Roar writer Abdus Shaik on the types of people you will come across in Freshers week.
A long time ago, people actually experienced Freshers’ week in person! And being the lucky students you are, you will get to experience it as well this year. Considering the fact that none of us are prepared to face society again and the combination of different people with strange habits and different backgrounds again because we have all been locked up in our rooms with Netflix and Zoom calls for the last two years, here is a reminder of some of the stock characters you will meet at Freshers’ so you can be ready.
Let’s start with some of my favourites:
- The person who has a boyfriend/girlfriend back home: If they are locked up in their room all day face-timing someone, they probably have a boyfriend or girlfriend who has a football career and is part of some fancy club. Do not develop a crush on them.
- The person who got their boyfriend/girlfriend to come along with them…?: This inseparable couple will always have each other’s backs and you should not argue with either of them; it might be the last argument you get yourself into. But I do hope you enjoy the drama if (when) things fall apart.
- The Uni Mum: This person will make sure that everyone’s having fun AND is safe at the same time. They will have extra tampons in their bag just for you, tissues if you’re crying over your ex and they don’t mind holding back your hair if you have one too many VK’s. Keep this friend for life!
- The One Who Expects You to Be Their Best Friend the Moment they See You: I think that’s enough explanation but please don’t think that you have to be someone’s friend for life the moment you meet them at uni.
- The 17-year-old: “Omg you’re so young how are you at uni??”Yes, we do understand how hard it must be listening to have everyone acting like you are a prodigy but whilst we mere mortals might be impressed you came to uni early, the bouncers at your local pub won’t be.
- The Gap Yeh student: Did they end up going on a “gap yeh”? Oh, then I bet they enjoyed that trip to Thailand where they sailed on a cute canoe and chundered EVERYWHERE after.
- The Food Thief: Have you ever made a lot of pasta so that you could live off of it for the next week or so only to realise on day 5 that you’ve performed a slight miscalculation? No? Well, this might happen to you at uni and a very rational explanation is that the mysterious food thief in your flat, just happened to admire your cooking… a bit too much.
- The Messy One: Chicken soup all over the floor? Blobs of oil on the stove? Rusty pans and pots in the washbasin? And you happen to see your plate there too, even though you don’t remember using it? Here’s the food thiefs’ best friend! The messy one! At this point, I recommend buying a mini kitchen with your mini-fridge.
- The Guardian of the Kitchen: Messy dude or food thief or neither, everyone is afraid of this person (often they will double as the uni-mum). Your survival at uni depends on this person being happy. More than half of the sticky notes on the fridge in your kitchen will be by this person and almost all of them will be death threats warning anyone who dares stain their kitchen.
- The Teachers’ Pet: If you loved these guys at school, you’ll love them a lot more at uni! They’re probably an international student who will sit in the front row at every 9 AM with a trench coat on, while you’ve got a hoody on with baggy jeans and probably didn’t brush your teeth!
- The Mummy’s Boy: Who inevitably would also be the teachers’ pet because they promised his worried mother that they wouldn’t miss a lecture. I pity the poor sods who wake up at 6 AM to attend a 10 AM lecture. (Roar does not condone the missing of lectures that you are paying through the nose for, but Lecture Capture is a gift, use it!)
- The Freebie Fresher: “Free pens?? Where’d you get those from dude?? I don’t care if they don’t write or if that pizza is 5 days old! It’s free!!!” That will be all of you by the last Friday of Freshers’.
- The One Who Got Rid of Their Parents: The one who set their alarm at 8:51 AM for a 9 AM lecture and still manages to get there on time (or doesn’t if they love the absence of someone telling them what they should do with their life). This person takes absolute pride in missing their lectures and somehow ends up with a 2:1 when they graduate.
- The Cheater Repeater: If you need any advice, and I mean absolutely anything, be it relationship advice or finding the best spots at the Maughan, you must go to this person. This person has repeated the same year three times and knows all of the professors like they’re their flatmates! Always keep this contact in your back pocket, my friend!
- The Liver Damager: “Ohhh I am sO gOinG tO dAmAgE mY LiVeR tOnIgHt!” … Oh I thought you do that every night?
- The Second-Year (or Third-Year): Ever had a sibling who had their birthday a month before yours but ends up celebrating again on your birthday and blows out your candles because they’re annoying? You might end up finding people who are older than you only to realise that they actually had their Freshers’ week before. But they still end up asking that cute person out when you were building up the courage to do so. You might as well become this person a year later so you can misuse the fact that you’re older than everyone else!
- The One Who Went to Private School: I doubt they actually wear fedoras now but if they do, do send me a picture. This person has an extremely posh accent that would make you feel dumb, their beautiful blonde hair would blind you immediately. They’d pay for your drinks when you struggle to buy bread at Tesco’s. And they’d probably try and tell you how they’re somehow, in some shape or form, related to Churchill and how they enjoy playing polo with their fAther (the A isn’t a typo) in their private polo field with their cute ponies. It might take them 3 years for them to realise that they can stop being so snobby, but then again, I doubt they’d change much.
- The One Who Hangs Out With their Own Kind: Believe it or not, we all psychologically feel more comfortable around people who look and behave like us or are from the same background. And at uni, despite studying with people from all over the world, we end up hanging out with people who tend to look like us or come from the same background. Whilst that isn’t wrong, we shouldn’t get too used to it. The world is a big place and meeting people from different cultures is a blessing in itself and studying at a multi-cultural institution, we need to embrace and appreciate that.
- The One Who Takes Too Long in the Shower: They probably got too used to an en-suite at home. But hey! If you ever feel annoyed, you have the Thames to throw them into! (Please don’t actually do that)
- The Young Politician: A PPE student who loves talking about whatever they talk about.
- The Drug Dealer: If you ever come across this sod, then know that they’re probably selling crushed paracetamol to first years, whose parents won’t be proud of it.
- The Oxbridge Reject: The only thing that they absolutely want, is for you to tell them that you got rejected before being invited for an interview just so that they don’t have to feel so bad about themselves.
One could go on and on about the types of freshers you could meet but I would run out of time and space. Here’s to what will, hopefully, be an amazing freshers’ week and year, even if a large chunk of it is online.