The first week of college was a chaotic conglomerate of confusion, nerves and awkwardness. On the first day, the buses regurgitated their student stomachs out onto the layby whilst teachers emerged from the burrows of the buildings to meet, greet and look neat. As hundreds of shoes shuffled into Strode, an inexplicable fog of fear descended, and us Freshers found ourselves grimacing at people, having lost the ability to smile normally and make simple introductions.Tutors used ice-breakers in vain attempts to melt an awkward Antarctic, whilst the task of telling everyone an ‘interesting fact’ about ourselves induced instant memory loss of everything before entering that room.
In secondary school, the word ‘lunchtime’, daringly uttered by teachers, sparked a riot of demented running, rumbling stomachs and ripping of hair as students stampeded down school corridors. On the first day, the word induced nothing but a ripple of panic through the room- for those separated from their school pals, lunchtime was a threatening thought of sitting alone in the refectory for longer than was subconsciously deemed normal. In a blind panic, students turned to the quivering wrecks beside them and tried to make small-talk. Scared eyes would stare back at you, the refectory would glare at you, beckoning with a baguette finger.
Lessons began once everyone had waddled into the right classrooms having visited every single one on campus, and the teacher had spent a full fifteen minutes pointing at various students and going ‘Urm…I know it. I do remember your name…’. There we sat, Pukka Pads at the ready, waiting for the teacher’s knowledge to enter our brains via the medium of telepathy, which, of course, didn’t happen.
But as the first week collapsed to a close, Freshers were no longer polluted with painful politeness and were slowly starting to settle in. We are now discovering why everyone likes Strode College so much, as well as discovering, with delight, new toilet blocks- will the excitement never cease?