University is a mad place that we all hold such high expectations for.
The writings below are a recent (yesterday) re-edit of my scrawlings (typings) from one of the days during my final and less interactive days of University. And by ‘less interactive days’ I mean the days when I decided “Na fuck this, lectures and work? I’m just gunna sleep and party…”
Please enjoy and revel in my experiences…
Day 01. Day of the Beaver
When you start university your brain has to take on a shit load of new things. Many a concern to think about. One of the first concerns however, isn’t the course, it’s not the place or your tutors, not leaving home, leaving your friends, starting anew or how the hell you’re going to deal with all the washing once your clothes have ran out. The first of concerns is where you are going to be sleeping and who’s going to be sleeping in those rooms surrounding yours. Well for me it was anyway. Home is home, all the things in your room are always where they are and your laundry is always clean and you never run out of pants. Your sheets smell nice and dinner is always waiting for you at that same time each evening, whether you want it or not. You have television, in most cases sky or at least digital, a DVD player, X-box 360 or PS3 and friends live just down the road. You have your local places where you go, either town, the pub, the park, your house, a friend’s house, that girl you’re trying it on but failing miserably with’s house.
But now, you’re in a room, with things not where they usually are, a lot of it still at home, your parents have just closed the door and left and you still haven’t actually seen any of those other people that you’re sharing a “flat” with. If you can call it a flat, it’s more like an office block, not a merry picture in sight, not even a “student-friendly” anti drugs leaflet complete with associated cartoon imagery pinned onto the kitchen notice board. The brown cork stands bare with only a very formal, long and very un-student appealing sheet about who the building’s security and law enforcing members are, complete with contact details and shift schedules mocked up in a poorly designed Word doc. table.
Basically the flat is new, well not that new, there’s an oven and hob with no markings on any of the dials so surely that’s old. Oh and the extractor fan above the faded old cooker seems to have some sort of grease trail pouring from it’s far left corner, staining the wall in a straight greasy vertical line, like the slimy path of a snail made of rusting metal and assorted meat fat, down to the back of the un-readable hob, where I assume it must continue to the floor, perhaps where the rusty meat snail lives.
Should probably wipe it but no one ever does. The walls, other than grease streaks, are actually very clean. They are ALL a very, very, light-grey/blue, elephant-colour is how I would describe them, (Maybe on those sample paint strips this particular shade is actually titled ‘Elephant Grey’ or ‘Elephant Blue’ or even just ‘Very, Very, Light-Grey/Blue’.) and all the doors have a little sticker on them at average eye level with the classic blue information circle reading “Fire door keep shut”, even on the bedroom doors. I said I was going to cover mine up with a poster or something but it never happened.
However, despite the officey, informal tone of the whole place the room did come with a bean bag which I thought was nice, not that I’ve ever used it for anything more than putting all of my clothes on it and sitting on it once in a blue moon, but it was a nice sentiment, made the room feel slightly more ‘studenty’. Another bonus of our flat was the fact that we each had an ensuite complete with sink, toilet and shower which was great because I could poo whenever I wanted to without having to worry about making a smell and I could shower whenever I liked without having to wait for any of those long shower people. The people who spend a good thirty minutes in the shower, enjoying the water too much and singing a lot. I am one of those people so I can imagine how much it would annoy others, my sister is one too and it used to annoy the fuck out of me if she over showered in the mornings and it crossed over into my showering time. Ahh waking up with a routine, that’s what I used to have back in the good old college and school days. Plan it so you have as much sleep time as possible and give, literally, just enough time to get ready and get to the bus, or at the end of my college days, drive to college on time. Literally every second and minute counted in those days, and when showering times overlapped, there was hell to pay. The schedule was so tight that there were many times that I’d get to the road just in time to see the bus trailing off around the corner, far beyond my reach, cursing myself for possibly having decided to deal with the morning glory by wanking instead of sticking to the routine and weeing instead.
It wasn’t so bad when I could drive, but if was slightly late getting into my little, secret car park that no one else from college knew about, to the degree that I didn’t get to park in my chosen space under the tree, well there was no hell to pay because no one was around to receive it, hence the secret car park, but I can tell you that I was furious inside! The ten minute walk from the space, however, and a banana or packet of quavers on the way always managed to fast sooth the fury and by the time I was in college all was well again.
