I re-lived Uni of York Freshers’ Week as a STYM and this is how it went
Langwith if you read this, I promise I did more than encourage the freshers to heavily drink
This year I had the honour of being a STYM (second/ third year mentor) for the Langwith freshers. I thought I would share my experience to inspire others to become one or to give hindsight to freshers to be glad they didn’t have someone as embarrassing as me following them around all week.
The excitement started when the flat numbers were released, and we were scrambling around to find lost freshers within the Facebook hemisphere. Honestly, why are Gen Z forced to use the only app they don’t really understand or use, in this mission to assemble a new flat? It took a while, but we assembled our teams and were ready to jump headfirst into this messy old week.
Seeing the mix of nerves and excitement in the freshers while carrying their vacuum-packed clothes and cans of Strongbow reminded us of this time last year when it was our turn
It was hard to show off our responsible side on move in day as I went a bit to hard at Friday Flares the night before (hard to believe for the Flares haters out there but trust me, you’re just doing Flares wrong). Committed to the cause, I rolled out of bed with a hangover and four hours of sleep that was instantly cured with beans on toast. Thank god for beans on toast. Freshers who are reading this, I beg of you to buy a tin of beans just in case.
After the walk to Campus East, we felt somewhat rejuvenated and filled with a nostalgic excitement that move in day brings. We were told to pounce on people with full boots so that’s exactly what we did, lingering around the car parks and rushing up to overwhelmed families before the stycs next to us could. Seeing the mix of nerves and excitement in the freshers while carrying their vacuum-packed clothes and cans of Strongbow reminded us of this time last year when it was our turn.
Mid-afternoon the hangover really started to hit me which was worsened by the HIIT workout we were doing running around with boxes of fairy lights and Ikea spatulas. What really tipped me over the edge was seeing a boy say goodbye to his mum, with an almost cinematic hug, then walk on his own back to his accommodation. A day of moving people in while digesting sambuca shots from 24 hours previously left us exhausted, but we had to prevail for the first night activities.
I had a constant dilemma of wanting to come across as ‘not like a regular mentor, I’m a cool mentor’
Now I am the biggest Langwith advocate you probably could ever meet and if you have ever heard someone shout “Langwith till I die” before a college meal, that was 100 per cent me. However, due to Langwith not being given the same budget as last year, the plan for the first night was just drinking in their flats which frankly was terrible. It started off well with people mingling and making friends. There was a very successful game of beer pong played. But the freshers got restless and started scattering and at one point us second and third year mentors were left in an empty kitchen staring at each other not knowing how to proceed with Hot in Herre blasting out the speakers.
As someone who is a desperate people pleaser, this night wasn’t good for me as I didn’t want to chase them around and force them to hang out with us, but also wanted to do my job as a mentor. I had a constant dilemma of wanting to come across as “not like a regular mentor, I’m a cool mentor”. However, after tracking down most of them, they had decided to go to a flat party then to Ziggy’s. We went to the flat party and all said “we’re too old for this”, made sure everyone was good and then left.
Passing on the baton of blue shits in Stones before the club felt momentous
Above the odds, the second night actually turned this all around. The torrential rain didn’t end up being pathetic fallacy but just a funny inconvenience of a great night. In true Blue Peter form, me and my stycs had homemade a drinking Jenga for the freshers. This went down a storm and got them rightfully tipsy.
The rest of us got off the bus absolutely soaked and came to a barrier of the stym leaders telling us we weren’t allowed into Stones before Kuda. Due to Stones being a birth right for freshers at York, I cheekily led them there for their very first blue shits. Langwith please don’t fire me, they loved it and that’s what matters right?
Passing on the baton of blue shits in Stones before the club felt momentous. Although, I then had the odd multitasking experience of drinking a blue shit while holding back a girl’s hair that had gone too hard in pres (only partly my fault Langwith). Kuda provided a very sweaty but fun night of dancing and sambuca shots. Although the low point was having a whole Jägerbomb poured over us. There were some alcohol-fuelled homesick tears from the freshers but that’s all part of the experience. We ended the night in one big dance circle which is how all nights should end frankly.
Only in Langwith would you find a Guinness enthusiast wearing Louis Vuitton
The next night, the pres got even better, with inside jokes forming and drinks flowing. We played ring of fire, and one fresher was trying to sabotage the middle concoction cup by adding Guinness – which quite frankly is disgusting. Although, karma came back around with him having to down his Guinness and spilling it all down his Louis Vuitton t-shirt. Only in Langwith would you find a Guinness enthusiast wearing Louis Vuitton.
The rest of the night in Salvos was very chaotic and the events are very muddled up in my brain due to too many six for £5 shots, so let me just list some off for you to get the idea.
One of our freshers was asked to leave at midnight as she was too drunk (don’t worry Langwith a styc went with them), the double cubicle in the girls toilets was used frequently and one of the stycs face planted near the bar. To top it all off we bumped into THE Jason Reilly outside and I pointed at him and told the freshers he was a local celeb, then shouted his name in a sort of X Factor style way right to his face – then just walked off.
There’s not much to say about the bar crawl on the next night, apart from it was a shambles (pardon the York related pun). All the freshers were tired or hungover but felt they had to join us. One fresher had to go home early due to forgetting their ID. It became a trip to Dusk then to McDonalds and then inevitably home. What can I say, you have to sometimes pay the price for being a drinking prodigy.
The week ended with a night in Revs which in our house is notoriously chaotic. It had a “British icons” theme. After another successful pres, we headed to the Lowther where I witnessed a person dressed as Rio Wellard from Tracy Beaker fall out a booth into another booth. Although, they probably were drinking away their sorrows to get over the whole Maroon 5 CD debacle. Revs is also a blur of getting separated and then reuniting with a shriek that could shatter anyone’s eardrums that girls do when drunk. My two highlights were dancing with the DJ to “Love On Top” by Beyonce and spotting James Bond dancing along to the song Rolex. Revs is a weird place, but you have to love it.
Freshers’ Week left us stycs all battered and bruised which was healed by a weekend on the sofa watching Disney plus and an impromptu trip to Toby Carvery. However, it was incredibly fun, and I would recommend to anyone thinking of doing it next year. Just hopefully you may do it with a bit more grace and decorum than me.