But really, how much is Fresh Meat like actual uni life?
An analysis by a Manchester graduate
The Fresh Meat gang first hit our screens in 2011 and it was the first time uni life had been portrayed in a TV series properly. And we all bloody loved it. Four seasons later, JP, Vod, Oregon, Kingsley, Josie and Howard all graduated and made us feel quite shit about our lives. The whole of the last season was about how going to uni is totally pointless. Great.
Now we've had time to reflect, a look back upon actual uni life and its portrayal in the Channel 4 series reveals that, at times, it was pretty inaccurate.
The house in Fresh Meat is massive
An attempt to replicate the shitty student houses of Fallowfield, a Manchester suburb, the Fresh Meat house in Didsbury is far larger than anything a normal student could expect. The open plan kitchen and living room is lovely, but a distant scream from the standard red brick semis that literally everyone moves into after leaving halls.
They never properly go out out
They go to the pub quite a lot, mainly the SU. But why don't they ever go clubbing? Just because they missed out on the experience of halls doesn't mean they'd isolate themselves from nightlife too, surely? Where the fuck is the episode where they all get off their nut at Warehouse Project??
The drinking culture is forced, but kind of accurate
It's all quite lads, lads, unay, beers, wahey, but actually drinking quite a lot to get through the emotional and intellectual strain of uni is pretty much what happens. Not everyone develops a drinking problem like Josie, but it's not unheard of to drink beers in the living room in the middle of the day, I guess.
The initial stereotypes are accurate, but in reality, they'd all end up the same
You've got the super posh wanker, the edgy girl desperate to hide how posh she is, the nice-but-boring one, the creepy old one, the one who rebels against everything without a cause and the one from The Inbetweeners.
These are standard stereotypes that you'd encounter in Freshers', but by the end of the first semester, everyone just blends in. This doesn't happen in Fresh Meat. JP keeps a Jack Wills infused wardrobe throughout, but we've all seen boys like him before. They're wearing vintage Fila and doing ket in a basement by second year.
They never hang out with anyone else
The odd friend, relative, lover comes and goes but none of the cast have any other solid friends. This mismatched group of people are somehow obsessed with each other and no one else. In reality, even the most introverted character makes a course friend or two and brings them round for pre drinks.
The moment when you get ill for the first time without your mum to look after you
This was pretty accurate.
“DON’T LEAVE ME, I CALLED MY MUM BUT SHE’S SEEING SOME GUY CALLED LEON, SO I CALLED MY DAD BECAUSE I HAVE A FEVER BUT I FORGOT THAT HE’S DEAD.”
They eat really shit food, which is fair enough
“I’ve got pasta, chickpeas and half a tube of salt and vinegar Pringles."
Students are shit with money and that loan doesn't last forever. The tastebuds become somewhat numbed after a year of scrimping at uni.
“Breakfast is not a social event. It’s just about getting it in. It’s just the opposite of shitting."
Oregon shagged her tutor and it was very public but she neither of them got kicked out
He confessed his love for her in front of a whole bunch of people. They have sex in his office loads of times. How the hell does no one get fired or kicked out of uni or SOME kind of discipline? I just don't know.
Literally no one would pay to get into a house party
The whole Vodstock thing was really weird. Watching people queue up to get into an empty house, to then hand over cash ready to get in was surreal. No one at uni would pay money to go to a house party, especially one that shit.
Vod and Oregon's final grades are fake news
SPOILER ALERT: Vod gets a 2:1 and Oregon gets a 2:2. How the hell does this happen? Yes, Oregon put her energy into fucking up being union president and shagging her tutor, but she still worked reasonably hard and is quite clever. As someone who studied English Lit at Manchester, it's not that hard to get a 2:1. Vod on the other hand, did absolutely fuck all and didn't read the books. It is hard to get a 2:1 with that kind of behaviour. I'm calling fake news.
They all lived together in the same house for three years
Very few people manage to live with the same people at uni for the whole three years. Especially in the same house. A huge part of student life is struggling to figure out if you like your halls flatmates enough to live with them in second year (probably not), finding a house, deciding if you can put up with them another year, minus your friends going on a year abroad, it's a nightmare.