Everything you’ve learnt during your first term at Bristol

Spoiler: it’s all bad

With second term now in full swing the time has come for you innocent little freshers to look back on your first few months of grown-up life and attempt desperately to extract some lessons of wisdom from the ruins.

Surely, you think to yourself, if you look back through all the fond memories of September through December, you’ll dredge up some positive truths to guide you onwards and upwards in this crazy little journey we call life? Think again.

You’re having about as much no-strings sex as your parents

Nothing beats a bit of sweaty face-eating in Bunker

The illusion of university being a non-stop parade of casual sex was shattered when you realised that you’re still the same socially awkward weirdo you were at school.

Only now you have to contend with the clusterfuck that is, firstly, attempting to get a stranger to get with you while shitty EDM/R&B farts along in the background, and then convincing said stranger that you’re normal enough for them to go home with you, and finally, overcoming the boundless erectile/menstrual/with-the-lights-on-you-disgust-me issues that the actual sex act entails. If you’ve had one bad handjob by Christmas you’re doing well.

You already despise half of the friends you’ve made


On moving in day, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, you decided to hit the ground running and make friends with any big-smiled, empty-headed prick who came your way – you’d be the affable, approachable social butterfly that bad skin and social anxiety prevented you from becoming at school.

Now second term’s come around, you’ve begun to realise your mistake: that girl on the floor above doesn’t have a kooky sense of humour, she’s just a weirdo with daddy issues!

The point is, the crushing realisation that you’ve wasted too much time on people you don’t like is what second term is all about.

You completely failed at reinventing yourself

They’re empty inside

No amount of faux-vintage clothing, vinyls that you read were cool in Pitchfork, or peer-pressured drug abuse is going to mask the fact that no matter how hard you try, you’re going to be the same loser you always have been, forever.

Everyone above you on the social ladder can see straight through to the little neek who got bullied at school. I’d tell you to embrace your individuality and be comfortable in your own skin, but you’re probably ugly and fat, so why should I? You’ll never be one of the cool kids with that kind of attitude.

The university doesn’t give a shit about you

Essay feedback the Bristol way

Want more than a sentence of feedback on that essay? They don’t care. Can’t find anywhere to sit in the library? They don’t care. Think £9,000 earns you more than eight contact hours a week? They don’t care.

Yeah, that’s right – the fateful day you firmed Bristol on UCAS was the same day that they stopped seeing you as anything other than a big sexy cash cow with udders ripe for milking. You’ve signed a three-year minimum contract with the devil and now you have to deal with the consequences.

Your participation in uni life is minimal


In the crazed frenzy of the Fresher’s Fair, due to a mixture of both hope and fear, you handed out your contact details to anything in sight, and probably ended up spending an obscene amount of money on memberships to societies that you haven’t been to a single meeting for.

Foolishly, you really believed that you’d fulfil that lifelong goal of writing for a student tabloid/exploring that secret bondage fetish. But then the all-encompassing apathy that every student knows kicked in, and essay deadlines began to loom on the horizon – you’ll never be the overachieving polymath your parents wish you were.

The social bubble is inescapable

Look at these awful people. They’re you.

“Finally!” you said to yourself, as you drove down the unnecessarily long drive of your unnecessarily expensive school, “finally I can escape this elitist hell of rowing regattas and Saturday rugby matches and walk side by side with the common man at Bristol, fount of diversity!”

So… how’s living out your champagne socialist wet dream going for you? The closest you get to the working class if probably when you taxi to and from Stoke Bishop, or perhaps an awkward conversation about holiday plans with your hairdresser.

You might have a token state school friend, but even they’re solidly middle class. Let’s face it, Bristol’s notoriously bad private/public ratio pretty much ensures that however hard you try, all your friends are going to be as entitled as you.

Whatever you’re paying for accommodation, it’s probably not worth it

To add to the misery of the box room that you probably live in, your mattress has more stains than a Persil advert and some kind of sentient mould monster is growing at the back of the microwave.

Wherever you’ve been dumped, from Wills to Waverley (or the mysterious and terrifying perennial third Unite House) you’ll have found ample things to complain about: it’s too hot or too cold, your fascist accommodation officer won’t let you light up indoors, you feel uncomfortable interacting with the sour-faced cleaners.

But, however bad your lot is, spare a though for our fellow students lost to Durdham, which costs more than a euthanasia clinic and has roughly the same effect.