A Fresher’s Christmas Carol
Fuck – the holidays are over
While it was nice to take your shiny new superiority complex home for an airing, it’s all over now and it’s back to the library.
Just in case the finer details of the last four-ish weeks have already been muddled into one big mulled wine-induced memory smear, this is what (probably) happened:
When you got home, you didn’t leave the sofa/bed for three(ish) days:
Hello laziness, my old friend! Freshers get ill the second their feet hit home turf; or at least feel so incredibly tired that sleeping for twenty solid hours seems like a justifiable thing to do. You sat on the sofa in the pyjamas which were too tatty to bring to Uni, ate whatever reassuring food your mum cooked and binge-watched ‘Come Dine With Me’. It was a joyful reunion with the wonderful and underrated concept of wasting time.
You remembered what ‘Real World’ Distance is:
Having to pay for transport is a cruel and alien concept when you’ve lived in a 3 miles radius of King’s Parade for eight months. Getting a taxi home after a night out is a mug’s game.
You woke up with a sense of impending doom thinking that you should be in the library:
Before remembering that you were at home and rolling over and going back to sleep. Bliss.
Your parents started showing you off:
You are no longer the geeky child who hid in his room when your folks’ friends came to dinner; you are an intellectual status symbol. Relatives you’ve never met are boasting about you. There is pride on your mum’s face as she smugly passes the biscuits to Mrs Murphy, whose son only got into Kent.
You got jealous whenever anyone else told a uni story:
Yeah, if you’d have gone to York you could’ve had the time to cover every item in your mate’s room in tin foil. And it probably wouldn’t have made that much of a difference at all in the long run and you would still end up with a nice job and a medium-sized house. But Robert Downey Jr, right?
You found yourself boiling up with rage whenever someone else said they were finding the work at their uni hard:
Really? You had an essay crisis? AN essay crisis SINGULAR? You do not know suffering.
You seriously considered getting a nectar card:
It seems inevitable that Sainsbury’s is going to own part of your soul by the end of the degree, why fight it? If you save your points for all three years you might have enough points for a keyring or something.
You tried to do your holiday work, but then didn’t really:
Even though you now know exactly how much shit it is possible to get done in a couple of days when you put your mind to it, something about carrying on this good work ethic at home just doesn’t wash. Must try harder.
After two weeks your attitude started to flit between “YAY I GET TO GO BACK, ”and “fuuuuuuck I’m going back”:
So many incredible opportunities! World renowned theatre, comedy, political activism, celebrity speakers, fine wines, decadent parties! Yet you can already hear the distant grumblings of a stress-induced headache.
You remembered that you are absurdly blessed to go to Cambridge and tried to stop bitching about it:
Most of your uni problems are not real problems. There was a scandal last year when it was found that some students at Anglia Ruskin had to rely on food banks. The vast majority of students are living on far less money a year than your college probably spends on wine in a month.
Your family had no time for your new-found political awareness:
“can you stop talking about the patriarchy and let me watch top gear” – generic male relative.
You finished the Christmas holidays thinking “what exactly did I do??”:
Things were definitely done – you’ve been busy and used up all the time! But it wasn’t with work, or as much drinking as you had anticipated, and you didn’t apply for that internship in the summer…could do with another week off really.