Freshers Week

So to carry on from my last post, I was just about to go to the first event of freshers. Obviously, as any sensible student knows, to avoid spending a disgusting amount of money on drinks, you always pre-drink. Unfortunately for me, I’ve never been that good at time-management, so by the time I had finished getting ready/freaking out about what to wear, it was almost time to go to the flat below us for pre-drinks. Luckily for me, the other two girls were exactly the same, and by the time we’d all finished, we only had enough time to grab the alcohol we were taking, down a few shots as a flat (I say a flat but one flatmate had gone back home to watch football, and the other wasn’t moving in until the next day). We walked down to the flat that was hosting pres, carefully I might add, since the heels I was wearing were slightly dangerous.

We walked into the open flat, where music was already blaring out, and started drinking. ¬†Looking back on it, the vodka I chose probably wasn’t the best idea, since once we’d been introduced to everyone, the drinking games began. We started off with Ring of Fire, which is also aptly named Circle of Death, and as far as I can remember, I think I re-fillled my drink about four times, with far too much vodka. We played other games of course, including a very invasive game of never have I ever, and we all carried on drinking. Once everyone was too drunk to play games, we ended up splitting into little groups to chat/listen to the music. Of course, drunk me thought it’d be a good idea to challenge one of my flatmates (the eventual boyfriend) and one of the girls who lived in the flat we were in to start a twerking contest, which of course I won, but, looking back on, also deeply regret. By this point, I had lost the ability to think before I say anything to people, and, if it hadn’t been for one of the girls in my flat asking me to check if their dress was still zipped, I am still 99.999% sure I would have gone up to any guy there and told them I loved them, since that’s what I seem to do whenever I have a drop of alcohol.

Eventually, it was time to move things down to the common room in my halls, where we’d drink a bit more, and then walk to the bus station to get to the club we were going to that night. Somehow, I was able to walk down some stairs, back up them to get my student card, back down them at some speed and then across the courtyard to get to the common room, all without stumbling/falling, which I could count as an accomplishment sober, let alone as drunk as I was then. I’m still not that sure how long we spent in that room, but I can definitely remember that it got slightly weird. While talking to my flatmate, who is half english and half Hungarian, we both decided that we must be related (this is impossible, since no member of my family is even slightly Hungarian, and none of his family is even slightly Irish). We debated this for a while, to the amusement of the rest of my flatmates, and then it was time to move to the bus stop. We had to make one more stop at our flat, since most of us had forgotten our student cards even after the trip we made before going to the common room (this is what alcohol does to people), and it was at this point that I realised just how drunk I was. I downed two pints of water (never a good idea-always sip it slowly), and then announced that I was going to bed.

Now this is where it starts to get a bit disgusting, so I apologise if anyone is horrified by my drunk behaviour, I am too don’t worry! I got into bed, still fully clothed, with a full face of makeup on, and attempted to go to sleep. I’m not sure whether I did actually sleep or not, but I woke up at about midnight to find that I had rolled off my bed, and was lying on a very uncomfortable carpet. I would have moved back into bed, but at this point I was already feeling pretty ill, and was worried about what would come out of moving so violently. Now, when you get as drunk as I was, and when you slowly begin to sober up following that drinking, one thing you’ll find is that the worse you feel, the more you violently shake, and all I’ll say is that I was shaking like I was lying in snow with summer clothes on. I somehow forced myself to get back into bed, and in hindsight, it probably would have been better to sleep on the floor, as the sudden movement made me feel even worse, which technically should have been impossible. I lay awake violently shaking for a while, until, and this is where it gets disgusting, I knew that I was going to be sick. Drunk me didn’t think to go the the bathroom, or to get the bin, so I was ill on my carpet, leaving a disgusting stain that I would have to clean in the morning. After that, I was able to fall asleep, but, apparently I’m a very restless drunk sleeper, as I woke up the next morning to find that I’d fallen off the bed again, into the sick, and lets just say I was nearly ill again after seeing the state of my hair.

