The Cynics' A-Z of University (Part 2) Featured

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Welcome back boys and girls, to our Cynics' A-Z of University. We’ll pick up where we left off shall we?  


M is for Money

Whether you’re Budgety Mac Budgison or Overdraft Von Loansalot, money at University - just like in the real world - makes the world go round. Prioritizing aspects of your weekly budget can be useful. For example, buying a nice new winter coat made from the tears of an Egyptian crocodile: good; buying a Segway because you’ve just discovered your student loan has just come in: bad.


N is for Nightlife

Nightlife plays a fundamental role in the life of a University student. Novelty nights are particularly popular. Or as I like to think of them, excuses for people to run around naked or dress like they're auditioning for Playboy. As companies realize there’s a large profit margin for people who just want to get drunk and spend all their money, an assortment of nights cater to all tastes and genres. From head-nodding house music, to offensive gangster rap, the variety of night life available proves that people from all music faiths can live in tolerance, peace and harmony.


P is for Procrastination

As you’re paying £9,000 a year, it makes sense to spend the majority of your time seeing how many baked beans you can fit in your mouth in one go, or guessing how much it takes NASA to send one man into space (the correct answer is £15 million). Other avenues for procrastination can be found on 4OD, BBC iPlayer, PornHub and Glad I could be of assistance.


O is for Occupation

As you will constantly be reminded over the next three years, university is all about getting you ready for the big wide world. As you will also be constantly reminded, if you take any subject that involves creativity and imagination, a degree isn’t going to be enough. Unless you’ve got some pretty sweet family connections, you’ll probably have to do some form of soul-less work experience - which is why you should do it in your summer holidays as opposed to on leaving university, where you no longer have a student loan or an interest-free over-draft.


Q is for Quitting

University life isn’t for everyone. The workload, or even the idea that you must be having fun every single moment of the night and day, otherwise you’re just not a very good human being and deserve to be shot. But always have a plan; whether it’s goat herding in Guatemala, or going to work for the Inland Revenue.


R is for Rest

Being a student, as we all know, is a rather difficult existence. You must juggle your three days a week at university, your fantastic social life, and be able to cook a variety of pasta slops seven days a week. After a days hard toil, we all deserve a rest and a pat on the back whilst we congratulate ourselves, saying ‘Well done me. Good job today'. 


S is for Sex

As we previously established, sex is a corner stone of university. If you’re paying all that money, you want to make sure that you’re getting something in return - besides a degree, of course. Whether it’s sex with the person you love, or just some random person you met on the street that you’re using to feel better about yourself, always remember to use contraception and to bring nice comfy shoes for the walk home. Maybe even a can of deodorant to get rid of the smell of shame!


T is for Tabaco

It’s a dirty, filthy, expensive habit, and yet one I so thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy. Taking up smoking at university does appear to be quite attractive. When the song you dislike comes on in the club, you can take refuge in the smoking area. When you’re looking for an excuse to take a library break, dear old mister nicotine is there to support you. Plus you’ll look really cool and therefore everybody will want to be your friend. On the downside, you’ll spend about a month’s worth of rent paying for your addiction: everybody whose too cheap to buy cigarettes will steal them from you, and you might die as a result. So, swings and roundabouts really.


U is for Union

Like all things student related, your Unions tend to vary depending on which university you attend. If you attend Sheffield or Leeds, you’re in luck, as 80% per cent students rate the Union at ‘Good’. However, at Oxford, whilst you might receive the finest education in the land, the SU isn’t on par with only 39% rating it as satisfactory. If your Student Union isn’t going to make it into the Guinness Book of Records, don’t panic, it’s just like being in a relationship with somebody you never really cared about - you won’t miss it that much.


V is Very Important People

Or as they will be known on campus – A Big Name On Campus; or, BNOC to us mere mortals. As supreme King or Queens of The Entire Universe, BNOC’S come in all different shapes and sizes. They can, therefore, be more difficult to detect on appearance - but can normally be distinguished by an over inflated ego and an undeserved scent of self-importance. Avoid at all costs and if absolutely necessary, approach with caution.


W is for Work

This one, is kind of an important one, as it is supposed to be the reason you transported your life to another part of the country, left all your old friends behind, and are now living in property that may or may not give you rabies. Work may seem a little daunting.You’ll have to read books and articles that use words that make you want to curl up into the fetal position and cry, but stick at it and you’ll be using the words transmorphical oquinax in no time!


X is for Xenophobia

University is the place where the full class spectrum come together and judge each other. And justly so. It’s called xenophobia. Good luck and may the ends be ever in your favour. 


Y is for Generation Y

That us! Well, anybody born between 1983-1999! We’re known for our love of the Internet, consumer goods and superficiality. Yep, that sounds about right! Apparently it’s our generation that’s going to change the world. See, being £27,000 in debt is going to be worth after all.


Z is for Zombie

You know when you go out and drink a bottle of Smirnoff, a pitcher of Pimms, several shots of Jaeger, a pint or six with lashings of rum, and then wake up the next morning feeling like your brain is going to fall out of your head and wild dogs are ravaging your body... Yeah. That.


Well there we have it. An alphabetical and cynical guide to university. I hope I have systemically lowered all your expectations and shattered your dreams in the process. Have fun! 

Joanna Bateson-Hill

Originating from Brixton, London, I study Theatre and Performance at University of Leeds. I love everything to do with film, theatre and most of all writing, with the occasional bit of swimming thrown in for good measure. I hope to write articles that make people laugh but also make them think. To me, writing is a fun, cheap and healthier form of therapy. I hope that people have as much fun reading my articles as I do writing them, which is a lot.


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