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The first year at university is something that no one will ever forget – it will always hold a special place in my heart (although perhaps my liver doesn’t feel the same way from the countless clubbing nights). Despite being terrified to move to Lancaster, it quickly became apparent that it was the best decision that I’d ever made, even if I did have to lug an arm-straining bag of laundry down the north spine every week (because Bowland refuses to have a laundrette for some reason).
So, I’m here to reminisce about everything that made first year what it was for me, and everything that I loved most about it
- Friday Nights
I feel like this one is common knowledge. RIP being a fresher in Sugarhouse, Generation, and Glow. What a time to be alive! We hold shrines for you in the form of endless images on our camera rolls, memories captured in snapshots that we’ll treasure forever. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve gone through that huge block of night out photos – the strike weeks were particularly heavy on the partying (just because the lecturers had a week off, didn’t mean that nightclub staff did).
Firstly, there were the pre-drinks. If you didn’t get smashed on a game of Piccolo or Ring of Fire, were you really doing first year right? I always took great pleasure in pre-drinking in our flat kitchen – it was always funny to witness fellow mates climbing out of the window onto the balcony and then struggling to get back in. And panicking as you sprinted like a pack of wolves for the last bus to town. I’m impressed that I never actually tripped up during one of these late-night runs, shoes slapping against the concrete in a hope that we weren’t left behind… My refusal to wear painful high heels probably benefitted me on this one.
Then there was the actual bus ride. These varied frequently. Sometimes there were victory chants, sometimes there was music – sometimes I was sat on my best friend’s knee having an emotional heart-to-heart, just as we always managed to do in the girls’ bathrooms. Those bus rides to town were something else. You were part of a clan, each an individual particle of a drunken monster before being spat out onto Lancaster’s dark streets and into the club – I would’ve felt sorry for the bus driver if I’d have been in any state to do so!
2. My Accommodation
There’s something about waking up for a 9 AM at 8:50 AM, rolling out of bed, and still managing to make it to the lecture on time. The campus was convenient, there’s no doubt about it. Those pesky 9 AMs were really made more doable with the location, although I still managed to look like a zombie and always required a 2-hour nap after getting through them…
I’d say the biggest thing I miss about my accommodation though, is the people. I had two ‘families’ in my block of flats, so it was difficult to split apart in second year. Moving from one family to the other was always great, although I’m sure everyone I lived with is glad to see the back of that dodgy lift…
Another thing I say I took for granted was my flat’s warmth. It sounds silly, minor, and yet, very reasonable. Since living in town, having to deal with inefficient heating in a privately-owned flat was not something that I’d anticipated in first year. Those porters really are angels who sort out every fault you have – love them while it lasts!
3. The Little Things
The little things matter. Trips to Sultans. Midnight chats in the kitchen (at least one flat member was a night owl, let’s be honest). Watching Love Island as a flat and judging every girl and guy on screen. Seeing the ducks squabbling over Greggs’ leftovers. I even miss seeing the monster of a Greggs’ queue forever snaked down Alexander Square at lunch time.
You’ll never get a year quite like first year!