After weeks of hard revision/procrastinating by watching ‘Come Dine With Me’ repeats, I had finished my first exam of the year. With the prospect of a ten-day gap until my next one in front of me, I decided to give myself the rest of the day off to relax, have a bath, watch a (non-intellectual) film and generally chill out until my next excursion to the library. My plans for a sensibly relaxing evening were instantly shattered by a text inviting me to my friend’s end of exams house party. Normally I can’t think of anything worse than going completely alone to a party where you only know one person, but it was difficult to say no to one involving a hot tub and copious amounts of vodka jelly. So that evening, I bit the bullet and decided to go it alone, with the hopes of a few drinks in a hot tub and meeting some nice new people at the same time.

Exam time is tough, and all of us students are feeling the weight of it right now. For me, I feel this weight strongly around my waist band… This comes from the result of stress eating, procrastination eating, nervous eating, boredom eating, study snacks, ‘brain food’ (always a good excuse), and sometimes mindless eating. This is where I get to the sad point of not realising I’m eating until I find my hand in an empty skittles bag wondering whether they have actually evaporated into a rainbow because I sure as hell don’t remember munching an entire ‘extra-large-great-for-sharing’ sized pack of them in the last half hour!

 

“I’ll just write this bit, then I can check Facebook. Oh look a notification. A link to a YouTube video. Seven recommended ones I click on are cool. As are the chat conversations and status threads I join. As are the picture galleries I browse through. What was I supposed to be writing about?”

Is the above you? If so, that means you’re a student. Don’t panic, there’s quite a few of us. Or maybe that is a reason to panic. Either way, if you’re as useless at revision as I am – I am going to assume that you are, in fact, here reading this as a rather ironic form of procrastination – then I am here to help.

 

So we’ve all heard the horror stories. The young girl meets up with the cute boy she’s been talking to on Myspace, and he turns out to be a 60-year-old man. The teenager starts dating the lad she met online, only to find he’s already got a string of girlfriends (and is actually a girl in disguise… weird). The college boy is wowed by the blonde bombshell that’s showing an interest on Facebook, and then discovers his love interest is actually an overweight, middle-aged mother of two. The media regularly makes us aware of the dangerous consequences of internet dating, with people being abused, imprisoned, and sometimes murdered. The obvious problem is that you have no clue who is actually on the other side of the screen. People can say whatever they want, and be whoever they want, and you’re none the wiser. Often internet dating can be damaging; people are misled and exploited, left confused and humiliated with bruised egos and broken hearts. But let’s not focus too much on the serious side of it; the TV and newspapers manage it sufficiently.

 

If someone asks you what you’re doing tonight and you tell them you’re ‘going for cocktails’, It’s more than likely you’ll be met with a resounding ‘Lar de dar!’. They’ll usually think Sex and The City, Made in Chelsea, ladies who lunch, that sort of crowd. Definitely not the hard-done-to student crowd. A lot of students seldom indulge in a cocktail night, and with Leeds’ behemoth night-life scene, it’s easy for the smaller, stylish bars to go unnoticed, getting lost in the crowd of nightclub giants such as Mission, Revolution or Chilli Whites.

I’ve always been one of the few cocktail-lovers in my group of friends, so I rarely have the opportunity to knock back a Mojito or two with them (and let’s face it, I’m not going to go for cocktails by myself). Though when I do go, I love it. The atmosphere, being able to actually have a conversation with friends, not having to worry about undesirables slithering towards you from the dark, sticky-floored corners of the club. Overall, a more enjoyable, social evening. Obviously, as any university student should, I do still frequent the big clubs, a lot. I mean who can say no to 75p drinks at Mezz? But I find going for a few quiet (or not so quiet as the case may sometimes be) cocktails with friends can be a much needed respite from the club scene.

 

On a dimly lit dancefloor where the flashing lights don’t fall on one person for more than a second or two, I’ve been finding it tricky to find myself a man. My biggest problem isn’t seeing through the obligatory fancy dress of student nights, to see if the guy behind the badly put together pirate outfit is in fact like Jack Sparrow or more like Captain Pugwash. It’s not that I’m like the Kate Middleton of Hull University waiting for a Prince to whisk me off to Kensington Palace. I realise that the odds of this happening are pretty low in a place some people consider as ‘the second worst place to live in Britain.’  

 

student (n)

a person who is studying at a

university or other place of

higher education

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a student is someone who studies. It’s kind of obvious. It’s the title we all adopt when we move to university, furthering our education and broadening our horizons, all the while excited by the fact that we can now introduce yourselves as ‘students’. But now, with grateful thanks to the wayward individuals of Student’s Past, it’s no longer just a simple title. It’s a valid excuse.

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