But now the days of the routine could, for the time being, not be hindered again by overlapping showers because I had my own! The ensuites, however, didn’t come without their fair share of problems though, as each of us having our own private poo centre meant that our flat didn’t have a communal toilet. “Problem?” you say, well let me go on. No communal meant that whenever we had people round, which was pretty much constantly, someone always had to leave there room open as the allocated ‘toilet room’, which was obviously grim because it meant that said room was then open to abuse, prankery or of course the stinky plops of those who’d consumed one too many of our famous Kingfisher Fajitas. Kingfisher being the name of our halls of residence, not the meat of choice for our tasty Mexican dish. Anyway, this allocated dumping room was usually mine. Why? Because I was always too lazy to lock my room, also I lost my room key for a few months… but still, who wants to walk back to their room carrying a plate of hot oven pie in one hand, a pint of squash in the other, laptop under arm with power cable wrapped around neck to then be faced with somehow fishing their keys from their pocket and using either pie or squash hand to open the door and not spill or smash any of the goods? No one, that’s who,
Anyway that’s all later on, at this point in time I’m remembering not knowing anyone and that’s where I’m going to jump back to.
Ok, so picture it, you’re at uni, it’s your first evening, your first night lies ahead of you, you’re a party guy, you love to drink, you love to socialise, you’ve got a whole bottle of Jack, kindly donated by your usually less than willing Stepfather, sitting on the shelf in front of you and you’re now at the epicentre of all these things that you love, University. You’re in a place with thousands of other party-hungry teens thirsty to get fucked in both senses of the word and you need to prep yourself. You need to get out there and be there, first hand witness and intoxicated participant when the student world explodes into the SU bar and floods the city of Leicester, all its bars and nightclubs absorbed by lunacy and ridiculousness.
But you can’t go it alone… Who ventures out on their own? Loners and rapists that’s who, and you’re definitely not either of those. Back home you’re a very popular guy, not to toot your own popularity horn but it’s true, and you sure as hell haven’t resorted to rape yet, I mean the sex life isn’t that bad… yet. But hell fuck it, even if it isn’t great, you’re at uni now, tonight that will probably all change, every person here wants to get wasted, meet people and most likely pull a stranger and get their first uni bang under the belt! But you can’t get those things alone, you need to meet the people in your flat, I mean where the hell have they been all day? You heard someone, maybe a couple of people earlier coming in when you were unpacking so there must be at least one person here.
You forge a plan, don’t attack them head on and go knocking on their doors, that’s what eager beavers do. If people want to meet, they will go to the one communal place in the flat, the kitchen! So you go there, you stand there, nothing happens. Maybe people are still unpacking, grab a drink, make it look like you have a reason for being there other than being a secret eager beaver desperate to make a friend so that you can go grab that first uni pint. Ok time has passed, your drink has been drunk, pour another one? Yeah do it! Second drink drank and still not a sign of anyone, why has no one been summoned by the sound of kitchen activity? Too scared? Already gone? Hmm…go back to the room. Balls. Now you’re bloated from drinking already with completely the wrong liquid and you’re still alone.
This is when you have to change your strategy, you consult the laptop, bide some time by reading the emails, chatting to the odd person about your room and your plans for the evening, about how amazingly drunk your going to get, it’s Saturday, your first night, you’re a student, with those three factors it’s like it’s been written that you will get ruined.
Then you spot someone, someone you know who has already been at uni for a week! Thank fuck she got Facebook to stay in contact with people because this is the contact you need with that person right now!
Josh S: Heeeeeeeeeeeey soph!!!
Sophie B: Omg josh hiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
U okaaay? Omg r u at uni now???
Josh S: yeh got here today :)! Hows ur first week been?
Missing uuuuuu xxx
Sophie B: omg it’s been amaaaazing so much fun, ive been so drunk, well tired now!
Missing all u guys too though, we hav to all meet up soon!
What are your flat mates like?
Josh S: havnt actually met em yet but they shud hopes appear soon… :/ I well want em to n all cos I well wanna go out n get pissed lol, im sooooo bored haha!
Sophie B: aww well im sure they’ll come out sooner or later, why don’t u just go give m a knock, that’s what I did, sounds reli gay but hey, sumone has to do it :)
(Oh god! Sophie stooped to the eager beaver level, super hot, beautiful Sophie, the girl that everyone wanted to be with stooped to the eagerest of beaverest levels… can I? Should I? It seems so nerdy, to beavery, I can’t… surely I can’t. I mean what would I say?)
Josh S: haha but what wud I even say lol? Hi im josh :D:D:D
Sophie B: haha yeah that’s what I did and eventually all of us were just out in the kitchen chatting and we hit the su bar, was well gud :) u shud do it, go on, do it now!!
