Guess who’s back? Back again?

The highs and lows of being back in the South West

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So after having a whole month away from university, filled with Christmas dinners, family walks, reunions with old friends, and for some of us, the occasional bit of work, it’s now time to leave all the comforts of home to brave student life once more.

With the realisation that you must yet again say goodbye to your family, friends and, most tragically, your bed, it seems a good time to remember what it really is that we love about uni life, whilst saying a final farewell to all the touches of home life we shall dearly miss.

Therefore we bring you the definitive highs and lows of the Exeter reunion.

The Lows

1.Back to the  kitchen

Take the bins out?! What do you think we are? PEASANTS?!

We’re suddenly thrown back into the primitive world of the university accommodation. Gone are the days where we can just stack a glass in the dishwasher or throw our socks in the washing basket for mum to clean, its back to the joys of the student house. Watching the washing up build up to a crisis point where it has spread across the countertops and floors, becomes a standard part of day-to-day living, comparable only with the constant Mexican stand-off over whose go it is to empty the bins.

Even worse is the dreadful realisation that there is only going to be food in the fridge if you actually made the effort to trudge into Tesco to get some. And even if you do make it to the shops there will be none of the fresh meat and vegetables you’ve been feasting on at home. It’s back to the 20p pasta sauces and value tins of sweetcorn – so long Green Giant!

2. The Hills

Take us back to the flat lands!

With another tearful farewell to my car occurring after Christmas, I must now start to walk everywhere again. But being Exeter, this challenge takes on a whole new dimension due to the fact that it is impossible to get anywhere without having to tackle at least 3 very steep, very long hills. And after a month spent doing nothing other than eating, drinking and watching TV, leaving the house suddenly seems like an incredibly daunting task.

3. The 9am 

But my bed is just TOO comfy!

You knew it was coming. It was inevitable. But it doesn’t make it any easier. The dreaded 9am lectures are back. Setting the alarm to a time so early that it is still dark when you wake up, crawling up the hill with that nauseous feeling usually reserved for 4am flights. It’s enough to make you wonder why you would pay nine grand a year to put yourself through this kind of torture.

And to make matters worse, even when you make it to the lecture, which is an achievement in itself, you are then expected to actually pay attention to what the lecturer is saying, despite the fact that simply keeping your eyes open requires all of your concentration. There’s no doubt about it, the 9am lecture definitely achieves the award for most brutal part of returning to uni life.

The Highs



You couldn’t do THAT on Mummy and Daddy’s sofa

Once again you are free to go out any day of the week, and arrive back at any time of night without the disapproving looks/Spanish inquisition from your parents. And if you so desired to cook yourself a fry up,  carry on the party or have those deep heart to heart chats which only happen at 4am you can do, because no-one can tell you not to.

The beauty of university life becomes even more apparent the next day, when you can spend the entire day wallowing in self-pity at your hangover in peace, safe in the knowledge you can watch an entire season of How I Met Your Mother in bed whilst eating a multipack of Supernoodles. All  that’s left to interrupt you is occasional lecture, and let’s face it, half of those are recorded anyway.

2. Nigel the Birks Grange Cat

Who could say no to that face?

Though it breaks my heart every time I have to say goodbye to my dogs at home, I can continue my love affair with Nigel the Birks Grange Cat, who will gladly come and cure my pet withdrawal symptoms in exchange for regular supplies of milk, cheese and Dreamies, much to the horror of our cleaner.  A cuddle with Nigel is all anyone needs to banish the January blues and remind them of how much they love staying in Birks.

3. The Tab

While over the holidays we had nothing better to read other than the back of cereal packets or the Radio Times, we can now rejoice in the triumphant return of our favourite student publication. Look forward to the re-appearance of everyone’s favourite opinion writer, Archie Lockwood, some fantastic coverage of topical Devonshire news and the Top 5 of everything.