As a wee fresher on the brink of making that huge leap into the unknown, turbulent, adult world of university, you’re probably feeling slightly apprehensive that the people you are going to share that transition with for a whole year of your life are a bunch of complete strangers. However, do not alarm yourself, because luckily for us when it comes to natural variation, the human species seems to have trouble producing more than, say 10, different varieties of person in the particular environment of the humble university halls. Hence the invention of the good ol’ stereotype – a unifying classification system that just makes life a hell of a lot easier, and more amusing. So with that in mind, here’s a few ideas of the type of person you might (will) find yourself amongst in the first few weeks (years) of university. Hopefully this will help you better understand all your new pals, and if you do insist on matching these one for one with your neighbours, maybe don’t tell them about it.
1. The ‘keeno’
This one is quite obvious from the beginning. And I don’t mean from the first day you arrive at university, I mean in the weeks (maybe even months if they’re particularly confident) before term begins. This one eager fresher will be posting on just about every single Facebook page, Twitter account or any other student question forum they can get their over enthusiastic digits to, in order to inform the more ignorant or even indifferent among us about the size duvet cover we should bring or what to wear to our first lecture. Hello! You have two weeks of partying to worry about people, just bring a pair of comfy shoes for salvos. This person will usually have had an older brother and sister who has/or still is attending York, and so they feel they have a particular right to shove their (usually rooky) knowledge down everyone else’s throats in order to make themselves feel a bit more prepared. Ignore this person. The fun aspect of university is making mistakes and figuring it out for yourself, just relax and go with the flow. And unless you’re on Hes East…
2. The couple.
I had a few of these last year. Somehow there will be one or two housemates who engage in ‘activity’ with one another at some point in the first few weeks of term. Why people decide to do this I’m not entirely sure. This ends one of two equally painful ways. The first, there arises an excruciating awkwardness between all housemates who are now aware of the drunken incest that has ensued, OR the two lovebirds genuinely have a crack at going out with each other and decide that it’s love at first sight and spent the next year inseparable. Usually the latter are dedicated PDA-ists and are likely to make the third person in the kitchen feel somewhat out of place. Don’t worry kids, it won’t last.
3. The alcohol Noob
This is the housemate who has never had alcohol before and so gets excruciatingly drunk on the first night. This one might actually be my personal favourite. The first night of freshers you’re likely not to leave campus, instead your college should put on a somewhat questionable school-disco feel event in your college bar. Yes, it’s true that to get through this horrendous attempt at entertainment you need to be pretty far gone, however, there is always one housemate who takes this one step further. It might be that their parents have handed them a bottle of Smirnoff to take so they don’t turn up empty handed or perhaps they’ve made a trip to the on campus Nisa to browse the alcohol section, making the most of their new found independence. Either way, one bottle of vodka later, it’s 9.30pm, and they’re chucking up in the downstairs loo or more likely, next to the loo, hugging the Henry Hoover singing Abba to their hearts content. You can use this mental picture as great ammo for the rest of the year.
4. The absent one
There will be a housemate who you will just never see. This is either because they’ve dropped out without telling anyone, or they’ve moved accommodation because they hate you. I’m kidding, I’m talking about someone who genuinely lives in your block who either stays in their room a hell of a lot, or who has bravely struck out and has made friends from other blocks.. dun dun duhh. Crazy I know. Be nice to this person when you do see them, it may be they feel like they don’t fit in and need a bit of encouragement to join the party!
5. The slob
You’ll find that a lot of people at university haven’t ever been taught how to use a dustpan and brush or know what fairy liquid looks like, but this housemate is just down right dirty. They will burp in front of you, leave they’re eggy breakfast pan on the kitchen surface, abandon stained tea mugs around the place – you name it, they’ll do it. If you’re a bit OCD, or maybe you just have a basic level of hygiene that you think is appropriate for the human race to abide by, you might not get on with this person very well. They won’t change unfortunately, but what they will do is message the group Whatsapp alerting you all to the fact that they have indeed left their dirty plates in the sink and will clean them later. Thanks for the update, now clean your fucking plates.
