The tab guide to: Skyping a friend at another Uni
So you don’t accidentally burn all of your bridges in the expensive fire of Cambridge insularity
The modern world is obsessed with making us all communicate with the people we know regularly, and at inconvenient times. As our generation is painfully aware, failure to use an electronic devise to send pictures with funny captions to each other will leave you friendless and alone.
This said, leaving the bubble via Skype is a vital skill for ensuring that the simple Cantab does not entirely disappear into an imaginary world of books and champagne.
Skyping from one of the world’s most insular, pretentious universities, it easy to look and sound like a total brat when talking to friends who are getting their degrees at more typical ones. Not to mention to get impatient when they talk about exciting normal student things, like being happy.
These are some simple steps to take and pitfalls to avoid in order to master the art of cross-university webcam fraternisation.
Take precautions against the crappy internet
Plug in your Ethernet cable, close all your tabs, pray to whichever deity you believe created the internet. Rumour has it that at Medwards the wifi dies when it rains, so maybe wait for the fine weather too.
If you have a spare few pre-skype minutes, practice mindfulness exercises so that your blood pressure doesn’t rise to a dangerous level when the screen inevitably starts freezing and cracking.
Take five minutes to mentally extricate your brain from the bubble
Roll the eye of your mind back to a time when you had a sense of perspective.
No one cares about the elections at the Union. Or that Charlie Chorley is following you on Instagram. An essay crisis does not constitute a real problem. Having to live on toast and custard creams for a week due to lack of funds is a realer problem.
Angle your lamp so they can’t see the bags under your eyes
bonus points: position the camera near a stack of books so will take pity on the reason why you have so many bags under your eyes
Don’t mention any of the following words without rolling your eyes and offering an explanation.
DoS, plodge, bedder, porter, matriculation, Michelmas, Bridgemas, college parents: we’ve all accidently alienated the people we love at some point by sounding like pretentious losers with our specialist lingo.
Have something near to hand to squeeze when you burn up with rage about how little work they do
In fact, maybe buy a stress ball for this exact purpose. First year English at Warwick. One essay a term. I bet you were really stressed. If you want to keep your friends, Learn to sound sincere and not angry when saying the following phrases “woah that sounds like hard work” “you sound really busy”
Emotionally accept that you are a Cambridge wanker and your idea of a fun day at uni is very different from theirs
Ah really? You smoked so much you thought everything fluffy made of fire? And started crying because Rhianna was wearing a mohair jumper? You thought she was getting third degree burns? Such larks! We do banterous things too. The other night I had a three course meal whilst wearing a gown and Quentin Johnston-Jones dared me to eat the pudding without using my hands.
Even without calling it five-pennying, it sounds lame.
Tell them to come and visit you, but be vague about the details
Focus on non-time specific things. Vague descriptions of punting and that charming shop with the sticky buns. Make it clear that they can come at some point, but not now. Or soon. In some nethertime when you have less work.
Any time you do schedule in advance will inevitably end up helpfully coinciding with five essay deadlines and a supervision.
Promise to visit their Freshers’ Week to remember what real fun feels like
And actually mean it.
Have a definite time to end the conversation so that you can get back to work
For reasons nobody understands, saying goodbye on skype is unfathomably more awkward than doing so on the telephone. You feel like you are ditching your friend. This will again, take some setting up in the initial minuites of the conversation. Warn them you have a late night supervision or a ball or an emergency dentist appointment. Alternatively just keep an eye on the time and remove the ethernret cable at eleven o’clock.
With this guide to hand, go forth and cybermingle, social butterflies of generation 3G.