(Wow, maybe being an eager beaver does work, It makes sense, how would any of us meet each other if not for a beaver or two? Go drink a few litres of water noisily in the kitchen and wait until someone finds us asleep in a pool of our own urine? Would probably look at it like the end of a good night… not if they found you at like 7pm though… )
Josh S: safe, ok man ima do it now! :D wish me luck ;)
Sophie B: aww josh seriously don’t be nervous ur a reli cool guy everyone will love u just do it :)
(Oh sweet Sophie, sweet kind dippy Sophie, the super hot uber chick thinks I’m really cool! Too fucking bad I’m right slap bang in the middle of the fucking friends zone with her. Never mind, at least guys will be jealous that I’m friends with such a hot girl, they might even think we’re going out if I get her to hold hands with me for some reason… what kind of situation would you hold hands in if you weren’t sexually attracted to each other? If you were crossing the road… with a child… “Oh Soph wouldn’t it be funny if when we cross this road you pretend to be a child and I have to hold your hand so your safe? Wouldn’t that be just hilarious!?” No of course it fucking wouldn’t be, well done Josh, your mind has made a twat of you once again… fuck you mind… **I’d like to just cut in at this moment in time, hello readers, I started to write this about half way through uni, I am now coming back to this piece of writing a good year and a bit later, these feeling towards said girl, although still super hot, even more so now that she fiends out on the peng-dela-peng of music, are no more… still bang her though.)
Josh S: Sick ima do it now, brb
So off you go. Laptop closed. You have to stand there for a minute to compose yourself, get your cool vibe going on and then march. Cool vibe obtained, who are you kidding? It never left ;) You open your door and there’s another one staring you square in the face, the opposite room to yours, the perfect knocking space dead ahead and you immediately swerve and head casually to the nice safe kitchen for another loud drink where people will accidentally come to you, where you’re not eager beavering anyone.
This continues many times, you keep going to the kitchen and pouring a drink and sitting there drinking it, waiting for people to come and no one does. I mean you would have thought some one would have come, the amount of times they would have heard my door opening and closing and me going to the kitchen, the normal student maybe would have thought “Ooo that sounds like someone going into the kitchen, I can use this opportunity to coincidentally but secretly on purpose also go into the kitchen and meet this flat mate of mine, and hopefully we can then arrange to go and have beers and get very drunk together.” But no. They must have either been sat there thinking, “Wow the person from room 3 must love the kitchen, perhaps he’s really fat and just has to keep eating. What a loser! There’s no way I’m going to go and bump into them, I might get squashed.” or they were just sat with headphones in, plans already sorted, no need to worry about listening out for flat buddies. Or were they neither? Maybe they were sat in their rooms, listening to the mad kitchen obsessive, genuinely scared at the thought of meeting someone new. But who comes to uni if they don’t like meeting people? Bellends and nerds, that’s who!
It seemed like all hope of a night out was gone but out of the gloom came a light. Sat in my room, twiddling my thumbs, I heard a voice. Another person in the flat! In the room next door in fact! No wait… more than one voice! Persons! People! Flatmates! New friends! DRINKING BUDDIES!
One was definitely a girl. ‘Jesus’ I thought to myself, ‘Has the person next-door to me pulled one of the girls in our flat already? Silently pulling away, within the first few hours of our first night at uni, whilst I’ve been running back and forth to the kitchen like a mad man, drinking enough water to drown a baby whale, achieving nothing more than a bursting bladder and pulling nothing more than a muscle in my gullet!’ (I later found out that this definite girl voice wasn’t a girl’s voice at all, but a very camp boy’s voice.) But this guy possibly chatting up this girl was the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for! There’s conversation going on that you can involve yourself with! DRINKING BUDDIES!
But something’s stopping you, a little voice in the back of your head. Do you butt in on an already active socialising session? Can you? No! That breaks social rules, it’s like gate crashing accept the party is just general chit chat and the people are strangers, it’s like walking into someone’s conversation on the street and asking if you can join in. I mean you kind of have the right because you’ll be living with at least one of these people for the next year but at the same time there’s something about it that just socially seems wrong. It’s beavery on a much higher level. A level you refuse to step on to. Why? Because all the beavers are there… and you fucking hate beavers!
So you spend all your time, all your chances of beer on that first, massively hyped up, highly anticipated night of uni, silently arguing with yourself alone in your room, occasionally leaving to make empty trips down the hall to the uninhabited kitchen to drink pints of water that you really don’t want.
Soon the voices open their bedroom door and leave, off on their own first night out at uni with beer and bars and girls and fun times. What do you do? Go back on Facebook, send a reassuring text to your mum about how you’re actually out with someone you met at the flat, down at the SU bar having your first uni beer and that you’ll ring her tomorrow and tell her all about it. You go over to your shelf, defeated and depressed, confused and bloated. You pick out a film that you brought up with you, something you thought that you’d never really need to use but would fill up some space in your new party room.
You spend your first night of uni not out lashed up like you dreamed, pulling some hot drunk girl and being sick in her toilet. You spend it lying in bed, watching the recent, poor re-make of The Omen (With headphones on so as not to disturb your silent unsociable flat mates) and you go to sleep at about half past eleven. The last thing that you think of before you fall asleep is this…