Freshers’ Stories

Two of our new Fresher writers, JESS BALLANCE AND ROSIE GILLETT, round up some of the most embarrassing stories they’ve heard from Freshers’ Weeks. Have you been named and shamed?

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You’ve just stepped out of the murky backwaters of adolescence and arrived at ‘The Best University in the World’; the first week is a very important time for forming those fragile ‘first impressions’. Here follow a few of the reputation ‘makers and breakers’ that have managed to travel back though the network of Chinese Whisperers…

Sex and the Fresher

One Fresher was done-in by a (real) parent as endearingly follows. On a trip to the pigeon hole room to remove introductory post from their pidge, leaflets, forms of varying importance and countless appreciated-but-wasted Dominos pizza vouchers scatter all over Fresher, covering the floor like a Tracy Emin exhibit; an exhibit topped rakishly with an array of condoms and a rape alarm. Fresher is embarrassed by such prolific displays of sexual gismos; mother swoops down, and, brandishing the condoms and rape alarm – one in either hand – announces gleefully to the surrounding crowd of parents and wide-eyed Freshers: “Ooh! Look, darling!  One for when you want to do it – and one for when you don’t!”.

Clearly one of the prolific ‘shaggers’ snooped out in The Tab’s recent Fresher survey, this fresh-faced Lothario had a vigorous session with someone from another college. Said Fresher is now having to find the right way to explain to their accommodation officers exactly why and how they managed to break their desk not even one full week into Michaelmas.

Sozzled and tattooed – what a lad

One Fresher got so drunk that it managed to lose both wallet and phone (though the injured party pleads theft, this is almost certainly a face-saving excuse). On being escorted back by newly-made friends, Fresher is taken back to its room by a rather curious individual from its college, laid on its bed, and undressed till only its birthday suit remains.  It is then covered in pen; so far, so standard. Less standard: whilst passed out, unconscious and resembling the victim of an (untalented) body art fetishist, the bed is wheeled out into hall and left there with the unfortunate fresher spread-eagled and starkers for all to see.

Whilst ‘getting his grind on’ in a well known late-night establishment on a Sunday night, Fresher Boy accidentally elbows Fresher Girl in a move that, for comedy’s sake, shall be termed ‘the boob’. And then again shortly after in the face. To his surprise,  she construes this as a caveman-like form of sexual selection as opposed to mild accidental assault and “absolutely loves it”. She then proceeds to dance provocatively around him, marking her ‘new-found talent’ like some sort of territorial beast, much to Fresher Boy’s bewilderment. It is later discovered that they are neighbours, and so immediately communal living becomes that little bit more interesting.

There are reports that a particularly wild night out resulted in a discerning gentleman returning to his room with an unknown women.  No surprise here.  This loveable extra, however, casually turned out to be a sex-worker. After what we can assume to be an enjoyable few hours, he then spends the rest of the night, and apparently a sizeable slice of the early hours, running around Cambridge in a gold coloured thong worthy of Bacchus and complaining that the morally ambiguous lady in question had stolen his credit card.

You’re Deaned, mate

An entire staircase of Freshers was assaulted post-bop by a cohort of nostalgic Third Years, who after congratulating the new tenants on “not being lame and sitting playing Scrabble like last year’s lot”, proceeded to throw the various contents of their kitchen out of the first floor window onto the lawn below: bins, clocks, cutlery, playing cards and so forth. The next day, the entire staircase found itself ‘deaned’, protesting repeatedly that it ‘wasn’t their fault’, but that of the drunken, be-bopped finalist, with one steadily deflating balloon for a breast, and mischief in his heart.

Late-Night Library

Late in the library one night, a studious Fresher went for an extended “coffee break” to calm the first essay nerves. When they returned, there was an hand-written note placed on their laptop.  Said fresher presumed, rather arrogantly, that it was left by the ‘Hottie’ seen walking upstairs not an hour ago. An interrogated friend denied any hand in leaving the note. Fresher is suitably flattered and waits until the presumed note-leaver has left, before leaving a carefully-phrased note of its own, hoping to hit the pitch of friendly and nonchalant: “Thanks. Though not sure what the proper response is to a Post-it…”. Note deposited, they turn to leave only to bump into the ‘Hottie’ in the doorway who demands: “What are you up to then?”. A squeaked, “Nothing” and a hasty exit followed. Later in the College bar, on a ‘cheeky’ mid-essay wine break Fresher tells friends about their humiliating” (yet secretly flattering) incident, only for the friend they’d interrogated earlier to confess to writing the note in the first place. Everyone laughs. Fresher feels suitably deflated.

Pitt or Twit?

One young chap, brimming with the hubris that an extremely expensive education will engender, got sick of his Fresher mates very quickly. Spotting some lairy rugby lads in a college bar, he decided they were much more his ‘sort’ of people. Unfortunately, young chap was already drunk and seemed rather more adept at alienating than at befriending these chaps. As he started getting a little lippy, the rugby boys started moving in. Young chap: “Mate, mate, no, it’s alright, I should be allowed to come with you – I’m in the Pitt Club.” The rugby lads didn’t give a shit and still chased him out of the bar; rumours abound that on the other hand Pitt Club did give a shit and Young Chap may have alienated yet another of his ‘sort’ of people.

Second Years Do It Too, You Know

And here’s a reminder that everyone has first week cock-ups. A Second Year gets a little too ‘enthusiastic’ about the first bop of the term, drinks far too much and spends the larger part of the evening racing around their College in a wetsuit, unzipped so dangerously low that things are one violent gesticulation away from getting decidedly ‘cheeky’. He ended the night in the earlier hours, lurking around his old room and vomming magnificently all over a Freshers’ staircase. The mysterious spewer streaks off into the night in the slightly bemused company of Male Welfare, leaving his digestive juices for the Freshers, who on their first official Cambridge morning, must clean up an aquatically inclined stranger’s chunks. Welcome to Cambridge.

And thanks Week One – you’ve been great.