I went out every night for two weeks even though I’m on crutches

I needed a helper to carry my trebles

The first month at uni is a time to socialise, party and meet new people.

I found this experience was slightly hindered by the fact that I was on crutches and, therefore, could only walk at the speed of a snail.

My main memory of freshers’ is the endless questions that came my way. I tried to imagine different scenarios that happened during my gap yah, like bungee jumps and sharks attacks, when in reality it was only a boring knee operation.

When meeting new people the crutches were quite useful because people actually remembered they had met me and the day after a night out I was easily recognised, having been branded “crutch girl.”

The Newcastle University campus is thankfully very accommodating and the lifts are frequent. I had to be aware, however, of the Armstrong Building. The dreaded ascension to room 2.98 – unforgiving and never ending, made me wonder why I even tried to make the lecture in the first place.

I also had to be aware with timings, especially with Rugby World Cup traffic.

The worst thing in the world was walking into a lecture late with two hundred and fifty eyes on me and the only sound, a ringing metallic click, resonating around the lecture theatre.

Around campus, I frequently became bait for the sharks that are club promoters. Whilst everyone else walked on and managed to dodge their needy cries, as I crutched slowly by, I fell victim to their flyers and pleas.

A further struggle: how to carry all of these hundreds of flyers WHEN YOU HAVE NO HANDS.

Eat4Less on crutches, I can tell you, is an interesting experience. After hobbling in the queue trying to keep up with the fast pace, I found myself suddenly propelled to the front.

After the concentration of crutching forward I didn’t even think to look at the menu, suddenly faced with an impatient straight faced server I made the rash decision of ordering the first thing I saw – crab.

Don’t do it, don’t try it and do think first about what you order because you will be rushed and you will be stressed. Most importantly you don’t want crab. The only thing wanting the crab and peppercorn sandwich from Eat4Less, sadly, is the bin.

Eating in my catered dining room was not much better. During every meal for a month I had to be followed around by a member of staff holding my tray. This was intensely embarrassing when the whole dining room would turn to stare.

Two weeks of going out every single night ensued.

Soho Rooms, the place to be, was continually filled with freshers guzzling ultraviolet drinks. The stairs, so narrow and steep, were a big challenge and I had to make sure I enlisted a helper to carry those famous Trebles.

I quickly had to come to grips with the slippery club floors. When drinks were spilt they became lethal. I was like Bambi on ice sliding around everywhere. Who knew aquaplaning on crutches was a thing?!

Some may say I tried to be a bit too adventurous at times. By the end I realised to stick to the Ferals, Flares, World Head Quarters and Floritas of this world.

I quickly found crutches turned out to be a good test of humanity.

Whilst lying on my back like an upturned ladybird in the Digital madness of Shadow Child, having lost my friends and having been pushed over, I could discern the nice people from the horrors. Crutches strewn across the mosh pit and whilst being stepped on, I decided that random drunkards aren’t necessarily the most forgiving.

I also had to be careful about who I gave my crutches to.

I suddenly became a drunkenly funny phenomena and everyone wanted a piece of my crutches. Giving a crutch to a friend was a great idea – I had fun bobbing away feeling united with another crutcher.

Strangers however are another story.  On one certain Agric social in Flares, there was humping of, running away with and BJ’s to the crutches. I felt violated.  The highlight of the week had to be doing the limbo with the crutches.

All in all Freshers on crutches was an interesting experience. It was intense and I had some serious lows. I became a worrier, an intense organiser of taxis and generally, at times, a person that is actually pretty annoying.

Having done it now though, I am proud of myself to say I survived and I feel I made the most of it. Luckily I met some kind people who not only helped me, but supported me. The people I met along the way were always happy to use a taxi and sacrifice their student budget for my cause.

I am, however, left wondering when the name “crutchy” will be dropped.