• Katie Mullender

University Uncensored: First Year in Ten Definitive Stages

Updated: Jul 20, 2018

First year. Being a fresher. Hysteria that could rival the epicentre of a tornado.

With only two more months until 2018's freshers burst onto the scene, I have attempted to pin down some of first year's defining moments. If you're one of them, bookmark this post and see if your year follows this pattern... I dare ya!

1. Short but sweet: I'm alone...WHAT HAPPENS NOW?!

Lasts: between 5 minutes and one day, starting from the moment you get dropped off. Set your watches.

Emotions run high on move in day, whether it's on your part, your family's, or both. Stick it out, surround yourself with your flatmates and the homesickness will soon pass. Whatever you do, don't waste your first day of freedom sulking!


Lasts: Until you catch freshers flu.

Stage two effectively defines your first week. Parties, takeaways, everyone you meet is your new best friend. Enjoy it while you can! Once you're struck by fresher's flu, (you will be,) things will quickly calm down.

3. "Mum! I didn't burn my pasta!" The Rise and Fall of Semester One...

Lasts: Until Christmas.

Muddled as it may be, the point at which you realise you might get scurvy from the chicken dipper diet, (tomato sauce doesn't count,) and start to behave like an adult. This may include cooking a guesstimated amount of pasta and accidentally feeding the entire flat and the security guards. You will not do laundry until it is your last option, (think "Where's Miranda?" outfit,) and although that will bring immense pride, ironing will still be terrifying and best avoided.

4. The Holiday Reunion

Lasts: About four weeks.

It's a common misconception that when you move back home for Christmas, you just fall back into your pre-university routine. Quite the opposite- it'll feel odd to have your parents effectively in charge again. Equally odd, (but not in a bad way!) will be meeting with your friends whose lives haven't changed since you went to University, i.e. those who are still dependent on their parents, and it will remind you how much your life has actually changed.

5. Machine gun on rapid fire: Welcome to January!

Lasts: Until the end of Semester One.

EXAMS! HOUSES! The only thing which doesn't immediately crash down on you is your student loan. Hold on tight hun, February will come around soon.

6. Co-ordinated chaos?

Lasts: Until Easter.

Second semester will follow a similar pattern to the first, except you'll just find it...easier. You'll have a routine, firm friends, and you won't feel such guilt in declining a night out. Congratulations, you've settled.

7. Easter: The holiday of irony.

And on the Monday, he rose again...later than he'd hoped, hungover, with a mountain of revision and the washing his mum refused to do. The irony? It's not really a holiday, it'll remind you more of study leave/topping up your student loan with your holiday job, but the break from lectures will still be appreciated.

8. The final push.

Lasts: Until your last exam/assesment.

When the catchphrase "first year doesn't count" suddenly disappears, along with your normal sleeping pattern and much of your social life. What comes to replace it is hoards of unruly students shouting "ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE LIBRARY IS? DO WE HAVE ONE?" Coffee becomes both the best friend and the worst enemy, your eye bags begin to look like an advert for Polyfiller. The Dominos driver is on first name terms and you send your regards to his family. Once again, hang in there. In real-time. it's not very long at all.

9. Jubilation!

Lasts: Until you move out of your accommodation.

Huzzah. Exams are over. You'll intend to celebrate like it's freshers week again, and struggle, because the whiff of your old go-to spirits will send you head first into the toilet.

10. Back to where you began...

Lasts: Until you return for second year!

It's home time! Because of the way most halls contracts work, you have to move home for a few weeks at least, and you'll return to the summer job, mum fussing, being close to your old friends but also aching to go back. The perfect storm of a summer [and a year!.)

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