Facts Everyone Has To Learn at University

As Observed by a First Year Classicist at UCL


- You will have to come to terms with the fact that there is only one Dave (our caretaker). Some of my favourite people on campus are porters, but none compare.  


- You will try to recreate school lunches. You will not succeed. You will instead revisit the extranet and spend a lonely hour drooling over the menu for that week. (Nb. Instant noodles are not a substitute for Theatre stir fry, no matter how much pineapple you add) 


- You will catch freshers flu. In fact, you will have a constant sore throat/blocked nose until mid-November, no matter how much Berocca and Lemsip you down on a daily basis.  


- You will realise that there is no longer a school nurse with a limitless supply of lozenges and Ribena. Lecturers have little sympathy for illness and you will be forced to sit through a 2 hour lecture no matter how close to passing out you may be.  


- If you study in London, you will run out of money. You will be forced to get a job, which you may actually enjoy!


- You will sign up to everything at freshers fair.  You will attend maybe 3% of the societies you pledge your allegiance to.  


- You will have to learn how to do your own washing. You will inadvertently turn your favourite top a fetching shade of 'slightly pink'.  


- You will think you miss home. You will go home. You will realise you miss uni more. You will vow not to return to mum and dad until Christmas. You will cave in when you realise you haven't done any washing in two weeks and your only clean clothes are a onesie and a novelty jumper.  


- You will spend the first week wearing your nicest clothes and blowdrying your hair before lectures. This will not last. By week four pyjamas and gym kit will be standard uniform.  


- You will be in a class with boys. You will realise how lucky you were to be segregated from them at school. Their sense of humour will not have evolved beyond a year 8 sex-ed class.  


- You will realise that you are once again the bottom of the food chain: the optimistic student who signs up for every society and attempts to make friends with everyone you meet. You will have to ask older students for directions. You will ask people if it's ok to sit with them at lunch. You will buy every piece of Uni merchandise possible and proudly wear your hoodie on the bus.


- And finally, you will never get rid of Paulinas. You may think you've said your final goodbyes, but they will pop up everywhere, for better or for worse. No matter what, you will have one thing in common - once a paulina, always a paulina. 





Harriet Alway, Old Paulina