Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Freshers' Guide: Extra Bits

SO I know I probably don't have many readers who are going away to university this summer, but seeing as this time last year I was in that position (and now that I'm a seasoned second year...) I figured I'd point out a few extra things that you might want to take with you. Naturally saucepans, underwear and pens will all already be on the list, but there are extra bits and pieces that come in handy which you might not specifically need...but you definitely won't regret bringing them.

1. A tin of sweets and a door stop.

On my first day of university, I had a cheap ready-made lasagna for my dinner. I finished half and, jokingly, offered the other half to my new flatmates.
No less than 4 hands shot up to take advantage of a free half lasagna.
Conclusion: uni students like free stuff. And they like food.

So there really is one easy way to make people like you: wait till everyone's a little bit tipsy, whack out some free chocolate, and boom. Instant friends for life. I can still remember the apple cake a friend offered me in the first week of university. Considering I'd lived on Crunchy Nut and peas up until that point, it tasted like heaven in a bowl.

Step two to making BFFLs - doorstop. Leave your door wide open. Makes it easier to get into conversations at the beginning of the week; by the end of the week you can compare how trashed your rooms have got, and use it as a convenient stop-off point if you're too drunk/hungover to make it to the end of your corridor. Plus, bonus: if your room starts to smell a bit funky, you can air out all those nasty smells for the whole corridor to share!

Conclusion: who needs a personality?! If you want friends, the dual-fire cannon ball of a tin of chocolate and a door stop is quite clearly your surefire method of success.

2. Anything even vaguely fancy dress you own.

Trust me. You'll need it. And when I say vaguely fancy dress, I mean vaguely: if there's a jungle theme, take something orange. A stick of eyeliner later and you'll pass for a tiger. Take a binbag and a white bedsheet, too: there will be a toga night at some point in your life. There will also be a 'anything but clothes night.' Failing that, you can use it to throw away your rubbish. Handy! Don't forget Hallowe'en is within your first term - if you're not planning on going home, plan ahead! Your first day is probably one of the two times a year you'll actually be driven to uni, and thus probably the only time you won't have to carry everything you own.

Alternatively, adopt the motto of the Eric A ground floor scrooges: "nunquam concinnatis."

Never dress up.

3. Duct tape, scissors, hair grips, tweezers and the hallowed bottle opener.

You don't think you'll need it? You will. Our fridge looked much like this by the end of the year:

But more importantly things like duct tape and scissors come in handy all the time. You honestly don't realise how much you need them until they're not constantly lying around the house.'re really gonna need a bottle opener. And even if you don't, someone else will. Trust me. 

4. And a personal choice...

Not taking a wine glass to uni was the worst choice I ever made. Not because I was a massive wine drinker back then but because you can be drinking Frosty Jacks or White Lightening or something similarly lacking in class...and you still look classy as fuck. I drink ribena from a wine glass, cider from a wine glass, and occasionally (when the budget allows) even wine from a wine glass.

Either that, or a mug. There's nothing better than a bunch of students drinking spirits from a mug, okay?

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