Harvey the Owl

I’m finally at university. I know, I never thought it would actually happen either.

It turns out my premature crying didn’t actually mean I was all cried out by the time I left. I still cried the night before when I said goodbye to my family after an excellent night with them. My sister and I also cried in Morrisons just before I arrived at my halls. I’d blame it on the restaurant food but I’m not one to shed tears over cheaply priced jacket potatoes.

I was delirious with nerves in the car but once I actually got to my halls I was so excited I fear I may have accidentally chivied my parents out of my halls.

I didn’t mean to. I was just so eager to chat to my new flatmates that I may have suggested they leave, like right away.

I felt so bad about it afterwards I sent my mum an apologetic text. She replied, “Don’t worry about it lovie xxx” which is probably code for “You’re getting three less Christmas presents this year.”

Fresher’s week has been as insane as predicted – if you’re home before four am every morning you’re doing something wrong. Judging by the bags under my eyes, I’m doing just fine.

What people fail to tell you before you go to Uni is, don’t worry about not having anyone to talk to when you get there. People follow you down the street to make friends with you. Which is both slightly creepy and highly flattering.

Another thing they don’t tell you is you cannot survive Freshers on alcoholic stimuli alone. Actual sleep is needed in order to function. This is something that hits you four days in when you’re absentmindedly putting your text books in the deep freeze so they’ll last longer, and then finding them three days later with the words “consume within a month” written on the cover.

So far, I’ve compiled six rules that will help you survive Freshers week.

1) Write down everyone’s name. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will want your mobile number. So add a little reminder to their contact name to confirm who everyone is. A text at three o’clock in the morning is far less concerning if  “Sarah with the Reindeer sweater” is on the caller ID.

2) Say hello to everyone you meet on campus. Even the cleaner. You never know when you’re going to need some Cif and scourers at half eleven on a Wednesday night.

3) Eat at least a loaf of bread before embarking on a night out. Vodka-induced hangovers are less prevalent if wheat is on your side.

4) Invest in a white shirt or steal one from your dad, boyfriend or bank manager. Dressing as a school girl/boy is a right of passage in any good University.

5) Go on a nosy rampage with your new flatmates to other peoples halls. It extends your friendship group, and if you’re in a quiet flat, you get invited to the flats where all the drunken singing is coming from. Bonus.

6) This one’s the easiest. Just smile. Not hungry-shark smiling, but “Hey come talk to me, I’m new” kind of smile. People won’t want to chat to you if you’re sat in a corner wearing an expression that could easily be compared to Jack Nicholson in “One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest”. So invest in some Colgate.

One thing I didn’t bargain for was how noisy it would be on campus in Fresher’s. Drunken rugby matches in the field under my window is becoming a regular occurence. I just hope Tom the Plonker will be okay for next Wedneday’s match. He fell in a ditch the last time.

There is also a distinctly chatty owl nesting in the tree outside my window. I found his hooting comforting and sweetly rural until my clock struck five am and I realised my university city was home to the only bird on earth that suffered from Tourette syndrome. I’ve named him Harvey for really no reason at all. It’s a cute name.

Aside from the general exhaustion and overly vocal wildlife, I really am having a great time. Which is a relief. I’d used up most of my Kleenex on the trip up.

Tomorrow’s my first week of lectures. Time for the real work to begin. Well at least my text books have thawed.

This is Harvey. You could ask him how his day’s been but you’ll never hear the end of it.

Images courtesy of Google


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