Freshers’ Week on crutches

Dancing is harder when you can’t even walk

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I had always imagined Freshers week would involve partying non-stop with my new-found friends, but that all changed when 3 weeks before I was due to move in.

I managed to seriously break my ankle skim boarding, which in hindsight sounds like a recipe for disaster involving surfing in an inch of water. I would need two operations and worse – I would be on crutches for the foreseeable future.

Naturally, the first thing I asked (much to the shock of the surgeon) was: “Can I still go clubbing when I start uni?” Thankfully, the basic answer was yes, if I really wanted to. So I decided that no broken bone could stop me from living my fresher life to the full.

Nothing was going to bring me down

The first meetings with my housemates went something like “Hey, I’m …AH WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOURSELF”, although I soon discovered I had an excellent icebreaker in the shape of a giant foot.

I took it upon myself to try and  tell everyone a different story about the break. From wrestling with an alligator to bungee and base jumping, though surprisingly people saw through that pretty quickly.

Still, everyone seemed interested in my very tame (and ironically sober) fall off a boogie board and it helped take away a lot of awkwardness from introductions.

It was pretty annoying hopping everywhere, giving me a massive disadvantage when having to navigate my new home. Even going to Nisa to pick up a few “essentials” became a genuine challenge, as I found that £4.99 white wine can become problematic when you realise your hands are busy holding on to crutches.

Mastering the basics of laundry

Luckily everyone has been considerate: parting in corridors, giving up their seats and even carrying my tray in the dining room. Luxury.

Nights out, however, bring new obstacles. I cant go far because I’m so slow and it’s not ideal to be somewhere where I can’t sit down for long. I tackled the problem head on by popping some painkillers and learning some new, not very cool dance moves, and soon began to fit right in.

Bouncers have given me lots of funny looks, telling me not to go too wild this time as if they assume my injury must have involved copious amounts of alcohol (when really it was just my own stupidity). People in general are pretty shocked, and sometimes even impressed, to see me on the dancefloor -until they see me start dancing and the pity begins.

I’ve certainly had some sympathetic looks, and have become very popular with girls who didn’t want to queue for the loo as I can cheekily sneak them through to the disabled toilet.

I’ve got them moves like Jagger

Coming home a little worse for wear is also a bit of a pain. Although drinking makes you feel more capable at crutches, this isn’t the case – they involve some concentration and skill so they ended up being thrown around a bit and even getting stuck in taxis. I had one driver complain that I scratched his cab with my “Medical weapon.”

The most embarrassing incident didn’t even happen in a club, but in my first lecture. Someone introduced himself by putting his hand out , and the combination of holding on to my crutches, the stairs and my dignity meant I faceplanted in front of every single History first year.

I really buggered things up for myself, but it certainly wasn’t the end of the world. I managed to make friends and have fun even if it meant having to be in a little pain and looking a bit of a twat on the dance floor.

I can only imagine the fun I’ll have when I don’t look like I’m cosplaying bigfoot.