Callum McCulloch: What I learned from Freshers’

Musings from a first year

Photo Credit: Kate Mitchell

Photo Credit: Kate Mitchell

We first-years have made it through the preliminary period of awkward introductions, organised fun and binge drinking. I feel like I’ve contracted Ebola and sound like I smoke 40 a day, but here’s what I’ve learnt during my first few weeks at the University of York.

1. No-one cares about my gap year. I have spent the last year cultivating unlikely anecdotes in the vein hope of making myself seem more interesting. Instead of a rapt audience lapping up tales about Thailand or stories from Central America, I’ve been faced with a barrage of ‘Gap Yah’ jibes and people asking whether I’ve found myself yet. I’ll just keep quiet.

2. No-one cares which college you’re in or what you’re studying. It’s a simple and formulaic opening gambit that we’ve relied upon all week. It’s not to be taken seriously. If another person makes the astute point that I must read a lot of books doing English, I may pass out for giving so few shits.

3. There are more ducks here than amongst England’s top order batsmen. Stalking the campus at night, they resemble the lost souls of those who failed their first year. I think I may still be drunk.

4. Glorified alcoholism is a beautiful thing. This has been the first week where I could wake up and have a pint without anyone judging me for the shameful alcoholic I am. Long may it continue.

5. Checking my onscreen balance at the bank was the most arousing experience of my term. In other news, I’m now banned from all Santander branches pending further investigation.

6. Everything is cheaper up North. With two triple vodkas costing the same amount as a luke-warm half pint of Peroni on the King’s Road, getting apocalyptically drunk is merely a courtesy and makes economic sense.

7. Introductory lectures are pointless. So you’ve woken me up at 9am when my breath is 90 per cent tequila fumes to read my timetable out to me? Cheers.

8. The façade of being a socially acceptable person is difficult to maintain, especially when off your nut. Telling someone they’re talking utter bollocks is common place amongst friends, but apparently less so amongst people you’ve just met in a seminar. I found this out the hard way.

9. Popworld is cheesier than fondue night at Dale Winton’s. The dancefloor rotates turning the night into a boozier, low budget version of Total Wipeout. To add to that, with the likes of TLC and Peter Andre blasting overhead, I feel that most of my three years will be spent here.

10. The freshers’ fair is a minefield if you’re too polite. Signing up because someone is friendly is not enough of a reason to justify the systematic attack my email has been subjected to since Saturday.


  1. 23 Oct ’14 at 5:21 pm

    Dave Washington

    I thought you discovered you were terrible at hockey as well?

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  2. “The dancefloor rotates turning the night into a boozier, low budget version of Total Wipeout”

    hahahahahahahahahahaha this actually made me laugh well done

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