Returning to university after a summer of rambling, rest and resits, there’s actually just one thing on my mind: this bloody paper.
I’ve painted the town red (or a sort of amaranth, I suppose) in York. I’ve hit up the Edinburgh Fringe, London and even Chicago. And yet, Nouse. How do you say it? Like ‘mouse’, surely – Nouse; or is it a misspelling of ‘news’ – Nouse; or the river? Yes, I mean that’s where your mind immediately goes. ‘Ouse’ – Nouse, obviously.
But I’m not supposed to be looking back, at least not according to the brief Jack gave me. This time next week I’ll have handed down my position to the next silly bugger who fancies a shot, and I’ll probably be sat at home bleary eyed and hungover. Four episodes of Come Dine With Me will have come and gone, as I’m sure will have an array of £1 bargains from Nisa. I’ll feel a little deflated, but not completely. After all, I like to think I’m beginning again with the freshers. Peach schnapps at the ready, I’ll dig out, dust and rinse the house shot glasses, and scour Spotify for whatever Calvin Harris last released. Then I’ll blacklist that and queue the crowd-pleasing ‘Pres 2.0’, before somebody tracks down ‘Mr Brightside’.
This week I’ll probably speak the words “Christ, not Kuda” eight or nine times. Then somebody will suggest Salvation, and I’ll burst into tears. I’ll forget where I stored that infamous UV face paint from first year and invest in a wavy lipliner. I’ll consider purchasing a year’s bus pass, purchase a year’s bus pass and then buy myself a bike. If I’m lucky, I won’t sleep through my supervisor meeting on Tuesday.
I’ll laugh with a sort of catch in my throat at the incessant emails from The Bright Network. I’ll read a few pages of Defoe’s lesser known, and lesser celebrated novel Roxana, before returning, obviously, to Rupaul’s Drag Race Allstars 2. I’ll probably get that rejection email from the BBC. I’ll text a friend from home once or twice. I might even Skype my mum.
Meanwhile, the world will continue to turn. J.K. Rowling will have something to say, I suspect. I’ll go another day without seeing or hearing from Tim Farron. Thousands more will lose their iPhone 7 wireless headphones, and England will draw in a spectacularly dull fixture with Malta.
As the race for American President heats up even more, Donald Trump will replenish his toupée. Barack Obama, or his dogs, will make the news. As what may be the most important day of many of their lives approaches, the people of America will collectively hold their breath.
Back home, I hope this week we all learn something; whether that’s to switch from Viking’s Pizza to stale toast after a night out, or never to leave your door unlocked in halls. I hope no one falls in the lake, as I remember somebody doing on my first night after one too many cocktails at the Lounge. I hope nobody endures the party that I did in the Roger Kirk Centre during my freshers’ week. Most of all, I hope nobody goes to Yates’s. Don’t go to Yates’s. Respect yourself.
My advice? Don’t take your first few weeks too seriously. Lose your student card, lose your door key, lose your hair, lose your inhibitions; enjoy yourself.
Be safe, though. And remember, much like Brexit, university debt is forever.