Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Fourteen things I learnt at university (circa 7 years ago)

Me at Uni - going through what I can only describe as my dressing like a knob stage.
Me at Uni – going through what I can only describe as my dressing like a knob stage.

I realized this week that I am closing in on 8 years since I left university. Not a massive milestone but one that was highlighted to me on my friend Neal’s stag weekend. As we were stood there in the rain, vomit coating the bottom of our trousers, me drenched and shitfaced laughing at the sky and a hangover starting to kick in I realized that half of me missed it and the other half was glad I now tend to go home before it comes to this.  Either way it was a good night and it got me thinking about a few of the things I learnt in those now-romanticized days.

  1. Those who buy quilted toilet roll will be the favorite person in the flat. I’m going to be honest. I was the prick who always bought tesco value paper – they type that had sharp edges and required half a roll to maintain a good barrier between the anal exit and the hand. The person who buys nice toilet roll is always appreciated – however they tend not to warm to you using it all for halloween..
  2. Look around you at the end of your first semester… What you can’t see are an awful lot of people with STDs. I was luckily sufficiently appalling with women to avoid this problem but from stories I’ve heard anecdotal everyone was crawling with disease. To think, they’ve probably all got kids now.
  3. The lecturers you dislike in your first lecture will turn out to be sound. Freshers are the most naive people. Fresh with dreams and ideals they need beating down until they are cynical, bitter, unbelieving robots, ready to enter working life. That’s the role of the first lecture – reality. Soon you understand it was all for your own good.
  4. Anyone who says “I don’t hold it against you” does. Every time. And they will continue to hold it against you for year after year.
  5. Anyone who says “I don’t mean to be harsh” are about to be harsh. This is shorthand for “I think you’re a bellend but I don’t want to seem like a bellend, so I’m going to use this word garnish to hide the fact but actually we both know you are and that’s why I’ve added it and it tastes bitter, like parsley.”
  6. The girls you had mad crushes on will marry older men with BMWs. Admittedly this happened once and was actually for the best.
  7. Sex will always be on the cards when you’re wearing your “in reserve” underwear. I had some green boxers which were awful holey, tasteless and grim. The white edges had faded to grey. They were filled with melancholy. They live at the bottom of the drawer for emergencies only. Everytime I wore them sexy time would be a possibility – everytime that happened I’d realise I was wearing them and the possibility would evaporate.
  8. Very few people actually know the person who is described in the “horror stories”. Seriously, everyone has a story about someone who did some mad stuff, jumped in a lake naked with their penis in a frozen chicken who nearly died and got frostbite on their nob that required surgery. Everyone has the story but noones ever met them. Apart from the friends of Geordie Steve.
  9. Everyone has a story of someone getting impaled. Again, everyone knows someone who while shitfaced and incoherent have decided to climb over a) barbed wire, b) spiked fences, c) both and have come to a sticky end. Which begs the question why do universities insist on them to defend what turns out to be usually either flowerbeds or the quickest route from the student union to halls.
  10. Cheesy chips are the solution to everything. Every shit night could be revived by a portion of cheesy chips. Mostly because I was starving from eating noodles constantly – see #14.
  11. Girls always look better in summer. Actually everyone does. Which makes the summer break a tragedy. Why take time off in the summer. In the summer everyone radiates happiness, beauty and joy. Yes that is the moment where students are forced to return home and re-enter their pre-uni personality where they were still the 12 year old at school who forgot his PE kit and had to wear suspiciously brown kit from the lost & found box.
  12. Motivated dreamers are few and far between. If you find someone at university who has dreams and is willing to work hard to achieve them then keep them close. Everyone else will be working shifts in McDonalds in 2 years and recruitment after that.
  13. Noodles are not a “core food group”, nor can they be enhanced with gravy, tomato sauce, brown sauce or an array of herbs. Not if they cost 14p a pack. I lived on noodles for 2 years. Now I can’t face them. The fact is that 14p noodles always taste like 14p noodles. They have zero nutritional value and are practical indigestible. Even if they allow you to drink like a trooper from the money saved – you’ll be seeing them at 2am with your head down the toilet. They’ll look exactly the same.
  14. Dancing is not a valid form of flirting. I know. I tried. They laughed.






One response to “Fourteen things I learnt at university (circa 7 years ago)”

  1. Julie Hills Avatar
    Julie Hills

    I love the grim, tasteless boxers filled with melancholy. I’ll take them away with me in my mind, Sam, and consider them whenever I feel I may prematurely eject my own vintage (but not in a good way) undergarments. I will bless you for allowing me the strength to obtain a further 5-10 years from them. Hugs and cake x