We got a 16-year-old to ask his mates what they think uni is like
Sorry kids, it’s not all shagging in hot tubs
I’m about to enter the sixth form and I know hardly anything about the world of higher education. It also occurred to me that my friends wouldn’t either.
In an entirely reliable survey of about a dozen of my friends, they seemed more concerned about being disowned by their parents on the arrival of their GCSE results on Thursday than their future at university and beyond.
Henry, 16, from Chorleywood, wants to study English Literature, and says that he’s “probably too stupid” for Cambridge, but that this shouldn’t matter, since university is really all about “rum, sodomy, and the lash”.
He reckons that the majority of his funds will be spent on vinyl records at “some poncey record shop”, and in terms of a part-time job, he expects he’ll probably end up selling vinyl records at “some poncey record shop”.
However, he’s not anticipating the social scene particularly eagerly: “I don’t think I’ll go clubbing. I mean, it all depends on whether you’re cool or not, doesn’t it?”
“I think drinking will become more adult. I’m a bit of a beer person at the moment; but at uni it’ll be ‘a glass of white wine with this; a glass of red with that.’
“We’ll sit in smoking jackets with pipes and drink brandy.”
Anna, 16, from “near Oxford”, who intends to study psychology or international business, wants to go to UCL.
“I like UCL because it’s in London, and I like the tube,” she said. A reason for choosing your university, if ever there was one.
Anna enjoys acting, but isn’t sure how she’ll be able to continue this at university.
“I think there’ll be little clubs – I don’t know what they’re called – that you can join.” Her primary aim at university is “to join a Jewish Society.”
She has similarly bright-eyed ambition when it comes to her social life: “As things currently stand, I have no friends. I think I will have six and a half friends at university.”
As for sex? “Well, I don’t know what the trends are at the moment, regarding sex. But I think I’ll only have sex in a relationship.”
When asked about her drinking habits and how she thinks they’ll change, she said, “I drink water most of the time. Daily, if possible.
“At university, I think I’ll drink roughly the same amount of water.”
James, 16, from North London, would like to study either English or History. He doesn’t know where, though: “I want my school to do this university stuff for me. No-one tells me anything.
“I’m trying to ignore the subject as much as possible. Anything I know about uni, I learned from The Sopranos.”
His main hobby is “sitting around doing nothing”. Peculiarly, he is concerned about his ability to continue this at university: “I’m not sure if there are the right facilities to sit around doing nothing. I mean, there might actually be stuff to do, which I’d have to take into consideration.”
His social tactics are likely to be fairly sedentary as well. “We’ll have rooms, right? So I’ll probably become friends with people who happen to be in my room.”
He has his doubts about sex. “It all depends on whether my acne goes or not.”
At present, James doesn’t drink much, but things may change somewhat at university. “I’ll probably become a homeless raging alcoholic. I’ll sleep in the gutter because it’ll be closer to the pub. If I stay long enough, I reckon they’ll let me stay in the pub itself.”
After university, he sees himself “on holiday”.
Optimism is rife about accommodation. James expects to have “a decent amount of space and a TV with Sky Plus HD with movies and sports,” whilst Theo, from South London, will be looking for “a small room. Hopefully with a toilet.”
Danny, from North London, reckons it’ll be “in a run down area. Hopefully no insect or vermin infestation.”
He’s similarly hopeful with regard to sex, intending to study “maybe economics or maybe physics or maybe engineering” but also hoping to have sex “once a fortnight. No comment as regards my hand.”
16 year-olds are almost unanimous in their dismissal of dating websites. “No. Never. Ever. It’s a waste of time and they’re probably all weirdos,” said 16-year-old Adela.
Maya, meanwhile, approaches the subject intellectually: “Compatibility isn’t a science. I think dating should be spontaneous.”
Maya has a largely rosy view of university. She intends to study natural sciences at Cambridge as “the people there are studious types who still recognise that there is a world beyond books”.
She doesn’t expect to have a part-time job, since “in between working and socialising there won’t be time”.
Her main goal at university is “to have an unforgettable experience by enjoying every day. A degree is a degree but it’s the memories that count.”
Afterwards, she thinks she’ll “start off doing some travelling. I’ll return to London and find an exciting new job.”
Joshua, meanwhile, wants to study female anatomy. It was unclear whether this was in terms of academia or simply a general extra-curricular ambition.
His main pastimes involve sleeping and drinking, and he hopes to continue this by “sleeping through all my lectures” and “allowing my drinking habits to flourish”.
He is well-prepared for a prolific sex life at university, describing his favourite experience as “having sex in a hot tub. There were about 20 of us.”
In terms of their expectations of an eventful sexual career, many of the people I spoke to already have some fascinating tales to tell, describing variously “a girl who had anal sex with a boy and crapped all over him”, “a strip poker fellatio video” and “a girl who got a guy to ejaculate into a shoe and then drank it”.
One of our subjects had lost his virginity – “I spent half an hour sitting on the bed naked, Googling where my dick goes. It’s confusing down there!” – and has high hopes for university.
“If I have sex at least once or twice a week, I’ll be happy,” he said.
“I’m very much looking forward to student life,” said Danny.
“In particular the sex.”