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I broke the law on Lancs campus and found the real consequences of being a criminal at uni

I fought the law and definitely won


When I was about 14, I had a pretty optimistic idea about the person I thought I would be when I hit 20. I was going to be cool, sporty, intimidatingly intelligent, charming and funny, composed and hardworking– basically everything my year nine self had been lacking.

But a few days ago, whilst violently kicking and beating a dirty doormat on campus I came to the halting realisation that I am not who my 14-year-old self had hoped I would be. Nor I am what my 20-year-old self had hoped for either. But one thing's for sure: I was breaking the law.

So, with my unattractive nature of doing everything with either no effort at all, or, in this case, excessive amounts of it, I decided I was going to break the law on Campus. I started to compose a pretty long list of stupid laws that still exist in the UK. (Like, ridiculously stupid.) And I started to tick them off one by one.

Thanks to Section 12 of the Licensing Act 1872, it's illegal to get drunk in a pub

And I think most of us are guilty of this.

There are plenty of bars on campus so this was a pretty good way to ease myself into a life of crime. About four pints in I started to wonder whether this criminal alter ego I was attempting to unearth was actually just a dizzier version of the person I was the day before. But hey, it was still early days, and I did end up absolutely bladdered in Sugar so can’t really complain. As far as I was concerned – Molly:1 The law:0

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As a woman, it is illegal to eat chocolate on public transport

The next crime on my list was made significantly harder due to my horrendous hangover. I may not have been in prison but dear God, I was being punished.

All I had to do was scran some Dairy Milk on the bus to uni. Yeah, I am not sure how trustworthy this one is but apparently If you have ever eaten chocolate on public transport then you're about as rebellious as it comes. I forced my way through a few rows, although the only think I felt guilty of was having such an unhealthy breakfast.

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You can't beat or shake a rug in public after eight am

So apparently, it’s illegal to beat or shake a rug in public after 8AM, so I lugged in a door-mat I found at my rat infested uni house and just started beating it up. This was so cathartic, I didn’t realise I had so much pent up anger. I don’t want to be a bad influence, but this was a 10/10 law breaking experience, especially once I learnt how to block out the awkwardness of concerned sideways glances from passers-by.

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The Metropolitan Police Act of 1854 made it illegal to knock on peoples doors and walk away

So i started knock-and-running my way to a criminal record. This was one of my faves! It was quite nostalgic ringing townhouse doorbells around campus then scurrying away filled with adrenaline. I'm pretty sure no one ever came to the doors, but picturing myself on "Wanted" posters around Lancs was enough to spur me on.

Edward VI enacted a law which meant if you break the sharp end of an egg you could end up in stocks

And if by 'the stocks' they mean in the judgemental eye-line of an old lady walking past then I definitely got my just desserts. This was a cracking way to end my week of crime, even though it was a messy one* , and I am still not sure if it was really worth the stickiness.

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*All egg mess was cleared away – I am a criminal, not a litterer

So, after a week of doing all this illegal shit, it was kind of disappointing that I didn't have a criminal record to show for any of it. And the fact I was very much still enrolled as a student at Lancaster, just like the rest of you law abiding citizens, was kind of disheartening. But, I guess I can't be too upset.

After all, I fought the law at Lancs uni, and I won.