Obviously, after a night as eventful as that, I was extremely hungover, so much so I didn’t dare turn any lights on, or make any sound, or move at all apart from to stagger to the shower to wash my own vomit out of my hair. I spent a good part of the day watching Netflix, which I feel should be marketed as the perfect hangover soother, since after watching god knows how many episodes of nearly every show I watched on there, I was feeling slightly more normal. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel normal enough to leave the flat, so was forced to decline my flatmates offer of going into town to buy fancy dress for the nights of freshers where we were supposed to dress up. I slept for a few more hours, and then woke up knowing that, even though I felt like death, I still had to persevere and go out again that night , as any true fresher would. That night’s theme was neon, so out came the brightest top I owned, and, with the aid of one of my new freshers friends, out came the crimped hair and pigtails. We went back to the same flat for pres, and luckily for me, everyone was feeling as questionable as I was, so we all restrained ourselves with how much we drank. On the way to the bus stop, I encountered someone who was probably at the same level of tipsiness as I was. We began discussing how we both needed to get a sugar daddy to help fund our lifestyles through university. We then encountered someone else, who nicely offered to be the sugar daddy we needed. Luckily nothing happened between us, as I was probably too drunk to realise that he was the type of guy who would sleep with any girl he could (there is a term for it, but I won’t use it as it has ‘offensive’ language in it).

The bus pulled up to the club, which was one of the student unions for our university, and then came the realisation that I’d forgotten my student card, which was pretty essential for me actually getting into the club. Thanks to some luck, and some very nice bouncers, I was allowed into club, left only with the warning that it was “just this once.” In each of the clubs/student unions there’s always a different genre of music, but for this night, it was just a mix of all the top songs ever. We danced, we drank, and since drunk me seems to enjoy it, we twerked and slut-dropped a lot. I can’t remember what time we made it back to the flat, but instead of going straight to bed, we chose to have some pizza and watch some Netflix. After that, we all split off to our own rooms to try and sleep, and prayed that we wouldn’t wake up feeling as dead as I was the night before (yes, I have set an example for everyone else in my flat).

The next night was army themed, so out came some green and black eyeshadow, my best pair of fishnets, and a whole lot of hairspray to hold in the army themed hairstyle I had attempted to make. That night became the first night where all six of us stayed in the club until the very end, and became so called ‘finishers’. In a classic girl move on a night out, I was forced to take my shoes off on the walk back to our flat, as I seem to have lost all sense of judgement, and had chosen to wear my most uncomfortable pair of heels- it’s never a good idea, please just stick with your nice comfy trainers, don’t kill your feet like I have done! That night wasn’t particularly eventful, no one got very drunk, no one got with anyone, and we all got home at an acceptable time.

For the next few nights, I was unfortunately forced to stay at home instead of go out, as I had been struck with the dreaded Freshers Flu (it’s as bad as it sounds, paired with a slight hangover and you’ll actually feel like you’ve died). On the second to last night, we were required to dress like we were going to a beach party, so out came the bikini top and skirt. When we arrived at the club, we were delighted to find that there was beach balls all around the club, so we then of course started a boys v girls game of dodgeball (I was left with a nice red mark on my head the next morning). That night was when I truly discovered myself, as I realised that after all these years of hatred, I actually loved every song from High School Musical, and I was now able to belt out all the lyrics of ‘Breaking Free’, with no mistakes whatsoever.

From what I’ve heard, the last night of freshers was just a normal clothes night, but, due to our overwhelming exhaustion/hangovers, the whole flat decided to stay in and watch some films. I went into this expecting to watch a comedy, or maybe even a TV series, but I was unfortunately outvoted, and was forced to watch a horror film. I won’t try and remember what the film was about, in an attempt to let myself sleep without nightmares tonight, but all that I can remember is that I was absolutely terrified afterwards. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one slightly traumatised by the film we’d been forced to watch, and we all watched a bit of a comedians tour to settle us down. We managed to find the courage to go to bed, and we all slept through the last night of freshers week, which brings this post to an end.

