It's Freshers' week - thousands of people wandering around looking nervous (most of them) and resplendent in new clothes, and often new haircuts and personalities, because the first week at university is one of the few opportunities in your life to shake off the past and reinvent yourself.
This isn't as common at The Hegemon as at other places - our intake is largely local students with their own social groups independent of their institution, and so there isn't a distinct student community as such, but it still goes on. Not in the bar, of course, as The Hegemon's Students' Union doesn't have one!
For me, it's an exciting week - meeting lots of new people, pretending to know their names and faking expertise in my field (and the minefield that is administration). It was so much easier when I had my own (at Bangor University) - turn up, meet strange new people, get drunk with them, avoid discussing A-level results, wander along the pier, marvel at the mountains, go to (not many) lectures according to list with no confusing choices, learn to cook (which in my case involved an endless diets of carrots and an alchemic substance called Sos-Mix). I soon found my way to the bookshop, the record shop, the fencing club and the Students' Union and that was that - plain sailing all the way. There were a very few people from my home town, and I restricted contact with parents to minimal and siblings to zero, which suited us all very well.
I must have done some work because I did well that year, but I don't recall ever sweating over the books, partly because reading books was already what I did for fun. My priorities were growing my hair and looking cool in my black DMs, black jeans, black shirt and black biker's jacket. I can't honestly say that I succeeded, but hey, you can't win them all.
After that, of course, you look down on Freshers as mere babes in arms. I don't recall anything about subsequent years other than manning various stalls recruiting fresh victims for the union paper, the fencing club, the political and union committees I was on etc. etc. etc. The full horror wears off. Once you've worked out that loud conversations about exam results are boring and that no, you aren't going to meet anybody who'll find you attractive, the charms rapidly wear off…
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