Tom Fennelly: My shit week so far

Tom reflects on the wilder times at uni

Photo Credit: Kate Mitchell

Photo Credit: Kate Mitchell

Nothing sets you up for a shit week more than starting your Monday with a court summons in the post. Resulting from what they would call “a clerical error”, and what I would call “an underqualified pleb given access to a computer”, it now means that I’ll be standing before a magistrate at the end of the month unless I can prove beforehand that the two ladies who they think live in my house have actually moved on. It’s touching that they think I have the ability to cohabit with another female, but I still reckon it’ll be a cold day in hell when that happens.

In any case, court at the end of the month will mean that I’ll be having a happy Halloween. That said, I’ve heard that the governor of Kirklevington Grange Prison is female, so maybe I’ll be living with a woman sooner than I thought.

Meanwhile, the monotony of timetabled student life is back in full swing and, at the seventh term of asking, I’m a little bit sick of it. I’m typing this now from a university computer on a screen, like all the rest of them, which appears to be coated in a layer of mucus. Otherwise I’ve got to stomach the inexplicable heat that comes with any study area. As a student who lives off campus, I love free central heating as much as the next undergrad, but I draw the line at sweating for hours like Josef Fritzl on his own episode of Cribs.

And then there’s the weather. The south-east of England is the biggest producer of University of York students, and the brutality of the Northern weather, despite being a third year, did catch me off guard. Just imagine how the freshers are reacting to it after emerging from a summer of endless sunshine, vest tops and moving tan lines. Now everyone is as pale as a post-millennium Michael Jackson as the new intake of dickheads realise that their flowery pack-a-mack left over from Bestival just won’t cut it. No wonder there’s a Superdry shop in York. It’s certainly not for the locals.

I may have an unapologetic resentment for York’s newest generation of students, but it’s profoundly based on an utter jealousy of their world that is absent of Ethics Boards and dissertation supervisors. It’s therefore a shame that, in my final year, I’ll be leaving with a bitter taste in my mouth, but that’s only because I’m going to miss the entire experience of a sheltered campus world.

During my time here, I’ve met some truly incredibly remarkable people. I’ve met a man with a 24-foot long scarf because, to quote, he “has a girlfriend with an over-zealous passion for knitting”. I’ve met a guy who inadvertently put the ‘semi’ in seminar when he arrived at one with his cock on show. I’ve even met the man who starred in the 2009 Talk to Frank advert about marijuana. If you thought he was crazy in the adverts, try meeting him in real life. Worryingly, he now has legal access to a lot of shotguns.

As for memories, I’ve had fights with hipsters, woken up on a sofa in a dress, staggered up Clifford’s Tower with all the elegance of an elephant wearing ice skates whilst on MDMA, and pissed off the entirety of York St John when an editor made it look like I was trying to call them peasants. I was only trying to call them stupid.

Within 24 hours of my arrival at York, I had already accidentally ripped off a radiator from a wall and its relevant piping, flooding the dining area and leaving the Derwent porters and Security Services not looking best pleased. After propping it up with pans and a table for days, I eventually got away with it. Just don’t tell Rob Aitken.

But those days are long gone. I miss the banter-filled days that were spent without a care in the world. But, alas, they are spent. And now I have to do a considerable amount of research.

Fuck it, I’d rather go to prison.


  1. Mature beyond your years.

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  2. I love you.

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