Why I Cried in Freshers Week
Most of us blubbed during Freshers. Read on for a collection of brave testimonies…
It’s been a good week now since mom left, taking with her her cups of tea, motivational speeches and addiction to You’ve-Been-Framed.
And we were all fine. We jumped, we shouted, we had a (perfectly legal) beer with our new mate Samuel and we were the one accidentally shoulder-laughing on the matriculation photo. Or at least this is what you saw of us.
Behind closed doors, nerves were beginning to tear like crepe paper. The testimonies below emmerge from the woodwork as brave accounts of the Freshers blub we all tried to hide…
Natalia Molina-Harno – A Case Of Mistaken Identity
It seems like only yesterday that I was getting dropped off by my parents for my first day at Cambridge. As soon as they left, I dedicated a full two hours to creating the ultimate “seductive yet friendly” look, before setting off into the great unknown of the enticingly named first event of Fresher’s Week-”Drinks at the Bar”. After having a few too many glasses of Cambridge’s finest wine (urine in masquerade) I found myself merrily chatting to the other freshahs, and soon it was decided to shift the party to Spoons (a place I’d never heard of, but with a name like that, how could it be anything less than wonderful?!). I made it to the front of the queue before remembering that, no, in fact I had not brought my ID with me. An incredibly friendly (read creepy) older guy offered to escort me home to pick it up, only to discover that I had brought my younger brother’s passport with me, instead of mine… And that is how I found myself weeping down the phone to my mum the next day, begging her to come up on the train to bring me my ID.
Mollie Wintle – Not Waving But Drowning
My freshers was not so much a question of why I cried but when. And the answer is all the time. I spent that first week like a little female Gollum, crying and hiccoughing all over the shop. The tears first came when my brother and dad left me in the Medwards dome. I told them with my (watery) eyes not to go, but they peeled off with looks of mild distaste and a gruff command to stop crying like a girl. Little did they know that I was to spend the next week with a face permanently glazed. Exactly like a girl. I cried when I spoke to my friends from home. I cried when I couldn’t read my supervisor’s handwriting. I cried when I lost my gown. And then cried some more when I found it again. Freshers was essentially a sea of tears, none of them happy, but I do feel that I’m cried out for the next six years. While sticks and stones may break my bones/And words will probably hurt me/ I cried so much in freshers week / My tear ducts won’t betray me.
James Moore – Lost Brain Cells In Belize
A solitary tear falls, smudging page 452 of Jones’ analysis of the threats to legitimacy faced by the French revolutionary government in 1789. I hope the UL doesn’t fine me for that. Pre-Cambridge, I was assured by all that life here was fine, achievable, and ultimately not that hard. And yet here I sit surrounded by books and the distant chime of bells, more convinced with each ding that I can hear the cackle of my friends enjoying lie-ins at St Andrews and recreational drugs at York. Most people come back from their gap years refreshed and in stupid trousers, repeatedly claiming that they’d really ‘found themselves’. I ignored those pretentious wankers, convinced that anyone stupid enough to leave themselves lying around some third world country to be found at random is at best hideously disorganised, and at worst mentally unstable. But I now find myself wondering if I left part of myself in Belize. Specifically the part which could write essays, because the drivel on my word document would make Stephanie Meyer blush. Surely it’s worth popping back to check? Of course, I’m joking. I’m not going to cross the Atlantic to see where I left my brain cells. I almost certainly didn’t leave them there, and in any case, the flight’s really expensive. So instead I sit, supposedly reading, but wondering the same thing I have wondered a hundred times in as many hours: is Warwick still holding my place?
Mikael Åstrand – A Case of Not Being Drunk
I can vividly remember the last time I really wept. It was as I stood outside Life, in the middle of a rainy winter night, and I was definitely not drunk. Well, at least that’s what I tried to tell the bouncer. You see, I’d had a perfectly reputable night up until that point, beginning with a prearranged dinner in The Gardenia and ending with my fellow gentlemen heading towards the establishment then marketed as ‘The Place’. Along the way I may have been kicked out of Fez, but that’s beside the point. The point is that the bouncer wouldn’t let me into Life, and at that time nothing was more important to me than being able to join my friends downstairs and feel that warm, dank carpet beneath my feet. I tried to reason with the man. I even obliged him by going to get some cheesy chips. I assured him that I wasn’t a danger to anyone, and yet he wouldn’t change his mind. You could say I got to know the Scotsman, as it turned out, after almost an hour by his side. “Look, you seem like a nice lad” he’d say, “but you should really go home”. Being a “nice lad”, however, got me nowhere, and it was out of nowhere that I then began to cry. In fact I felt strangely relieved, as if all of the kebab, potato and processed cheese had somehow found its way out of my body as I stood there, lost in time. But that, of course, is a ridiculous notion.
I hope you have enjoyed this rare example of Tab catharsis. Now let’s for God’s sake pull ourselves together, wash us some clean pants, and carry on as if it genuinely had only been a late onset of hay fever.