6. The overly sexual one
I’m afraid to say that it’s inevitable that there will be one housemate who will simply have a far bigger libido than the rest of us do, and they aren’t afraid to share their experiences to anyone who will listen. This housemate, boy or girl, will return to the house after a night out more often than not with a different partner who you may have the pleasure of seeing sneak out the next morning wearing either their skimpy clothes from the night before or some borrowed trackies and an extremely large hoody. This person is either a bit of a douche OR a really good laugh and fun to be around as they don’t tend to take themselves too seriously. Weigh it up and decide for yourselves.
7. The gap year student
Whether its camping for months alongside the indigenous population of Nicaragua with nothing but a penknife, or dancing butt naked at The Full Moon Party adorned with excessive amounts of neon body paint, within a few minutes of meeting this housemate, they will be happily regaling elaborate stories of their gap year adventures. Those usually involve finding themselves on the summit of Machu Piccu, or hiking across the Bolivian salt flats, or even hurling down Cambodia on an illegal moped. Quite how doing your first load of university laundry can possibly remind them “of this time on my gap year when…”, I’ll never know. This person will also relish any opportunity to put on some of their most wavy garms that they’ve acquired from their travels abroad, and usually have a beard and an unhygienic amount of wrist furniture. These particular characters don’t ever run out of stories to tell and so there will inevitably be a time when you will have to tell this person straight that you couldn’t care less what they did on their gap year and that you don’t want to hear anymore over exaggerated stories about it, but maybe give it a few weeks before you take the shot.
8. The sporty one
This housemate will probably be the one to wake you up from your hungover coma when they bound out of the house at God knows what early hour for their morning jog, slamming the doors behind them, blissfully unaware of the racket their making due to the sweet sounds of Taylor Swift blasting through their swanky ear phones. This girl or boy lives in their sports kit, is always “just popping to the gym” or rustling up a smoothie or shake to take with them to the gym. Most importantly, this housemate will always come down stairs on a Wednesday evening dressed in a horrendously embarrassing outfit, courtesy of their social secs cunningly themed sports nights. They will never be sober in Salvation, and watch out – they usually know how to dance, or at least think they do.
9. The ‘Snapchat Snore’
Also know as the one person you regret ever adding on Snapchat. When you’re trying desperately to make friends at the beginning of the academic year, exchanging phone numbers is of course a must. (When doing this by the way, ask for their surname – you’ll soon run out of alliterative tags to describe your friends in an attempt to remember who greasy Greg and smiley Sarah are, plus when you do actually end up being friends with them and half way through the year they find themselves on your phone saved as ‘Charlotte from House 3’ they might be a little offended). However, choose wisely who you proceed to add on Snapchat. There’s always one who either only Snapchats pictures of their face wearing exactly the same expression (usually a soft pout) and with varying but equally boring tag lines such as “it’s raining” or “so done with revision”, OR enjoys taking seemingly incoherent Snapchat stories of their craaaaazy nights out with their huge array of friends. Both tend to be frequent in first year so just a heads up.
10. The ‘Righteous One’
This person will undoubtedly be right about everything. They will have a ready opinion on just about any social, economic or political situation and won’t be content until they’ve delineated their ideas to everyone in the house. It’s difficult to get this person to lighten up as usually they don’t drink much due to either a religious belief or a fear of “being out of control”. Sometimes when you have the energy it’s great fun to challenge this person by throwing something outrageously controversial into casual conversation, or defending a frankly ridiculous view point for the sake of it. Though most of the time you’re too hungover to tolerate this housemate and either try and stick to small talk or avoid them altogether. Having said this, if you do truly believe in something, always back yourself and follow through on a viewpoint even if you come across opposition.