Going to university was a big move for me (as, indeed, it is for most). Suddenly tasks that 'mummy' would usually have done, became my responsibility overnight. From shopping and becoming bargain hunting students (mainly looking for cheap booze) to doing your own laundry (something I have not attempted yet - considering I burnt myself within 5 seconds of switching on the iron at home and I spent a good 10 minutes sat in front of my washing machine completely ignorant of what settings to use to make it work that's probably a wise move), you begin to look after yourself. Or at least attempt to.
Despite arriving with virtually everything under the sun, I somehow forgot to bring any food other than some cornflakes leading to genuine concerns from my flatmates as to my eating habits in the first few days. Luckily a female flatmate took pity on me cooking me a stir-fry not once, but twice. So much for looking after yourself, I was still being looked after by a (albeit different) woman! Indeed, before I'd even bought any food, our kitchen had been used by others not once but twice. The first was a perfectly innocent couple of guys from downstairs who only wanted to cook a lasagne because their oven wasn't working but were subjected to brilliant discussion centring on 10ft whale penis. We couldn't help but feel sorry for them as they nervously waited for their lasagne to cook and clearly felt quite uncomfortable in the process. The second occasion, however, was much weirder:
I was just arriving back from something when I was greeted by "Come here Raphael. Come and have a look at this". I figured I'd made a mess with my cornflakes or something as I was dragged to the kitchen. Upon entering, however, I discovered that a group of Chinese people had set up base in our kitchen, were using 3/4 of our stoves and had even brought their own rice steamer with them. None of them were from our kitchen and only one was even from our block. Looking back I shouldn't have compared it to Hitler's search for living space in the east but nonetheless my flatmates had all been driven out of our kitchen by hysterics and a complete ignorance over what to do about 7 random Chinese people just cooking in our kitchen for no apparent reason other than they felt like it. They then all sat down and started eating in our kitchen. I took the opportunity to join in and eat - it wasn't bad. All was forgiven.
Taking a couple of days to settle in; a visit from Mum and Dad the week after moving out and finally purchasing something to eat/drink other than cornflakes or tea, I settled down to began student life...
...Pretty much the same way I ended school life. I remain the annoying one seemingly not doing any work or, indeed, having any work to do and as I sit here looking at my comparatively empty timetable (to a science subject for example), I can't help but think I made the right decision picking an Arts Subject like PPE; I still wear what some would label ludicrous clothing, going out two nights in my PJs (and only on one of those did I get a free drink); I still offer everyone and anyone a random hug even if I do claim that most enjoy it and, indeed, a good hug is always beneficial; I've still been getting into "discussions" about the Israel-Palestine conflict and I'm still blogging!
Getting to know people is always a bit daunting and despite initial anti-socialness as I scampered off to Old Trafford, I quite quickly felt at home and indeed as if I had been lucky with my flatmates. We quickly labelled ourselves as a dysfunctional family and haven't really looked back. We are an odd but, I would say, wonderful mix.
Despite lectures starting 2 days into Freshers Week (actually two weeks here at Warwick), my determination to party remained strong - "Please drag me to stuff," I believe were my exact words. My reasoning? I bought a freshers passport and didn't want it to be a waste of money - I had expected this would receive the amazingly witty response "YOU JEW" forgetting I was no longer at Habs and casual racism might not be as acceptable. Whilst I have attended most Freshers Events, I still fail to see the attraction and often leave early for a game of pool gaining me a reputation as Arthur Vick's resident party animal (or not). Something about the incessant shoving, immense crowding, shit but loud music, the one guy who decides the middle of the dance floor is absolutely the right place to break wind and drunk people that doesn't endear me to them - of course, I will still attend the freshers events remaining. And moan about them.
Drinking is big part of Freshers week especially and whilst even I did cross the line from sober to tipsy on a few occasions, and even went a bit further than that, I discovered a wonderful pleasure in observing drunk people. I felt a bit like David Attenborough as I ate my yogurt perfectly sober and looked on, sometimes in shock, sometimes in amusement, at my block mates going about their business having just played Ring of Fire. Then it got a bit interesting.
For a moment I thought I was back at HABS as I suddenly heard, "You can't be racist if you have slept with a black guy". I'm sure there was a context to this that I missed as I finished of my yogurt but this was a line of argument that was actively pursued and, indeed, repeated. It culminated with the question, which remained unanswered, "What about if a black man rapes you? Because technically you've still slept with him so can you not be a racist?". It was something off a HABS playground and I did have a little snigger to myself as I realised we're this absurdly and casually racist completely sober! There was worse but I'm not sure I should reveal all here. I will admit to enjoying the drunken conversation even if I did get caught out tweeting about that comment.
Having spent a week and a half at university, I can certainly say I've enjoyed it. I've met some wonderful new people, had a lot of fun at freshers, got a free condom and actually done a little bit of work. Just a little bit mind. It's been a brilliant experience so far and as long as I have food in the kitchen or people who take enough pity on me to cook me something I am sure I will do just fine!