As our little flat starts to empty, becoming quieter and less messy one person at a time, it’s finally starting to feel like first year is coming to an end. You can’t possibly appreciate how fast it goes until you’re in the position yourself and it’s nearly time to graduate from the year that ‘doesn’t count’, and start actually doing some serious work. First year has been one of the weirdest and best years of my life so far, with everything from geese attacks to summer balls to singing and dancing to the occasional TC.
Living so far away from my family, nearly 7,000 miles as it happens, had it’s ups and downs. My organisation abilities tend to come and go, and being in a different hemisphere to those who usually pick up the slack was a bit of a test. Sometimes my room honestly feels like a black hole- things get sucked into the mess and literally never return and there’s no mum around to magically locate them, or to spoon feed me in trying to fix any trouble. And obviously there are times when you get homesick. Mix the super fun hormones that come with being a teenage girl with a nice bit of uni drama and those 7,000 miles between you and your family seem like a lot more. Having said that, I’ve definitely cried a lot more over Grey’s Anatomy this year than I have over anything else, and luckily my mums serial FaceTiming has left little room to feel properly far away.
England itself, York especially, has been the most amazing setting for uni life, even if the weather is slightly more hit and miss than it is at home. If I thought Autumn Term was cold, the first few weeks of January were something else. I wore tights underneath my jeans and gloves to play touch. I truly forgot what it was like to be able to use my phone outside, and made full use of my radiator to heat up all my clothes before I put anything on. And although I complained like the classic third culture kid who’d not experienced a January colder than 30 degrees in 11 years, I absolutely loved it. Yes, I forgot what my
own legs looked like, but the 8am walk around campus on ONE day that it ‘properly’ snowed pretty much made up for it. All the bundling up in layer upon layer was, of course, made worth it for the whisper of spring towards the end of last term. I can’t possibly talk about spring without slipping deep into cliche (sorry)- daffodils sprung up on hillsides apparently over night and shocks of white snowbells suddenly lined my walk to the lecture hall. You can only imagine the excitement.
A LOT of alcohol happened this year. I’ve learnt that I should stay away from K Cider (thankfully not from personal experience but something I think is a general rule for human beings as a race), that I shouldn’t drink beer after vodka (unfortunately, vodka me apparently LOVES a Corona), that clubbing sober is not that fun but pretty do-able, and that I can’t balance Lowther trebles on my head (..yet). Obviously, going out doesn’t have to be a part of your uni experience but I mean, if you haven’t unclogged your flatmates sick from the kitchen sink or helped a friend button up her leotard after she’s had too many jaeger-bombs to find the clips, give it a go! In my experience, said jaeger-bombs also lead the way to usually pretty funny inter-flat gossip that provides the entertainment around any actual academia that takes place. (That’s right- we did come to Uni to study!)
Being in a flat with so many boys (apparently there are 14 of them but it usually feels like a lot more) has been an experience. I mean, they pee on the seat and use your tweezers to pick out their athletes foot but they really are the best. If nothing else, I feel like I literally could survive living with ANYONE now, after a year of coming back to a bedroom covered in cups of water (and grosser things), coffee blocked sinks and hidden cans of Innocent drinks in my pillows and clothes. Even if you don’t live with 60 billion boys, if you’re about to start uni I would definitely lower your expectations for cleanliness in general. Our kitchen is absolutely diabolical and I’ve not seen much higher standards elsewhere. I think N Block (my humble abode this year) sinks pretty far below average though, especially considering the two fat rats that made a home outside our block last term.
Somehow between the rats and the vodka I also managed to get a bit of a sing-song in, because it wouldn’t be my life otherwise. Joining Central Hall Musical Society has been one of the best things I’ve done at Uni, and the three shows I’ve done with them have been completely hilarious, challenging and amazing amazing amazing experiences. We open our summer show next week and the buzz is starting to come to a crescendo. With that in mind, come and see Singin’ In The Rain next week, Thursday to Saturday and see me get spun upside down a few times (something I never thought I’d be able to do when we started).
AND WE ONLY WENT AND STARTED A TOUCH TEAM! While sports (playing them, at least) have never really been my thing, a fact mostly owed to my complete hand-eye coordination deficiency, I always loved playing touch rugby in Singapore. While my flatmates needed some pretty incessant convincing that it is, in fact, a real sport, I managed to entice (with the promise of chocolate) enough girls to make up the numbers for a team. A day after our formation, we entered into the qualifying tournament for the Varsity against Durham, with only myself having played before. 5 weeks later, after a lot of dropped balls and freezing cold rainy training sessions, we made it up to Durham to compete in the Varsity, where a 5-0 loss felt like the biggest and most impressive achievement we could have come away with. The girls were and are absolute heroes and I hope we get to watch the sport grow over the next few years. Big shoutouts to the equally heroic boys who gracefully fulfilled their roles as managers and waterboys.
All in all, this year has been completely beyond what I expected it to be. I got stupidly lucky with my flatmates and managed to find some amazing friends elsewhere as well. The saga continues next year with my house of 9 people- which promises even more fun and crazy stories that probably won’t get retold around the family dinner table. Lot’s of love York x