Flares, pantry parties, and the JMCC: The Tab’s guide to Pollock Halls

Inspired by first-hand Pollock experiences

The time has come. The time you’ve all been waiting for (or dreading). The new Pollock residents are incoming.

You can feel it in the air. The smoke outside the library, the flares dragging along the street, the mullets flying in the Edinburgh wind.

If you’re planning on staying in Pollock, I’m sure you’ve already got your social life all planned out. But there are some things you might not consider, like where the best place to smoke a blem is, or what club matters the most. So, here is the ultimate guide for the micro-habitat that is Pollock Halls.

1. Everyone knows everyone, so if you don’t know everyone… good luck xoxo

70% of the private school population of London moves to Edinburgh by mid-September. Fear not, if you do not identify as a Londoner, you’ll be seen as some kind of exotic flower. That’s nice, right?

Be prepared for conversations to sounds something like this:

‘Hi, I’m Arabella.’

‘Hi, I’m Millie.’

‘… So what school did you go to?”

(This is not an exaggeration.)

Oh, and anytime you meet someone, make sure to get their full name so you can use Facebook to consult if your mutuals are adequate.

2. You need to bring all your dutty Depop garms

You’ll notice that Pollock has a very distinct fashion. Almost every boy and girl will wear outfits which are essentially the same. If Pollock has an issue of Vogue, the outfit on the front cover would be jeans, Air Forces and a North Face puffer. This outfit is indeed unisex.

3. Use an asthma pump before entering or leaving the JMCC unless you want to inhale 500g of nicotine with one breath

Peak pre-dinner blem time is between 19:00 and 19:15, so remember to pop into Sains at about 18:30 so you can socialise with all your other smoking besties. It’s either that or you’ll just have to take up smoking so you can say ‘rah where’s my baccy’ utterly unironically. 

4. Keep Monday night free. There is NO EXCUSE

Juju’s is not a club. It is a way of life. It is your new religion. You now worship watered-down £1 shots. You pray for a black and white Juju’s photo to put straight on your insta. You network in the line – Titus’ daddy might come in handy for that Goldman Sachs internship you have no intention of putting any work towards. The chaos outside Pollock reception is what keeps you alive enough to make it to your 9 am lecture. Life finally feels complete and Pollock feels like home.

5. The common room pres are the best place to meet people – go to at least one in every house

Fresher’s week is chaotic – there are pres everywhere and you’ll probably be invited to at least two a night. Go to all of them. A club isn’t where you’ll have an actual introductory conversation with someone, it’s in a grubby, sweaty room in Lee, backlit by shit LEDs with the faint noise of an RA shouting about the music volume.

6. The ratio of boys to girls is about 1:8

If you’re someone who is into girls – welcome to heaven. Literal heaven. Every girl in Pollock is usually smart, pretty and interesting.

If you’re looking for an Edi uni husband, your options are not only limited in terms of number, they’re also limited in terms of type. If your type is not mullets, signet rings, quarter-zips, north face gilets or plaid trousers, you’re out of luck I’m afraid.

If you’ve found a boy you like… good luck. There will be eight other girls who also want him at any given time. If he lives in Chancellors, there will be at least 12 girls after him. If he lives in Chancellors and has a country house, there could be between 20 and 25 girls after him. Mark your territory by coming up to him in the JMCC and asking him when he’s going to Ting Thai to get lunch. 

7. One night stand breakfast dates are just not worth it

Mark your territory, but don’t mark it too much. A post-one-night-stand breakfast date is just awkward. Also, it’s not as subtle as it seems – smudged lipstick, messy hair and pale faces from hangover nausea kinda give it away.

8. The hash browns are the only edible things that come out of the JMCC

There are a few drawbacks to catered halls. I know of a few people who actually got sick from the JMCC’s food. If you go at peak times, it’s literally impossible to find a seat and the queues for the food itself are out of the door.

But the benefits make it so worth it. When you’re hanging by a thread and you can help yourself to a full English breakfast, that nearly cures the hangover right then and there. You can stuff yourself before a night out as well, reducing the chances of chunning by about 40%.

Also, add Baileys to a hot chocolate in winter. I’m telling you it’s the best thing ever.

9. Your neighbour will not be your best friend and you’ll probably meet your best friend in second semester in a different house

If anything, your neighbour will probably be the most annoying person you encounter in Pollock. The 5am afters wont be the worst part. The worst part will be the 3am moans that keep you up. At least it’ll only last about 25 seconds.

10. The ultimate insight into what you’re getting into can be found on Pollock TV

If you can witness an animal in its natural habitat as opposed to a cage in a zoo, obviously your experience will be much more insightful. Pollock TV gives exactly that effect.

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