Every disaster you’ll experience as a fresher living in Birks Grange Village

And no, cardiac hill isn’t one of them

Birks Grange Village. Home to over one thousand Exeter freshers, there’s no wonder it’s achieved the fame and notoriety that it has.

Despite being far removed from campus, and its main selling point being how close it is to the Impy, freshers far and wide flock to this accommodation year after year.

However, like all the best things in life, it comes with its downsides. Here is a comprehensive list to help you prepare for them:

The dining room always running out of ice cream on Sundays

It’s late on a Sunday afternoon. You’re feeling a bit low at the thought of another week of lectures, and all the VKs from the past few days are catching up with you. Then you remember: Ice cream is served on Sundays!

You wildly gather up the people in your corridor, practically fly to the dining room and get in line, trembling with excitement when you finally reach that sacred fridge. You peer in…

It’s emptier than a 9am lecture. Your disappointment is immeasurable, and your day is ruined.

The walk of shame through campus

Gone are the quick Ubers home from a one night stand you might be used to in your home town. In Birks an entire walking tour of campus is required if you decide to spend the night at Penny C, Lafrowda or even a house in town.

An excruciatingly embarrassing experience, especially if you had donned a fancy dress outfit for a social the night before.

Awkwardly tiptoeing over corridor pres

Due to the layout of the blocks, the most obvious place to have pres is in the corridors and stairwells. This is all fun and games until somebody from a higher floor tries to get past and inevitably kicks over your vodka squash, adding to the decades of stains on those disgusting green carpets.

Forgetting to prop the fire doors open with a fire extinguisher (ironic), forgetting your keys and having to text the Freshers’ group chat

Nobody has messaged on this group chat since the first week of freshers except to nag about the bins. Somebody will reluctantly come and open the door for you, and you’ll make small talk for the few steps it takes until you’re safely back in your room.

Hearing the song ‘I Just Had Sex’ blaring out of someone’s speaker in the courtyard on repeat during Freshers’ Week, directed at their mate scuttling back from another accommodation

Realistically they had probably just lost their virginity.

Coming back from a weekend away to your room covered in clingfilm/tinfoil/wrapping paper

Your fault for not locking your door. Annoying to both put up and take down, cling film in particular seems to be a fresher favourite. The tape used to hold it up will also definitely take the paint off your walls.

Bye bye deposit.

Marketplace will run out of Shy Pig white wine

Arguably the only drinkable wine from Marketplace, this wine is in hot demand from the moment the shelves get restocked. If you don’t nab a few bottles at the beginning of the week you’ll be left sipping on Lambrini at pres. You snooze, you lose.

The dinner man will catch you smuggling food out inside your sleeve

After a few weeks you will finally become brave enough to attempt the age old trick of popping a cheeky muffin or panini up your sleeve to eat later.

The first time you try it the dinner man will catch you, and the yells echoing down the dining room stairwell ordering you to put it back will haunt you for the rest of your days.

Some legends will be singing a rendition of Mr Brightside in the Birks catered courtyard at 3am

To be fair we’re all guilty of this, however it is bloody annoying when you’re on the other side of it. The prison-esqe layout of the blocks means that there is absolutely no escape from the screeching.

Finally getting to the top of cardiac hill and realising that you’ve forgotten your laptop/earphones/textbook

Inciting a reaction that can only be described as pure molten fury at the thought of having to go back down, the only feeling that rivals this is the rage you feel upon being told that TP has run out of curly fries.

Trying to sneak your friend from home into the dining room using someone else’s code and not being allowed in

Deliveroo for them, I guess.

Resident Life people coming in at the wrong time

Sure, they might mean well, but that dreaded triple knock only comes at the most awkward of times, usually when you’re mid shower/sleep/shag. Same applies to the cleaners.

Despite these minor snags, Birks is still by far the best fresher accommodation, and will leave you with mates for life, as well as incredible calves from hiking up cardiac hill!