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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Editorial 1

I haven't posted for a while because I simply haven't had time. Below is the first version of my editorial. It was slightly edited before going to print, but I'm not exactly going to type out the finished version, so here's the original. Enjoy...

The debris of pizza boxes, old mattresses and the occasional sofa lying around the streets of Selly Oak means only one thing: the students are back in town. If you’re a fresher, it’s the fact that you haven’t slept for a week and now own a ripped t-shirt covered in obscene words in various colours of marker pen.

Either way, it’s that time of year again. The seemingly endless expanse of summer which stretched before us so appealingly four months ago has disappeared faster than you can say ‘One True Voice’.

Those of you who aren’t here for the first time will be settling quickly back into the routine of squelching to introductory lectures only to find you got up at eight (eight!) to be handed a ‘reading pack’, informed the lecture notes won’t be on Web CT this term and then told you can leave. Pound a pint at the Gunnies, Jeremy Kyle, Pizzaland and The Simpsons will rapidly be assuming their rightful positions in the not so much rich, but threadbare, tapestry that is student life.

But for those of you that are here for the first time, I thought the first edition of the year should perhaps hold some handy hints for life as a student.

Number one: explore. It’s all too easy to get trapped in the sticky-floored cages of Risa, Forbidden Fruit and The Works with no visible escape. There may be some of you that actually enjoy these places and actively choose to frequent them. For the sane amongst you, I urge you to set your sights above the muddy plains of Broad Street (labelled ‘the Sodom and Gomorrah of Birmingham’ by my 1st year History tutor) and strive towards a higher peak. This peak could be Snobs. It could be the Custard Factory. It could be The Jam House; it doesn’t matter. The point is that all these places are devoid of Sunblock and Bon Jovi and this is reason enough to love them. The fact that Bowie, Zeppelin and 2 Tone feature heavily is reason enough not to go anywhere else, ever. So if you’d like to have a night out without being reminded that we are, apparently, livin’ on a prayer and half-way there (if being there means killing yourself in frustration and despair), neither being told that some bespectacled Scottish guy would walk 1000 miles, then head away from Broad Street, preferably towards Digbeth.

Number two: get involved. Some of you may be idly flicking through Redbrick, thinking, “hmm, I should really sign up to one of those society things at some point this year”. Believe me, this point is never going to come of its own accord, if you’re like everyone else I know who’s got to the 2nd year and said “hmm, I should really have signed up to one of those society things last year”. University is the only chance you have to be part of such a huge variety of different activities, cheaply and conveniently, with so much time to spare. There’s even a fetish society. And a pirate society! If you can’t find something to suit you amongst the 160+ societies we have here, I’d like to meet you. Probably to check you have a pulse.

Number three: enjoy your course. Okay, so this may be harder for some of you than others, especially if you’re doing one of those mysterious science degrees I hear about from time to time. But don’t feel that you must spend your time pretending that you are still in college, huffing around complaining about every piece of work and lesson disrupting your social life. You chose to do this course and you (or your parents) are paying the equivalent of a small African country’s GDP for you to do it, so enjoy it and get the most out of it. You could even admit you find some of it interesting. It’s not school any more. No one cares whether you wear both straps of your rucksack or have a Sainsbury’s carrier bag instead of an FCUK one. Apart from the Lifestyle section, anyway.

Just don’t pass up opportunities, whether they are chances to meet people, join the paintball society or visit Cadbury World. And don’t mention your ‘A’ Level results, because everyone will hate you for it. Apart from that, my only advice is to have a lot of fun. Oh, and to watch this space…



  • Good editorial! I like it. You really encapsulated the idea of uni life which can be empathised with regardless of your place of study!

    By Blogger Jon, at 11:31 am  

  • Loved the bit about checking pulses. Reminded me of a bit in 'Monk' when a woman has just poisoned her husband and tells her lover, "He was already dead, he just didn't know it." It was, I think, meant to be funny, and a justification for the crime, but I found it quite a profound observation on how some people apparently do walk around as "living dead".

    By Blogger Cora, at 10:25 pm  

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