The people you’ll meet in York in Freshers’ Week
Being part of your college committee doesn’t make you cool
During freshers’ week, you will meet the usual suspects; the one who stays in their room, the one who steals everyone else’s food and without fail the one who went on a gap year to Africa to build a hut and won’t stop going on about it.
Like any other university, York has its own specific clientele – and this is them.
The University of York isn’t a bad university by any means, but there are a lot of people who tried to get into Oxbridge and Durham and didn’t quite make the cut. There’s nothing wrong with failing to get into Oxbridge: they’re still going to a Russell Group uni but unfortunately these people will have a chip on their shoulder for the rest of their life.
Half of them will try and play it down, that they “didn’t even want to go there anyway” and will have a “better time here”. They’re only lying to themselves, and will be nothing more than a crushing disappointment to their parents when they go home at Christmas. The others will admit through gritted teeth that they didn’t get in and will sulk in their room before becoming the social secretary of the PEP society.
This category is basically made up of the previous group of people, with a few additions. Like vegans, you won’t need to ask because they will tell you and continue to tell you what they do. Pompous, self-righteous and either a true blue or painfully red, so either way irritatingly political.
They most likely did Economics and Politics A-level, so feel entitled to explain to everyone during pre drinks why the Tory austerity measures aren’t working. Nobody cares. They all believe they’ll end up being an MP or a trader at Goldman Sachs but chances are they’ll work for Norwich Council on the transport department.
While not as bad as Sussex, Sheffield or SOAS (School Of Active Socialists), York is trying its utmost to become the UK’s top metro-liberal uni. A breeding ground for the feminist brigade, they spend their time convinced that absolutely everything at York is sexist, abusive and allowing lad culture to take over.
From trying to ban a national paper to having weekly “We need feminism because…” campaigns, they keep on coming and making themselves known. Best to avoid like the plague and carry on with your life, but don’t in any circumstance say you play for the rugby team or you’ll be straight on the witch-hunt list.
You have to feel sorry for them rather than dislike them. These kids weren’t part of the cool group at school, they were last to be picked in PE and they were never invited to the parties where girls got fingered on sofas and guys drank White Lightning till they were sick. They’ve now been tricked into thinking that being part of their college committee will make them cool – unfortunately for them this isn’t true.
Having bar rep for James College on your CV will not ensure a job at Ernst and Young, nor will it make you the talk of campus. None of these positions mean anything, since they are just figureheads in matching college jumpers. You’re not organizing Glastonbury, you’re making a Facebook page for Beach-D and selling tickets at the porter’s lodge.
York is known nationally for its student journalism, which by all accounts is very good. However you have to take the student hacks with a mighty pinch of salt. During your first week you’ll encounter those who think they will be the next Murdoch. From the start they think they will have their eye on “the big scoop”, but realistically a story about Vanbrugh common room losing cushions isn’t going to send Fleet street into meltdown.
They’ll be split down the middle. Half will go to Nouse, where they’ll think they’re at the Guardian and will try and turn everything into a story about how the university is funding arms for ISIS. The other half will be at Vision, where they’ll come up with the most hyperbolic sensationalist headlines possible – whatever you do, don’t mention your sports team social Twitter feed.
House music heads
Because a couple of kids who went to Outlook put on a house music night in York, slowly but surely we’re getting a trickle of freshers who would usually go to somewhat cooler unis like Leeds or Manchester. Thus welcome the breed of York hipsters.
During freshers week they will complain about every bar and nightclub because they aren’t playing music by DJs nobody has heard of, but don’t worry – they’ll spend most of nights out chain smoking roll-ups outside waiting to accidentally bump into another house-head.
One of the first things they unpack is their beloved protein shaker. They won’t be seen walking around campus without it, even drinking water from it in the few lectures they go to, ‘cos water needs to be shaken right? When you all go out during freshers week they hover at the back with their eyes darting around the room in the hope of finding another FIFA-loving banter king.
Once freshers week is over you won’t see them, except for when they stumble back on Thursday morning after a wild night in the pit that is Salvation. As soon as Kukri decide to actually do their job and send kit over to York, it will be their only outfit for the year. If they don’t wear the stash, how will people know they play for the uni football team?
If there’s one thing worse than politicians, it’s student politicians. You’ll spot them from the start, overambitious and ready to make a great change to York, genuinely seeing environment officer for Alcuin as a great stepping stone to becoming a great politician in the Labour party.
Before you know it they will pester you to help them campaign for YUSU president. But unlike real elections, student elections in York are won on who can plaster the most brightly coloured cardboard around campus covered in shit slogans and puns. Needless to say, if they do become elected they will change absolutely nothing but will be one step closer to being a full time volunteer for the Lib Dems in Osbaldwick, which will be the pinnacle of their bleak existence.