcase. You’ll cook once or twice in the first month
hen you don’t have any friends and are trying to pretend you’re not spending
your evenings alone, but after September you’ll be living off Domino’s, trust me.
Secondly, put back all your clothes and replace half of them with different pairs of
all the clothes and replace half of them with different pairs of highly indecent pyjamas.
You will get up and dressed for the first month or so when you actually think you’re at
university to work and gain valuable life experience, but by the end of
September, at around the time you’re pans start to get very dusty, you’ll take
to lounging around in your nightwear all day. You’ll even reach that glorious
moment where you spend all day in one pair of Pyjamas, have a shower and then
get into a different, clean pair of pyjamas. It is in this moment that you’ll
realise you’re pretty much failing at life, but never mind, that’s university.

I should probably say stuff like: Go to your lectures. You
probably should go to your lectures too, because that is the reason you’re
paying thousands of pounds, and considering you’ve chosen to study it
voluntarily for the next three years you should probably find your subject at
least vaguely interesting. Also, university lectures and seminars are far more
stimulating than anything you endured at school. Go to your lectures and do
your work, there will be no smarmy patronising school teacher to give you a
detention if you don’t but you’ll be a bit of an idiot and I personally will
judge you.

Don’t worry about not making any friends. Everybody worries about not making
any friends and yet the one thing you can be sure of, if you put together a group
of similarly aged people all worried about not making friends, is that you’ll all make friends.
I mean that is just obvious. Freshers are all mutually desperate to make friends so
just talk to everybody and don’t stop making an effort once you’ve got one
or two potentials under your belt. A lot of the time the only thing you have in
common with the people you meet in the first week is a hysterical desire to not be
alone forever. Though that will glue you together for a few drunken parties, it won’t
fuel a three year long friendship, so keep looking for people- especially on your course or
in societies you’ve joined- who you have more in common with. This of course leads me to
basic, boring, bog standard advice of join a society. It’s basic maths, the more people you
come into contact with, the more likely you are to find somebody you like. Or hopefully
some people you like, friends are the people you rely on at university. When you’re sad,
homesick, stressed, confused, lost, starving, hungover, they’ll be there, bless ‘em.

Money is of course one of the biggest worries; the only real way of over-coming this
stress is to just accept you’re never going to have any; you are going to be cripplingly
poor, and just live in your overdraft all of the time. There is no point calculating some
amazing financial strategy which mean you never, ever have to go into your
overdraft, if the amazing financial strategy basically involves you never
eating. Yes, if you never ate you probably wouldn’t come out of university in
much debt, but you also probably wouldn’t come out of university at all. You’d
be in the ground. Dead. Which isn’t desirable. Obviously being at university is not a
good time to indulge in Harrods Shopping trips, but unfortunately food is kind of a
necessity. Saying that I managed to survive off a bowl of soup and lots of
vodka to help with the hunger pains in my first year, I did also go home a lot
though, where I kept myself alive with a ten meals a day policy.

Finally Freshers, enjoy yourselves. You’re only Freshers for
a year and it goes quickly, trust me. You’ll be wandering along blearly eyed, a
little hungry and with an essay under your arm, on the way to the Lecture
theatre, when all of a sudden somebody will come along and say: ‘sorry you’re
not a Fresher anymore’ and then you’ll have to be a more sophisticated and
grown up second year, and live in a house not in halls and actually do a bit
more work and stop being such a disgrace to humanity.  We all know how fast time
can fly, so don’t regret not making the most of your first year, or your second year,
or your last. Go forth and have fun, Fresher or not!

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