Getting to grips with everything you’ve learned in first year

Adrian Mole eat your heart out

You made it. One down, two to go. True, you made it out the other side slightly better dressed with a new harem of friends. Yes, you look like models in your end of year ball photos.

But, you still embarrassed yourself countless times throughout the year. Have you learnt anything? Surely not. Don’t wait for your Timehop to force you to crawl into a hole and die in a years’ time. Re-live all the embarrassment now.


The loans just enough

We’ve all had those dark moments when we consider selling our used knickers on Craigslist, but as a fresher, you’ll never be so willing. Although when strapped for cash, you often found yourself doing some extensive market research. How much were they willing to pay? Could I auction off a Primark multi-pack? Would anyone know I was doing it? I, personally, never had to go so far.

Instead, you’ll invent more demeaning and impractical ways to make money. There was, of course, the time I committed fraud against my own father. After a classic family over-phone argument – they won’t stop just because you’re farther away – he demanded a receipt for my gym membership. After taking a quick and very creative detour to Window’s Paint, £145 quickly became £165.

poppy d

Sorry Jason


Of course you’ll be struggling with money and after a year of only having to pay for nights out and ASOS binges, it will seem no object. Surely now, you would think you’d learn how to deal with money responsibly.

To that I say please visit and buy all my clothes, which I am pawning off for petty cash. However, extreme scrimping will force you to develop other skillsets, like marketing, such as making up elaborate product descriptions about a fake husband so people pity you and buy your stuff online.

Sure, I’ve made £76 in two weeks AND made my make-believe husband happy, but I’ve been wearing the same outfit for six days.

Should have gone Broadgate

The great thing about your friends from home is that you knew them when they got food stuck in their braces and couldn’t fill in their eyebrows. Even now, Tumblr level hot with legs up to their E-cup breasts…there’s a little bit of Year 8 ugly for you to hold onto.

However, when you arrive at the promised land, your new halls of residence) in September, you’re meeting everyone in their prime. Gorgeous, strapping and cellulite free, you can’t help but feel a little like Kylie “pre-lips” Jenner in a sea of Kim and Kendalls.


Gold star for trying


My personal self-loathing evolved into a food diary. For around 11 days I consumed only nuts and apples. Even as my friends sat, fixated on the Breakfast Club eating Dominos for the hundredth time because, let’s face it, halls food is bollocks), I had measured out eight almonds and nibbled with care. Yes I was miserable. Sure, my poo looked weird. But by God, come summer I would look like Pamela Anderson, just with bigger breasts.

A dozen Alpen Bars, an entire family pack of Weight Watchers crisps and an ounce of pistachios down, the eleventh day was my downfall. However, there’s always an up-side and I’m not talking about my BMI. University will supply you with twice the amount of potential likers on my Instagram. Your thighs may slowly expand – but so will your follower count.

Does anyone like Shapes?

For someone who’s local night out is Milton Keynes (Home to the worst club in the world, my beloved Wonderworld, according to Vice) Ocean and Crisis in Fresher’s Week excited me so much I was on the constant brink of an orgasm.

But so, it seemed, was everyone else. It was messy. It was glorious. It was ruined by the desire to be cool. What ever happened to owning less than five outfits or spending money on novelty dressing gowns rather than crop-tops, oversized denim jackets and New Balance Trainers?


Bonding begins on boats


This of course, manifested itself into an – at times severe – case of Shapesophobia. My well-practiced talent of pretending to do parkour in the club (jumping off walls, occasionally breaking into the splits) was welcomed by Market Bar regulars like a crap theme night for a halls dinner: with disappointment and sheer disgust.

It’s not just the “Stealth-esque” nights that have ended badly. A note to all upcoming Freshers: a free bar is not the beacon of joy it presents itself as. Especially on a boat party. Your hopes and dreams of sipping some quality Aldi wine, as you recreate the infamous Titanic scene, is doomed from the outset. Instead, after two glasses of wine you’ll be being sick overboard and a little later into your bag.

Mentally choosing housemates in Fresher’s week

University as a mating pit is a common pre-uni misconception . The prophecy of the Weathergirls would come true and would literally be raining men. To date, my most serious relationships have been with the D&G Taxi operator, who awkwardly flirts with me, and Chuck Bass. Apart from an avid disappointment with the amount of men willing to give me the child I always wanted, I felt isolated and alone: I was from Buckinghamshire.

So close yet so far from the big city and, apparently, every potential new friend. Does everyone from London actually know each other? Does everyone from public school know each other? Is there anyone left for the rest of us?


At least my parents are proud of me

Perhaps the trickiest task of first year, and potentially least proud, is introducing your best friend from home to your newfound Uni bum-chums. You’ll devise a seemingly fool-proof plan of drinking your blood capacity in neat Glenn’s, with the expectation of your pal matching your madness and everyone being drunk and having a ruddy good time.

As the evening progresses, your world falls apart and you’ll throw up on several stranger’s shoes, knowing you’ve made a horrible mistake. The brief but assuring conversation between my friend and the bouncer at Rescue Rooms (“Is she going to be ok?” “I went with her to Magaluf, she’ll be fine”) rang in my ears like the song of regret. Reportedly, it was “so worth it”

The academic demise of the Head Girl

I can’t even look at my badge anymore. Gone are the days of being physically sick at the thought a grade below 80 per cent.

Now, walking back from Lenton Grove with a spring in your step, you’ll be found clutching with pride your most recent essay overjoyed with a gold-star grade of 55 per cent. I don’t care what anyone says: you have to work even a little bit as in your first year.

The 40 per cent you require to maintain your dignity does not appear out of thin air like Fresher’s flu. Actually, you have to slave away ever so slightly to convince everyone you are, in fact, still intelligent.


Expectations v Reality

There’s also the lure and sudden availability of study drugs. Me, I’m a traditionalist, sticking to some classic Pro Plus, available at Boots for a ludicrously reasonable £3.89 for 48 tablets. An investment of 389 pence that will last you until the final tear drops onto the hard-copy of your dissertation is solely a wise one.

Final thoughts

No doubt everyone fresh out of first year will make the same mistakes next year – just probably in better clothes and with a croakier voice. At the end of the day, being at Nottingham is fantastic…and I can’t wait for two more years of learning, being judged by people more attractive than me at Shapes and doing pointless shit like this:


Goodbye Florence Boot, you’ve been great