Make your first seminar less awkward

Don’t be the one who speaks first


Freshers’ week is over and you’re well into your courses now. The first seminar of the year is looming, and the presentation which goes with it. Your flatmates either love or hate you and you already know that nobody cares about Ranmoor, so now it’s time to bond with the people who you spend a painful hour with every other Tuesday.

Engineering

To make friends with an engineer, you have to keep things single. Stick to a few main topics. Ask your new mates what they thought of yesterday’s Daily Mail headlines, and make sure you agree with them that everything they publish is the gospel.

Never use the word “girls”, a sure fire way to fit in is to always say “birds”, “babes”, “chicks”, or variations thereof. It’ll go down a storm at pres.

If conversation gets really dry, you always have the fall back of rugby. Just chat rugby all night long. Make comments about football fans being uncivilised yobs and rugby being the last preserve of the middle classes. Prepare to fit right in.

Always be ready for a spot of rugger

Always be ready for a spot of rugger

Politics

There are three simple steps to making friends with the people in Politics:

Firstly, support Labour. If you don’t support Labour, pretend you do.

Secondly, make sure everybody knows you support Labour (regardless of whether you do or not).

And finally, don’t actually say anything in seminars but make sure you tut or nod aggressively in response to anything anybody says. Choose which one depending on what the majority of the seminar class do. Bonus points if you can mutter “Thatcher” angrily under your breath.

English Literature

Get to know everybody in your seminar beforehand by turning up at their flat parties with your magnetic poetry kit and then reciting the powerful words you’ve just attached to their fridge. If you fit as many big words into a sentence as possible (a must), people will definitely think you’re intelligent rather than pretentious.

You must pretend to love Sylvia Plath even though you only read one poem by her in Year 9, and if anybody quizzes you more tell them they don’t understand feminism and move on.

To pull the babe normally sat next to you, sit in a niche cafe reading poetry near the seminar room. Inevitably she will approach you on the walk home to tell you how much they love the poet you’re reading. You can then invite them back to your flat to read love sonnets and cry together.

the Bell Jar is my inspiration

The Bell Jar is my inspiration

Philosophy

Make sure to voice your opinion on every given matter, regardless of triviality – you are definitely right in at least one parallel universe, which should be your fail-safe conclusion to any given argument. Win the favour of your new friends by supplying a shitload of psychedelics to a smoke up. Lava lamps are encouraged.

The best way to remind your peers of your superior philosophical experiences is to constantly bombard them with anecdotes from the year you spent backpacking with nomads and explain how you found yourself in the rainforests of South America. If they don’t understand themselves, how can they expect to understand the world?

find yourself

Find yourself

Medicine

Prepare to befriend each other over the moral calling that led you to choosing medicine. Whatever you do, don’t mention the fact your parents made you do it.

You’ll go through a lot together so make sure you form tight cliques because nobody else understands non-medics are simply inferior. Make sure you are able to insult their choice of easy non-vocational course whilst simultaneously assuring them how much harder your job will be than theirs.

Pop-Tarts is a must. Make sure you only go once per term though.

medic + six pack = dream bae

Medic + six pack = dream bae

Economics

Presumably if you do economics, your favourite topic of conversation is yourself, so it might be difficult for you to show any interest in your course mates. But when you do force yourself to feign interest here’s a selection of topics to choose from:

1) Your ego.

2) How magnificent you look in a suit.

3) How economics is one of the hardest degrees – up there with medicine and chemical engineering.

4) How you’re the next Wolf of Wall Street.

5) Make sure to always find a way to bring the conversation back to yourself. No matter what.

6) Numericise everything.

if you looked this good in a suit you would talk about it too

If you looked this good in a suit you’d want to talk about it too

Geography

Make sure from the outset you fully embrace the “colouring in” stereotype, it’s a case of if you can’t beat them join them, and nothing says this better than a premium packet of Steadtler fine liners positioned jauntily on your desk. Likewise the annual “colouring in social” doesn’t count as degrading if you’re making fun of it yourself.

Walk along those horrid, bare walls of the Geography building and announce confidently to passers by “see you at the Peaks later!”, “love that kagool!” “BA shits on BSc guys!”.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 09.11.00

Cartography <3

Sciences

Moan regularly, and loudly, about how many more contact hours you have than your English studying housemates, how much more relevant your degree is, and how gruelling the day of playing with test tubes in labs really is.

A good ice breaker would be “wow, that lab coat really is gleaming! What washing powder do you use?” and while you’re at it, put a good few pics of you in said lab coat and glasses on your snapchat story. Just so everyone knows how important a degree you study.