What Not To Take To UCL… A Fresher’s Guide
A Tab t shirt is all you need, but here are some of the things you don’t…
A suitcase full of condoms.
According to Cosmo, 43% of Freshers see their first week as the optimum opportunity for sex, whilst 1.4% actually succeed. Since the chances of you being in that 98.6% are pretty high, avoid the humiliation of bringing an entire Samsonite of Durex Elite.
A statue of Jeremy Bentham
Yes, UCL was founded on excellent principles. We admitted those damned Roman Catholics that Oxford hated, we dared to let women loose on academic study whilst Cambridge dons shielded their eyes in horror. But read up on a bit of UCL’s history and you’ll start believing that the illustrious Bentham was an incorruptible reformist liberal of the highest order. Yet he had some very strange views on sex with animals, and was so liberal he designed a prison brutal enough that only one guard was needed to keep 2000 prisoners shackled away (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon). Best leave that bronze statue at home.
Fifty Shades of Grey
The majority of freshers’ events are painfully awkward. The temptation to pop upstairs and imbibe some kinky mummy porn will be strong. The social impact of such behaviour can be detrimental to your overall experience. You’ll start to visualize slapping some cuffs on that boy at the front of the lecture. You’ll finding yourself casually whipping new acquaintances just to check if they’re dominant or submissive. The final straw will be deliberate tardiness before you meet your tutor, in the hope they’ll punish you ‘in the way you deserve’. Just leave it at home.
A girlfriend or boyfriend.
End it now. Or marry. One or the other. Just don’t tell your new friends of 4 hours that you’ll meet them at the bar in 20 minutes, only to spend 6 hours persuading your other half that you’re not numbly gyrating into that Hungarian temptress that moved in opposite. If you’ve had a child together then that’s slightly different. In all other cases, leave it at home.
The last thing you want to do when you’ve been senselessly pounded all night is tenderly make your way to the local Tescos (actually this is UCL, make that a ‘Little Waitrose’) to buy some milk for your corn flakes. Great idea; buy a cow. Well firstly, they’re not pasteurized. Secondly, they need actual grass, not the illegal type which you’ll find in much more plentiful quantities than real grass. Lastly, quadrupeds are illegal in Halls of Residence. Dammit.
Reinventing yourself for university is never a good idea. Those Doc Martins will always look a tad shiny, and those lens-less thick-rimmed glasses won’t help you pull off carrying Auden’s ‘Collected Works’ any more than suddenly taking up whiskey. Don’t posh up, and don’t pretend you didn’t go to Public School just because you’re worried you can’t spell ‘Comprehensive’. Everyone is as equally petrified of their own reality as everyone else. Embrace it.
And if all else fails? A Tab t shirt is a good talking point. Come pick one up from our writers meetings, 5.30pm Thursdays at ULU.