Let’s Talk: University

Well hello there! It’s the time of year when everyone is going back into education. Kids have started new schools, teenagers have walked into their sixth form common room for the first time and a lot of people are starting university. It’s a very exciting time, and its a very daunting time. I mean I’m going in to what could be the very last experience of education I will ever have. I’d like to share some advice about how to tackle first year of uni because its a nervous time for a lot of people.

1. Get drunk with you flat mates immediately
This is a great bit of advice to start with, and my flat had a right blast on the first night. This is important because it’ll relax you and you’ll actually talk to them. It’s all very weird being in a flat full of people you don’t know and no one is talking. So buy a crate of beer on your way to uni and crack one open as soon as your parents leave, put some music on and go and hand out beer to your house mates. By the end of the night you’ll love each other.

2. Make living in a house with people you don’t know fun.
I have amazing memories of first year. I still love the M2 boys to bits because we had so much fun. It is always acceptable to buy nerf guns. I think in my flat we had 4, and we frequently had nerf wars or went and ruined one of the boys evenings when they brought someone back. Chunder charts are a must. It does add a really disgusting competition but it’s all part of the fun. Also, it’s an unwritten rule that if your room is unlocked and you go away your flat mates are allowed to trash it. I had all my stuff turned upside down, we clingfilmed someone else’s stuff. It really was a great year.

3. If you are in a mixed house don’t sleep with your house mates.
 It really just makes it awkward for everyone. Your friend on the other side of the hall from you doesn’t need to hear you and Lucy from down the flat going at it at two in the morning. It will make house breakfast really really awkward so just don’t even go there.

4. Get as drunk as you can as often as you can.
This one is important. It’s the last year of your life where your academic achievement doesn’t count for anything. “But Josh, A-Levels meant we got to uni in the first place. Surely they count?”. No reader, they really don’t. No one will care that you got an A in Theatre Studies, or Biology or whatever you studied. Frequent visits to the SU are a must, even if you decide it’s pretty rubbish. You will meet some of the nicest drunk people you will ever meet, who turn out to be some of the nicest sober people you will ever meet. It’s also a good cure for missing home.

5. Establish which lecturers you can have a laugh with
This will make the rest of uni so much more enjoyable. We had a lecturer scream at someone because they were on their phone and now everyone is terrified of him. We’ve also had lecturers steal peoples phones they leave unattended and spam them with photos. It also helps if your tutor leaves like mine did so you know who you can go and have a chat with when you need one. If you get on with them well you could be presented with some good opportunities too.

6. Find a good takeaway.
This sounds random but believe me it’s good. Once you’ve found a good takeaway stick to it. They’ll learn your order and your address so when you’re out of food or hungover or stressed it makes it really easy. And they give you free things too when they really like you. I got free garlic bread once and it was the best day of my life.

7. Talk to your house mates about things
I relied on my house mates a lot in first year when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay at university. These conversations were usually had over beer and Fifa (a male students best friends). One of our house mates came out and he was really worried about it, but our house was so much more fun after wards because he could be himself and bring boys back and not get judged. I remember he asked to talk to me and I could see he was nervous so I said “are you gay?” as a way to ease the tension and it turns out that was exactly what he was about to tell me. If you don’t talk to your house mates about what’s going on it can be very difficult

8.Don’t be scared to phone home to ask how to do things.
You’ve moved miles away from home. You’re being all independent because that’s what you do at uni. You’ve made friends and you’ve gone to your first lecture. It’s all going well and then you need to do the washing and you haven’t used a washing machine before. You get anxious, staring at the machine like its an alien. You don’t know what to do. You keep trying until the sense of failure overcomes you and you end up in a ball on the floor sobbing because you’re still drunk and confused. Okay, so maybe that was an exaggeration, but instead of standing around looking like a plum trying to figure out what to do just phone home. Firstly, your mum will be so happy to hear from you. Secondly,  it means you’ll be in and out in a flash and finally, after being asked if you like the people on your course 20 times and what food you’ve been eating and all the other questions you mum would ask, she’ll ask if you need more money.

9. Always say yes to free money.
Self explanatory really.

10. Have fun!
You’re paying up to £9,000 a year to study at an institution who can’t communicate within itself or co-ordinate anything to make your life at uni easy. Just have fun, make friends and get drunk. It’s what first year is all about. You will have the time of your life and will meet some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. Go wild, throw an epic party, get drunk so you pass out in the SU and get thrown out, fall asleep at weird times in the day. Just maybe don’t tell you mum you passed out in the SU and got kicked out… mine wasn’t too pleased.

Love you, Bye!
P.S. Don’t forget to be awesome

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