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Letters to your Fresher Self

University of Birmingham. Represent!

Originally published in Redbrick (redbrickpaper.co.uk)

Dear Fresher self, as we are approaching the end of the first semester at University, Sarah Musgrove (that’s me!) asks some older and wiser second and third years to share the lessons they’ve learnt from their Fresher experiences…

“You’re going to realise that just because everyone else is going out to clubs, doesn’t mean you have to. Well, you probably should go, but just don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re going to be at your 9am lecture the following morning. Don’t worry, you will become a fantastic chef in good time, as long as you adjust ‘five-a-day’ to ‘five-a-week’ and don’t care about how your food tastes.”

“The golden rule is not to sleep with the ‘Hollister’ model / Rugby it-boy in your halls (particularly if they are both). The chances are he’s also seeing the majority of other girls on campus and you’re the only one who doesn’t know about it. He will be everywhere you go, you will bump into him at the most unfortunate of times. That long distance relationship from home is seeming more appealing by the day…”

“If you’re late to lectures you won’t win any brownie points for creeping in the back entrance and sprinting to an inconspicuous looking back seat; you WILL trip over and your lecturer WILL draw attention to the whole sorry affair by assuring you (speaking into a microphone that he doesn’t use at any other point in the lecture) that ‘nobody saw’. And you’ll have to sit there for the rest of the hour trying to fan your fuchsia face back to a normal colour, not learning anything at all. If late, stay in bed.”

“It gets better. You will, one day, have a clean kitchen. Detergent IS essential to washing – clothes or crockery. Your flatmates aren’t necessarily life-long friends, but the people who scare you the most are probably the ones worth getting to know. Never turn down a game of Monopoly. Google ‘Monopoly drinking games’. Dye your hair, kiss five people in one night, throw up in your friend’s trousers. Because these are all things you’ll be excused for now, but are not socially acceptable in later life.”

 

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