The Student Notebook: My shit week so far

Make the most of it, freshers. It only lasts a week. Next year you’ll be cold and starving in a middle-class housing estate

Credit: Brandon Seager

Credit: Brandon Seager

So fresher’s week is upon us once again. The week of your life. Despite the timetable lasting eight days when you include YUSU events. Otherwise it would last six days. It is universally regarded as a week you will never forget or, conversely, want to forget. So, freshers, make the most of your amazing week, but spare a thought for the other ten thousand or so students who still have to graft in order to get by. A generic, aged, provincial Northern cleaner will sweep your halls and clean your kitchens; hot water and heating is there in an instant; security sit in an office waiting for your call; there’s a guy on a desk who protects your oversized parcels; and for a certain lucky (or lazy) few, even ten of your meals are cooked for you every week.

As for those living in the wilderness – more colloquially known as those ‘living off campus’ – we live in a much scarier world. We dread turning on hot water taps for fear that it’ll ignite the boiler and it might cost us something; where parcels have to be collected from the sorting office in town because “you weren’t in at the time” when the postman came (or woman, or any other transgender of that matter, regardless of sexuality), even though I was watching him from upstairs; where we have to bleach our own toilets; where we fight running battles on the street against the Leeds Enforcement Division of the TV Licensing Agency and tax collectors from the Council who don’t think we’re students, despite the anarchy flag flying from the aerial (which, for licensing purposes, we’ve NEVER USED). Fresher’s week sounds snug. And life in the real world is one thwart with danger.

I’ve turned up to my house a week early so I can have myself my own refresher’s week before I have to run round babysitting the new arrivals, but compared to last year it really isn’t the same. I know who I’m living with this year so I don’t have the excitement of making new friends for life. Instead, I’m stuck with a fetish enthusiast, a recovering drug addict and an onion hoarder. As for the fun I’ve had this week? Well, I’d be much obliged if you could point me in the direction of it. There’s nothing fun to do in Osbaldwick except visit the Last Shop Before Mars at silly hours in morning, or sit in the middle of the Hull Road roundabout sobbing (yes, that was me). I’ve not even met local legend Lee who works in Sainsbury’s Local (Osbaldwick mandem know what manz on about, innit).

Really, all I’ve done this week is drink two bottles of wine, alone; hoover, then realise that choosing to live in a laminate fortress was a mistake; clean a sink; lose money on William Hill; download the Fifa 14 demo; assess my house’s bath drainage, which, as it turns out, just runs straight down the side of the house and into the garden; stroll through Hes East to realise that the atmosphere with students in its halls is just the same as the atmosphere without them; see three magpie’s; and bump into the York Sport President on an Astroturf. At one REALLY exciting point, we managed to inadvertently drag a slug into our kitchen and collectively, thinking it was dead, left it there. The next morning it was gone. To this day we have no idea where it is. Surely it couldn’t have got far…

So make the most of it, freshers. It only lasts a week. Next year you’ll be cold and starving in a middle-class housing estate.

5 comments

  1. 1 Oct ’13 at 3:05 pm

    Michael Walker

    Wow, you’re really negative.

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  2. “…when the postman came (or woman, or any other transgender of that matter, regardless of sexuality)”

    Not only does that not make any kind of sense, I might also suggest that the author (or editor — seriously, Nouse) would be well served if, when writing about _any_ group, they took two seconds to think “is this wildly fucking offensive?” or, if unsure, fired off a quick email to YUSU’s lgbtq office to say “I have led a sheltered life and clearly not (knowingly) come into contact with the people of whom I write. Please just check for me that this is not going to depress or, at best, severely irritate a whole bunch of people. Because obviously I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with a bunch of people without knowing it, and for absolutely no good reason.”

    I hope that this was just some epic and extensive typo that was merely overlooked. If nothing else, it was utterly irrelevant to the rest of the piece. This is not, I think, some massive difference in political or social opinion between me and the author; rather, this was a bit of (to the author) insignificant fluff that, to those affected by stuff like this, is in fact very, very significant indeed. So (to pre-empt the inevitable comeback) this is not about censorship. It’s about sensitive and sensible writing and editing.

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  3. Desperately avoid going out during Fresher’s week because it costs too much money because I need money to live this year having blown it all last year. Hear the squeals of excitement everywhere I go. Freshers week is a blast

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  4. You wanted ‘fraught’ not ‘thwart’

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  5. That is not the “real world” you’re living in. Wait till you graduate.

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