Joanna Bowman: A Fresh Start

Joanna introduces herself as best she can.

My St Andrews checklist is becoming more complete by the week: I’ve survived Raisin; I’ve re-enacted Chariots of Fire on West Sands; I’ve split my trousers in St Salvator’s Quad (that last one just for this useless Fresher?), and now I feel the time has come to spread my infinite words of wisdom.

The task of writing an ‘Introductory Column’ filled me with a sense of dread; who cares enough to read hundreds of words about a life that, thus far, is inconsequential and filled solely with moments of failure that are, at best, mildly amusing for those around me? In spite of my dislike of introductions, they have emerged as the defining theme of first year. I have never said my name (Jo), my halls (University), subject (English), home city (London), and, oddly, opinion on which is the most underrated vegetable (cabbage, if you’re interested) as many times as I have over the past weeks, and it is to my great disappointment that I will have to continue with this bullet point list of facts throughout this year.

It is perhaps due to my inability to work out what people want for an introduction that makes them weird for me – my Freshers’ Week began by announcing to my new neighbours that I’d never in fact ‘made a friend’ – and it is particularly odd doing it to an audience of unknown quantity (although I’d like to assume there are hundreds of you reading this), and an unknown level of interest (I assume not particularly high; this is probably just procrastination for you), but I’ll try and do a good job of it.

I’ve taken this role on to be a guiding light, a beacon if you will, of knowledge for the Class of 2017. I will go to The Bop so you don’t have to; I will report on the struggles and strives of being a first year (if this is to be the case, this column will cease to exist for they seem comparatively small); I will learn the tricks of the trade here at St Andrews. This column is a selfless act, one done to inform the people of the university about what being a Fresher here actually means.

No, let’s face the cold hard truth of it, the truth which has dictated this column: I’m just self-obsessed Fresher who needs this platform to have a little bit more attention on me. Validate me?