What’s the worst thing?

(at uni)

There are plenty of great things about uni. All your friends, not having to work,  it is the “best three years of your life” after all. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t justified in complaining about all the shit parts about uni. There are plenty of awful things. But what is the worst? What is the worst thing?

Fit people

It’s 9am, I’m bare-faced and half-dressed, toast crumbs on my jumper and last night’s club stamp etched into my hand. But you’re fresh as a daisy, face full of makeup with a curly blow dry and a banging outfit. How? Do you get up at 6am at every morning? Are you super human? You even look good when you’re working out in the gym goddamit. And when it comes to fancy dress, you’re working the cute “I’m dressed up but oops just happen to be fit” and I’m left looking like Georgia in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.


Most of us are afraid of them. We often can’t understand them and sleeping with one is considered a fairly antisocial thing to do. But why? It’s all too easy to fall into the solidarity of uni mates, safe in halls away from the “dodgy” ends of town. The only time we ever have to cross paths with them is in taxis and occasionally on a Saturday, and even then they get in the way. Deep down we know the reason we fear them so much is because they not only know how to party better than us, they also know a lot more about life than we do. But please, rub residential life in our inexperienced faces – it’ll never be us. Never.


The animals on campus

A goose, right, can crush a human arm bone. I don’t know which one, but it can literally crush bones. You shouldn’t put any other dangerous animals on campus. You wouldn’t actively put a lion or a pit bull owned by Darren who lives on the estate on campus, so why would swans? Is it because they’re supposed to make the lake picturesque and we can’t touch them because they’re owned by the queen? Well you know what, fuck the queen, and fuck uni animals (your pet hamster is OK).


500 people shivering in the rain to get into a carpeted cheesy bangers club night is the perfect way to sober up.

‘Cultural appropriation’

It’s just a fucking sombrero.


The architecture

Like some sort of Foucault nightmare, the architecture is tall and grey and ominous. The sun never reaches your pallid skin from the minute you set foot on campus. Who designed this? Is it intended to make me feel this oppressed? I cannot believe there are people who actually study Architecture and put up with this shit on a daily basis.

The only thing that’s brutalist is the effect on my eyes. University should look like somewhere you can take pictures outside of on our graduation day. All red bricks, classical pillars and blossoming dreams we can be firmly proud of. Anything built after 1950 just misses this point.


The bus is always late, always smells, is busy and if it’s cheap it’s probably not worth it. Just live closer.


9am lectures

We did not come here to learn. We came here to delay reality just that little bit longer, and nothing says reality like a 7am alarm after a jagerbomb fuelled session of self-destruction and three and a half hours of sleep.

The food

It’s always too hot or too cold. Goldilocks was wrong and it’s never just right. There’s catered food where every meal is centred around potatoes and the refectory is no better. Nip across the road to Tesco’s because the food at uni is just the worst.

Also, people are stealing cheese like they steal butter and it just isn’t on. This Cathedral City cost me three fucking quid and now you’re just going to have a slice with a dab of ketchup? Well maybe I’ll just piss on your toothbrush and be done with it.


First years

So fresh, so full of hope and optimism… and worst of all, with the freedom that accompanies their grades not counting for the whole year. They never quite take advantage of it like you did, you party animal, and you bloody hate them for it.

Second years

12 months in and they think they know the place. If you’re in first year, the second years are the twats who ruin your nights out, still turning up to fresher nights because they think they’re all experienced enough to pull naive 18-year-olds. If you’re in third year, second years are taking out the library books you need and muscling you out of a spot in the library. Even second years hate other second years: why else do they all look so miserable?

Third years

“So I’m writing my dissertation. Did I mention my dissertation? It’s like the length of a book. Make the most of uni before final year, don’t do any work, you honestly don’t have to. I was in the library all night last night. Yeah, all night. Like, the sun came up and I was like oh my god I’m still at the library”. Memorise these phrases. Now never say them. Third years have this selective memory that is filled to the brim with how fun they were in first and second year, how little work they did and boy don’t they like to tell you about it.


Mature students

Stop asking questions please I just want to go home.


Michael went to his brother’s wedding this year. He got married to a girl he met in recruitment and they had fun cupcakes instead a traditional wedding cake. During the reception his mate from work makes a speech about the fun they have, the people they meet, their office banter. The guests are varied, from uni, from work, from home, family. And Michael’s 28, living on campus with barely legal teenagers, writing a novel on the effect of adult colouring books on stress. His mum made him sit at the kids table. He didn’t get off with any of the bridesmaids and he couldn’t afford to get a round in. No wonder he’s always so pissed off when your phone goes off in the library.

The fear

Hangovers. Comedowns. You’ve just woken up, and everything is bad. Did you cheat on your girlfriend? You don’t even have a girlfriend, don’t be silly – yet the fear remains, even though you know the worst thing you probably did last night was getting off with Hetty from your Byron seminar. The fear is all-consuming, and it will gnaw at your Sunday self until there’s nothing but a shallow husk left.


People who live at home

The world is a scary place.

Not enough bins

Where are all the bins? Think of how much graduates and the government and research pump into this place. Think how much the staff make. Think how much the fees are. It is a cardinal sin akin to no other that there just aren’t enough fucking bins. Look at how many Twix wrappers there are around you right now. Twix wrappers to the left of you. Twix wrappers to the right. You, lodged in the middle like a trash human because the university won’t just pull their finger out and put another couple of bins around the place. They’re treating us like mugs.

The clubs

It’s 10:30, you’re in a cab on the way to somewhere terrible, probably with a name like Forum, Levers or Mint. You know how it’s going to go down before you even get through the door. But instead of going home, where it’s warm and safe and there’s free food. You plough on, drop six quid on entry, another 12 on some jagers or a double voddy or five and before you know it you’re hanging out on a podium with either a fresher who’s too young or a lechy local that won’t leave you alone. You could hear Trap Queen without being stuck to the floor by VK, you’re better than this shit.