I’ve decided that leaving advice at the end of the post will become a regular thing, in an attempt to make sure that all you soon to be freshers possibly reading this won’t make the same mistakes that I did. First, learn not to drink a lot at pres, it will not work, and you will have to go home early. Second, eat something as soon as you wake up hungover, you might not feel like it, but you need it, trust me (I suggest something dry, like oatcakes, or plain toast). Third, don’t wear heels on a night out. Ever. It’s never a good idea, and as amazing as you look, you’ll thank yourself for not wearing them the next morning. Fourth, do not get with guys that say they will be your sugar daddy, they’re either complete creeps, or are looking to get with any and every girl they can. Fifth, if you decide to have a flat night in, do not back down in saying you don’t want to watch horror films, otherwise you will probably end up traumatised for the next few days. Lastly, if your course has any induction lectures, try and go to at least one of them, they are actually very useful, and you won’t feel like an idiot when your lecturer goes “anyone who went to the course induction would know this, so I won’t explain it further.” Find that resilience, and drag yourself out of bed, it’s worth it.

Moving In

When I was first searching for the right University, I remember thinking ‘Is this really happening to me? Am I really looking for the university I’ll spend the next three years at?’ I thought that I would have a very long time until I was getting ready to completely uproot my life, and move to a completely new city miles away from everything that was familiar to me. Strangely, before I knew it, I had reached A Level results day, which decided what University I would be attending, and then it seemed like days after that when I was packing up my room to move to my halls of residence, when in fact it was about a month.

I remember waking up on the day I moved up here, looking around at my room that looked the barest it had since my family first moved into that house, and wondering if I was really cut out to move so far away from everyone I loved. This was the first time I’d properly been away from home, and I’d never had the independence that going to university would give me. I went down for breakfast with my mum (as we always do), but I remember I could barely speak, because I was so worried that I’d either cry, or say that I wanted to stay at home. I got dressed, packed all the stuff I had left out and- somehow- managed to get all my stuff downstairs to go in the car. My uncle, who was driving us up arrived, and we then spent about an hour and a half trying to fit all my stuff into the car without breaking anything (there was a lot). At this point I was beginning to feel excited, it was actually sinking in that I was starting a completely new chapter, and that, as clich√© as it sounds, this was the beginning of the rest of my life.

During the journey up there I did experience moments where I was tempted to ask my uncle to turn around and take me back home, but I knew that if I asked he would actually take me home, and I’d end up regretting it. I listened to music for most of the journey, in a sad attempt to drown out the emotions that I was feeling. With all the stuff crowded around me, I felt like I was abandoning my life at home, my family, even my dogs. As we got closer and closer, my heart beat faster and faster, partly in excitement, and partly because I was absolutely terrified. I felt like I was either going to cry or vomit, and at some points I was completely sure that I had made a massive mistake in choosing to go to university.

We pulled into my campus, and after about ten minutes, we reached my halls. As nice as it looked, and as friendly as everyone was, I was still terrified. It didn’t take long to get my keys and sign up for the campus doctor, and then we started unpacking. After unfortunately finding that I did in fact have to go up a flight of stairs to get to my flat, we reached the front door. Eventually, after multiple attempts, we managed to get the door open, and I stepped into my new home. The hallway isn’t much, just a bit of carpet and walls painted an off-white colour, but it was the first glimpse of what my new life looked like. It turned out that my room was right by the door, which I’m still conflicted about- on the one hand if there was a fire/psychopath break-in (too many horror films watched on flat film nights), I would live, but on the other hand, I would be able to hear everything going on outside the front door (I can also hear everything going on next door to me, below me and above me- to whoever lives in the room above me, what do you keep in your drawers that makes you open them so much? One day I’m going to start counting).

It didn’t take long to get everything out of the car (thank you to the two freshers reps for helping- I know my suitcases were heavy), and we got all of it into my room, which surprisingly didn’t look as bare as I thought. As much as I wanted my uncle, grandma and mum to stay and help me unpack, I knew that I would get more and more emotional as the time went on, so I said that they should leave after we’d got everything in the flat, and once we’d looked round (my grandma wanted to inspect the kitchen to make sure it was up to her standard- luckily it was, or she probably would have made me go back home).

