Your alternative Freshers’ Guide

Congratulations, fellow Oxbridge reject. If you’re reading this article, then you have undoubtedly been brought back down to Earth with a bump. Nine months ago, your ticket to a life of intellectual rigour and fine dining was vanquished as you opened that fateful brown envelope giving you the proverbial middle finger.

No longer do you harbour dreams of debating the nuances of post-romanticist literature as you run your fingers through Emma Watson’s hair and meander aimlessly down the river Cam. Gone is your opportunity to mingle with the next generation of poet laureates, Nobel prize winners and cabinet ministers.

So what’s left? What’s there for you at Warwick? Over the coming weeks you will make the transition from naive, starry-eyed, studious A-level student to a malnutritioned, vomit-covered, alcoholic, sleep-deprived stain on society. Your memory will shrink to a fraction of its original capacity such that you won’t be able to remember the events of last night, let alone the proof for Fermat’s last theorem.

You’ll become a joke, a disgrace to your family, achieving seemingly nothing in your three years at university. But these will be the best three years of your life. Three years that you wouldn’t change for the world.

Kitchen parties, kitchen wars, corridor sports and childish pranks. Ironically, gaining your independence at 18 will cause your maturity levels to recede to that of a seven year old. The only time that you’ll ever encounter the warden is when you’re either too smashed to care or too hungover to stay awake. Contrary to what the handbook might say, your warden will do everything in his power to avoid you and your 80 proof breath.

“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your flatmates…” or so the saying goes in Heronbank. Regardless of your accommodation, during the first few weeks of university you will come into contact with some weird people. These people will be so awkward that you thought they couldn’t possibly exist in the real world and were instead confined to movies where Michael Cera plays the lead role.

As a general rule of thumb, your weirdness is proportional to the amount of maths involved in your course. One oddball that deserves a special mention is the “night-stalker”. You probably won’t realise this person exists until about week 6, since the night-stalker is largely nocturnal and seemingly doesn’t eat. The night-stalker is, in all probability, an international student, and although you and your flatmates won’t know much about him/her, as a group you unanimously conclude one thing. When they cook, they only cook fish, and when they cook fish, it fucking stinks. Every kitchen has a night-stalker of some description. If you’re reading this and have not come into contact with this individual then it is highly likely that you are the night-stalker.

Food. It will soon dawn upon you that failure to feed yourself will cause failure to survive. For those of you who are lucky enough to be able to cook, observing the pitiful plight of others will become a daily pleasure. Students exhibiting a culinary repertoire beyond the jacket potato will inevitably be labelled the “resident chef”. It is a sad truth that in first year, you will spend a fraction of the time spent studying that’s spent bent double over the toilet, spewing out of both ends for one reason or another. However, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and, as a result, I now have a colon that’s more resilient than Ryan Giggs’ marriage vows.

Going out. If you come from a big city, Warwick is shite for clubs. If you come from an incestuous farming village in Kazakhstan, Warwick is shite for clubs, probably with fewer eligible females. I’m sure you will have been lucky enough to frequent the Copper Rooms in your first few nights on campus. There are many words one could use to describe the Copper Rooms with the majority of these four letters in length.

In spite of this, if there’s one word I’d use to describe the Copper Rooms, it’d be ‘sticky’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than being able to walk back from a night out and £1 drinks at Top B are an absolute godsend. With 5,000 drunk students on campus, if you’re not having fun then that stick is wedged up beyond all retrieval. Go meet people!

Many of you will have elected to take a year out to aid the humanitarian effort, lending a hand to communities that have been stricken by poverty and ravaged by famine. Coventry is one of these communities. It is noticeably devoid of teachers, doctors, dentists, and sexual health practioners. In short, it lacks many of the institutions that those living in the developed world take for granted. For those of you who have taken a “gap yah”, Coventry is such a shithole that “chundering everywhere” would do nothing but mask the unmistakable odour of chlamydia.

By the end of this term, you’ll have met hundreds of new people and won’t remember the majority of their names. Some of these will be future boyfriends, girlfriends and friends for life.
You will have been pushed around in a trolley, worn clothes belonging to the opposite sex, warded off Draconian wardens, survived Fresher’s flu, done your bit for the third world and survived a 4am encounter with a guy bearing a scuba mask and an erection. All of this learning and you haven’t even picked up a book.

With so much to do, you’ll have long forgotten about Emma Watson.

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