The poly

Why are you here? We are a group of intelligent young individuals with a minimum of ABB at A-Level and we came to get down with like minded people. You’re in my club, in my space, getting with our finest talent and snapping up the best houses in the student area. And don’t even try and pretend you actually chose to go there – no one ever dreamt of reading “Sports Science with Hispanic Studies and Fashion Marketing” when they grew up. Have you ever been out on a poly only night out? It’s like being in a cage of rutting gorillas. It’s hard to rank poly students from best to worst, but surely the worst are Oxford Brookes students. They really get in the neck and for good reason: they’re the biggest perpetrators when it comes to polluting the brand, telling naive relatives they go to “Oxford”. One university per town I say, it’s only fair.

Ticketed events

“Guys who’s free on the March 15th 2016? DJ X and Z is supporting Murkage Dave at Edge, it’s gonna be big.” You came to university expecting spontaneity: spontaneous sex in club toilets, spontaneous lecture skipping (oops), spontaneously big sessions you won’t remember, with the people you’ll never forget. But the dark world of promo (and the lonely thirty-year-old men who work in it) are here to make sure your nights out will always be with less than half of the squad, because nobody has the time or coordination to order tickets to a night three months in advance. And then you have to print it.

The temperature in the library

A sauna in the sahara desert, a red hot coal on a Barbeque, the surface of The Sun. All things that were colder than my uni library. Trying to half-arse a distinctly average Politics essay two days before the deadline was made so much harder by the fact that I couldn’t see through the torrents of sweat raining down over my face. The windows don’t open, they’re just a glass cage that traps all of the heat in the entire world and swirls it around, throwing it my face just when I think I’m making progress.


The lack of seats in the library

If I had my way, the reservation of seats would be a crime punishable with execution by cannon (see late 1800s Iran). A vacant seat is a seat for the taking. In the harsh free market economy of library seating there is no second place. Only those with seats and those without. I’ll be damned if your Jack Wills hoodie is getting between me and eight hours on Yik Yak. The alternative would be that the uni just provided enough fucking seating for all of its undergrads.


People who use a computer and a laptop in the library

Do you not know that there are more people than computers at this university? Do you need them both to watch Doug the Pug videos?

The uni of

My dad doesn’t work for your dad, actually. They’re in completely different fields.


I caught the bus at 9:12 yesterday and made it on time. I got the same bus today and now I’m late because everyone decided to leave it until the last minute.

No phone battery

I might as well be using a landline at this point.



Who’s the real problem here?

Library security

Since the beginning of time students have come to the library to eat while they do their essays. Nobody appreciates being eyed up like a criminal every time they stroll out with a copy of “shrubbery imagery in Shakespeare.” Please, let me put my legs up on the chair in peace.


Eduroam never works. All I want to do is look up something during a lecture, honest.

The toilets

Really strangely hot in here.


I just want to walk and breathe at the same time ok? I don’t want to stop smoking though.


They’re either ripping us off, not turning up when they should, turning up too early or being gross and lechy. Once a year a story goes around about a classic taxi driver who helped someone get home when they were too fucked or spent the whole journey singing Lose Yourself by Eminem but those stories are only surprising because they occur so infrequently.


The girls

Why won’t you answer my messages?

The boys

Why won’t you answer my messages?



Hell isn’t other people; hell is other people’s music. I don’t want to listen to “Delilah” at 7.45am on a Saturday morning after a big Friday out Joe, just because you’re going up to Edinburgh to watch Wales play. And you know what Fraser? I didn’t enjoy spending the whole of first year listening to fucking Disclosure ft. Aluna George. Oli, drum and bass is terrible, grow the fuck up. George, Eminem wasn’t funny or cool in 2001 so why the fuck do you think he’s cool 14 years later. Chris I don’t care if your ironic veneration of Scooter is ironic, you’re still playing him at pre-drinks. Do you know why we have no other friends Chris? It’s because of this, it’s because of Scooter. I’ll hold my hands up, I’ve played my part in this: I’m sorry for singing “Stars” from Les Mis for at least 18 months. I’m sorry for singing it in the shower, I’m sorry for singing it in the kitchen, I’m sorry for singing it at pres. I’m sorry. We’re all sorry. Please let’s just sit in silence glaring at each other from now on.

The gym

Sweating, mirrors and very bright lights are a recipe for failure. You have to psyche yourself up to go every time, just because you don’t have enough contact hours. You try to go in the morning, packing your bag for lectures. But the boyz are hogging all the dumb bells and you can’t face embarrassing yourself in the squat rack. You take an early shower, half an hour after you actually walked in, only to be scared shitless by the old person bending down and getting fussy with talcum powder. They catch you staring, gobsmacked, and scream at you: “What?! We’ve all got one!” and stride into the shower with pride, leaving you a sweaty quivering mess.



All the good unis are in the North, but the weather up there is the worst. Maybe that’s what makes them better.


Scum. Scourge of our evenings, blight of our nights out. I have no interest in going to Monday Night Tiger, or MNT, as you call it. Oh you can get us free VIP and a bottle of vodka? Bollocks. The sad truth is, I’m probably still going to end up in your club.


That fucking guy

Everyone loves that fucking guy, and the fact everyone loves him makes you hate him more. He’s so obnoxious, his hair is always perfectly coiffed and he always sits at the pub smoking rollies with a girl on his knee, sneering. He never invites you to his predrinks when all your fit girl mates get invited, and when you queued up for the night he put on he barely even acknowledged you at the door. Fuck that fucking guy.