8 things you should know by the end of first year

As the year draws to a close, the Freshers will soon be fresh no more. And so, ORIEL WELLS brings you 8 things you should know by now.

Your first year at university is drawing to a close and you’re freaking out because the acclaimed ‘best year of your life’ is over, meaning your life is now beginning its slow decline into middle-aged mundaneness. It’s been one hell of a year; you’ve met loads of new people, developed a minor liver condition and learnt that you can wear jeans for a whole term without having to wash them, whilst documenting it all to make sure that everyone from home knows how much of a good time you’re having.

Here are just some of the things you can’t fail to notice after a year in the Durham bubble:

Wealth is a right, not a privilege 

Within the warped world of Durham, signet rings are no longer an ironic purchase from Argos, but rather a compulsory representative of your family’s heritage that just happens to be recorded through the medium of precious metal. It’s shameful to have a second home, not because it’s an excessive waste of money, but rather because another mere four-walled house is pitiful compared to the turreted splendour of owning a National Trust site.

It’s impossible to spend a year at Durham without having your economic views completely warped and disfigured, almost to the extent that London drinks prices begin to seem vaguely reasonable.

My summer home

No one from the North has an education

It’s difficult to find a university further North than Durham without crossing the Scottish border, yet meeting a Northerner within the university is rarer than finding a pulled pork sandwich at a Bat Mitzvah.

The question of where all the Northern young people actually go after completing their A-level education is one that has been troubling scholars for decades, and we will probably never discover the truth, so for now we must satisfy ourselves with the almost-as-exotic Midlanders.

About as Northern as it gets

Google will get you through your degree

The first week of the first year was one of majesty. You attended every 9am lecture, completed every formative assignment, and colour coded all of your notes. But then the second Monday came, the Monday morning after you discovered Sunday night Klute, and very quickly all hopes of order disappeared faster than a cake at a Weight Watchers convention. From then on, your days have been filled with 4OD catch ups and brief flings with irrelevant hobbies – who doesn’t want to learn taxidermy?!

Fortunately, the internet is bloody massive and as a result knows a hell of a lot more than any head lecturer, and is willing to tell you without the sanctimonious pomp of someone who has developed their whole life to academia and is just beginning to realize how little they’ve achieved.

The Messiah

Coffee shops have a hierarchy

Only the socially elite are allowed in the doors of Flat White, while the social pariahs are forced to huddle in the lesser seats of Chapters. At uni, where being a BNOC is everything and a discussion over lunch about the next up and coming band could make and break you position on the social hierarchy, everyone is longing for the ultimate goal: access to one of the elite(ist) secret societies.

Don’t even think about it

You don’t need more than one room to have a good time

The crashing drop of the heart when you discover the truly appalling nature of Durham’s clubbing scene is a feeling familiar to all Freshers. In a split second, dreams of all night raves and dark-corner shags are gone when you see the single story storage space of the uni’s most prestigious clubs.

But somehow, we’ve managed to beat the odds and create a student nightlife more diverse, more exciting and more ‘rogue’ than any of the faceless big cities.  The prospect of knowing half the club on first name terms may seem claustrophobic at first, but it’s actually bloody nice knowing that no matter how far you manage to stumble, there will always be someone there to hold your hair back when you chun.

Look at all that head space

You will not be frequenting Newcastle

It might be no more than a 12 minute train journey away, costing less than a fiver and offering a paradise of massive clubs and shops that our rural minds can only dream of, but you will still never go to the hallowed metropolis of Newcastle.

The stress involved in booking taxis and not being able to pop home for a mid-night out toastie proves too much for us lazy first years, and as a result the dreams of weekly Tiger Tiger visits will never quite come to fruition.

Not so familiar sight

Avoid rowing at all costs

For some completely incomprehensible and irrational reason, a stupidly high proportion of Freshers join rowing in their first term. Whether it be college or university, the prospect of sitting in a damp boat for hours on end, subjecting your arms and legs to a multitude of pain whilst an unnaturally tiny person shouts at you in a suspiciously sexual manner seems to attract far too many people.

Whatever the thrill you may derive from this almost phallic hobby, rest assured that it is not worth it. You’re sacrificing your grades, your social life, your health and all hopes of happiness, and getting nothing in return. It’s the ultimate millionaire’s marriage, but there’s no chance of a pre-nup and you won’t get to bang a hot blonde in return.

So much pain behind those eyes

You will acquire an embarrassing chunder story

Whether it be a tactical chunder on a college bar crawl, a sneaky vom in the corner of a lecture hall, or an unconscious spewing that you wake up to the next morning, cold and surrounded by chunks of half-digested bacon, you will lose your dignity during the course of first year at some point.

Accept this fact, and just focus on not getting snapped whilst you violently abuse your insides.

This shit never happens in 2nd year