Letters to Freshers: A Fresher’s Tale
Less wonderful, more consistent with my own misanthropic tendencies and social anxiety, being a Fresher for me was more about reconciling some sensation of stability than rabid alcohol consumption and anonymous sexual encounters.
I know there’s an expectation when you see the tail-lights of the parental vehicle: some kind of feverous anticipation of experimentation and excess. It was something I perhaps idly desired, before I realised that this is entirely inconsistent with my personality. This, paired with a seemingly perpetual ear infection for most of my first year, and much of my time was spent in the waiting room of the University Health Centre in a state of irritation any reasonable person could expect from a protracted exposure to Radio 2’s Chris Evans.
That’s not to negate the wild times that were had: I transferred my job from home in a large retail store to Brighton so that I spent many early mornings prior to lectures unloading crates of men’s socks. The store did sell other things, but there always seemed to be a disproportionate abundance of socks.
This paints perhaps a rather bleak imagining of the legend of being a Fresher, but my point is that it is not an inadequacy to not enjoy those associative social conventions of the first few weeks of university, as I conceived of myself at the time. I much preferred the weekend I was introduced to Game of Thrones and proceeded to have a 3 season binge (before I realised it had been some time since I had seen daylight) to the sponsored bar crawl I was entreated to attend, guided by those typically overly familiar hosts with their creepy enthusiasm.
The greatest adjustment of university however is probably accommodating to the habits of the people you live with, most apparent for me during my second year, when whenever my housemate in the room above engaged in sexual encounters the door and window of my room would shake violently in their frames; a fact that lost its comic absurdity in theless sociable hours that precluded sleep.
In the brilliant yet occasionally terrifying adventure that is university my advice to new students is this: don’t underestimate the value of a house with good structural integrity.