Views from the Ouse

Brandon Seager

Brandon Seager

Having spent half the holidays underwater, for many York students returning to the relatively dry Northeast was a breath of fresh air (unless of course you live on the banks of the River Ouse).

But as per every New Year, it takes a shot of January blues and a post-exam Willow frenzy before term really gets its pizzazz back.

And like every second term of the academic year, first-years drunkenly repeat their fresher mistakes of first term, second-years experience a mid-life crisis, and third-years have that growing, inescapable desperation which only serves as a prelude to the ball and chain of adult life. The end is nigh.

So it’s nice to hear some good news once in a while. It makes a break from all the drugs, Brian Bantering and students blacking up because they’re from Eton.

For one, our Grounds Maintenance manager, Gordon Eastham, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours. As much as the University’s buildings are reminiscent of Communist prison cells, the environments of both campuses are incredibly well-kept, and it’s easy to overlook the hard work that goes into maintaining our green spaces. Hes Hall is a beautiful place to be in summer; croquet next to the topiary garden anyone? The kingfisher would be proud, had he not died prematurely over the winter break from the cold.

Speaking of threats to kingfishers, the rats in Eric Milner made for some surprising guests. One minute you think all your accommodation fees are going towards heating, water and a roof to put over your head at night, next minute you find you’ve been had by a family of rodent squatters shitting in your cereal.

But first-years, don’t fret: your housing experience next year can only be enhanced by York’s long list of reputable landlords, who would never dare to scam you out of your money or treat you as a second-class citizen just because you’re a student.

Anyway enough of housing and mid-year misery.

Do something cheerily different this term, like joining the Pokémon society or learning to play the harp with your toes or bungee-jumping out of a plane. Just put an end to any sophomore slumping, and live like the kingfisher: vigorous, free-spirited and susceptible to the cold.

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