As we walked out of the block and stood outside, I could feel myself getting ready to cry, but I knew that if I cried, they’d never leave me, and I’d probably end up going home which, as good as it sounded at some points, would be a massive mistake. I said goodbye to my uncle first, who, in his classic fashion, gave me a hug, made me take some money, and then our secret handshake, that has been performed on every goodbye since I was 11. Then my grandma, who was probably as close to tears as I was. We hugged, probably for too long, and she told me the same thing she always tells me when I see her, that if I ever needed a chat, or some advice, she would always be there for me (at this point I was basically crying- I’m still slightly awed by the self control, as I didn’t actually let myself be upset until later). And, finally, my mum. This was probably the hardest goodbye I’ve ever given, because as much as we argued throughout my teenage years, she’s been a constant presence in my life, and she had to do everything on her own. I could see that she was holding in tears, which further complicated my mission not to cry until they’d left, but luckily I got my strength from her, and we both managed to not cry. When I hugged her I remember trying to memorise everything about her, so that I could remember that hug when I’m up here needing her. We told each other we loved each other, and then it was time for them to leave.

I stayed outside the block waving until they had gone around the corner, and then it truly sunk in that I was now alone. As depressing as that sounded, I did still feel some sort of excitement, because this was now my time to discover my true personality, and not the one I’d created at the toxic mess that was my school. I walked back into my flat, which was still empty at this point, my flatmates didn’t come until much later, and stared at the depressing mess that was my room, still all packed up.

Three hours later, I had finally finished unpacking my room, and it was finally starting to look homely. I sprayed some air freshener, as it still smelt pretty musty, and then made myself go to the kitchen to unpack all of my stuff in there (I’m pretty sure I had more kitchen things that clothes). Now came the stress of how much cupboard space could I use without seeming greedy to the people I’d be living with for the next year. I chose to start with one cupboard, and if there were any free after everyone had unpacked, I’d use some more room. It didn’t take me too long to sort everything out, and then I was 100% moved into the flat. I didn’t really know how long it would be until someone else moved in, so I decided to start on some pre-uni work that I’d been set (I ended up spending nearly two hours on it, and they didn’t even ask to see it).

I think it was about an hour after that when I met my first flatmate. Technically I didn’t meet him first, I met his mum, who introduced him saying that he’s ‘shy’ (after getting to know him I will definitely say that he’s the complete opposite of shy). We chatted in my room for a bit, and then moved to the kitchen to make a drink. Now this was the moment where my clumsiness became even more obvious that it was before, as I managed to break all but one plate, all because I’d stacked them wrong. Luckily no-one was injured in the breaking of the plates, apart from the brief moment when my heart stopped (I don’t do well with loud, sudden noises). My clumsiness actually provided an ice-breaker as any awkwardness was overcome with laughter! While this was happening, another roommate was moving in- said roommate would also turn out to be my boyfriend, but more on that in a later chapter- and we all chatted in the kitchen until everyone else moved in.

Soon it was the evening, and it was time to get ready for the first night of freshers, which then brings this chapter to an end. If I had any advice for anyone reading this who is/was as terrified as I was, I’d say that it’s really important to make yourself move in, even if it feels like you’re completely sure that you made a mistake coming here, and you wanted to go home. It is tough, and the homesickness does feel awful for a while, but eventually you’ll settle into a routine, and slowly you’ll feel like you can survive here. I can’t say much, I’ve only been at university for a month, but at this point I can say that I definitely haven’t settled in completely, but I’m getting used to this new environment, and I’m enjoying myself. I’ve heard everyone say that everyone should try and get through the first year before making a decision on whether to leave or not, and honestly I’d agree with them. Leaving after the first semester is nowhere near enough time, and leaving after the second semester is just pointless, since you’ll only have a few weeks before the end of the year. It might seem tough, but the only thing I can say is that you just need to push through, it’s all worth it in the end.