A list of Leeds Uni moments that shouldn’t be embarrassing, but are

Is this embarrassing or am I just awkward?

The one thing I’ve learnt is that some things in life are inescapably cringe. There are big embarrassing things, usually involving doing something hideous in front of someone you really like, but there are also little embarrassing things. And the small things are the absolute worst. Things like getting locked out of your halls flat and having to wait for maintenance, or getting aired in a course group chat.  Doesn’t sound that deep, does it? Wrong.

I don’t care how Leeds you think you are – if you have a nose piercing, Little Simz features in your playlist, you wear beaten up Depop jackets or spend your weekends at afters in Hyde Park – no one is cool enough to escape the moments on this list. Pink bleached mullet or not, you’ve definitely felt the awkwardness of scanning your seminar QR code or doing your laundry in halls. Some things in life are universal.

Scroll through at your own peril. And probably light a scented candle or something. You’ll need it. I’d say run a bath but uni baths are indisputably grim and would probably make you cringe even more.

Doing your laundry in halls

This should not be embarrassing. The very fact that you’re doing laundry means you a) wear clothes and b) wash those clothes, two things you’re expected to do as a member of functioning society. Halls laundry is a different story. You’ll spend the entire procedure paranoid that something has fallen out of your laundry basket. God forbid someone is aware you own jeans.

Tiktok: @laylawantshelp

Moving into or out of your uni flat

I don’t know what’s so excruciating about carrying a duvet. I don’t sleep upside down like a bat. I’m pretty sure people would assume I own a duvet and yet me actually being spotted with one makes me feel like I’ve broken some weird social rule.

Moving through a club, especially if it’s heaving

Almost everyone who has ever been to a club has dealt with the weird palaver of moving from one room to another. You have the uniquely embarrassing trifecta – the linking arms like Victorian children, the dodging getting punched in the face by people dancing, and the high-pitched squeak of “ooh, sorry!” when you inevitably push someone or get pushed yourself.

This obviously excludes you if you’re one of the odd individuals that touch girls’ waists to move around. If so, you’re the true weirdo here. Stop it.

Even worse, being ALONE in a club and trying to find your friends

What is the club etiquette for when you’re alone, vaguely sober, and can’t find a pal in sight? You’re not drunk enough to go and make some new besties in the smoking area. Do you bop to the music? Do you stay still and risk ruining the vibe? Truly one of the worst on this list. It gives me a headache just thinking about it.

A rite of passage: the ‘I’m lost in Fruity’ text

Doing literally anything in the library that isn’t being on your laptop

Bonus points if you have to have a slightly too loud whispered conversation with the person seated next to you.

Those few seconds in the club queue when you’re trying to find your ID

Trying to find your licence when you’re sweaty and incoherent is an extreme sport. I have nightmares over the time I was drunk and accidentally gave the HiFi bouncer my Nectar card.

Don’t even get me started on using your passport as ID. Why am I carrying a book on a night out? Am I stopping off at Laidlaw on the way? What’s next – am I going to just whip out a novel in the bathroom at Wire? Truly a moment to think about life.

Cooking when other people are in the kitchen

Try to explain what you’re cooking to people without sounding pretentious. Try it. Honestly. You’re probably safe with the classic ‘mac and cheese’ or ‘chicken pasta bake’ but describe anything with halloumi in it and you’ll sound like you’re trying and failing to be Hyde Park Gordon Ramsey.

Getting aired in course group chats

Literally the most innocent thing you can do – perhaps you’re asking about the timings of your seminar, or if anyone has a Mischief ticket for that night. No one responds, probably because they’re busy or don’t have an answer, but nothing prepares you for the awkwardness of being swerved by 125 people at once.

Seeing that one person you met in freshers

What you could do here is just make a joke about freshers being intense, so many people to meet and politely ask them to remind you of their name. You won’t, though. You’ll feel so awkward wondering whether their name is Alex or Alice that you’ll avoid using it at all, and have to either a) find increasingly creative ways round it in conversation or b) hide whenever you see them.

Buying groceries from the union Co-op and then having to carry them around with you

I bought this loaf of bread between lectures because I don’t have time to go to Morrisons. Now I have to carry this loaf of bread around campus like a bread obsessed weirdo.

Those five seconds at the beginning of your seminar when you’re trying to scan the attendance code

Literally no one cares about you scanning your QR code. If anything, it means fewer precious seconds having to study Existentialism or some obscure medieval poet. Why is it such a weird feeling? Why do the five seconds feel like two hours? Also, why is it necessary that the QR code is always at the front of the seminar room? In front of everyone? What was the reason?

Trying to explain where you’re from

I can imagine this is less awkward if you’re from somewhere cool like Manchester or Edinburgh, but if you live in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere nothing can save you from the stress of no one knowing where you live.

One time I had to explain my hometown to a girl who only understood it as being close to a digger-themed amusement park. I’m not kidding. Also, if you haven’t heard of Diggerland, you’re missing out.

When someone asks what music you’re listening to and it’s not cool

Why is this question always asked by the fittest people you’ve ever seen in your life? How am I supposed to explain to a boy with a hoop earring and a line tattoo of a fern that I’m listening to the Backstreet Boys?

The idea you had of me, who was she??

When your bag falls off your shoulder

Your Leedsification is complete. You’ve got a Bakery 164 sandwich in hand. Your North Face jacket is zipped up in readiness for the cold day ahead. Your precious lecture notes and laptop are in a cute logo-ed tote bag, probably from an artsy record store or houseplant shop. You stop by the weird bacon-statue-thing and reach down to tie your shoes – and your bag falls off your shoulder.

I have no clue why this feels cringe. It’s literally just a bag. Why this feels like an embarrassing moment will probably confuse me forever. I am investing in one of those backpacks the Tiktok girlies own because life is too short and I am too stressed.

Related stories recommended by this writer: