10 weeks ago my final year of university came to an end. And, I know everyone says this but they say it for a reason, it has flown by. It genuinely doesn’t seem that long ago that I was fretting over moving 3 and a half hours away from home to live by the sea and start my journalism degree.
Now that I
by some miracle have the degree, it’s time to confess some of the embarrassing things I did in my first year at university – in hope that you future freshers can avoid making the same mistakes I did, and anyone else reading can just be glad they aren’t me…
1.The sleepless nights
In the first two weeks of my first year of university, I couldn’t sleep properly – I was getting 2 or 3 hours sleep some nights and I just couldn’t work out why. I rang my mum and sister a few times to check in with them, and they put it down to unfamiliar surroundings.
But as the days went on, I soon realised I hadn’t slept properly for 2 weeks. One afternoon I was on the phone to my sister, telling her everything I had been doing, and it suddenly dawned on me… I had been to a few bars and fresher events with my new flatmates a few times, and as I don’t really drink (or enjoy partying, to be honest) every time they went and got a drink I would order a Red Bull – thinking of it as a soft drink alternative to alcohol… not for the caffeine-packed energy drink that is it. Note to self: Red Bull is an energy drink.
2. If you wear shellac nail varnish – you need to buy shellac remover
Once you go shellac, you never go back. The first time I had shellac on my nails, I fell in love. I loved how shiny they look, how sturdy they feel, and how long the last. I also love that you don’t have to wait for them to dry! My mum and I got shellac on our nails when she came to visit me in October half term.
About 3 weeks later they were starting to look quite bad – my nails grow really fast so the gap looked pretty bad. One evening I decided I needed to take the shellac off before university the next morning. I hadn’t got any shellac remover, or even just nail varnish remover, so I started peeling chunks of it off. However, for some reason, it wasn’t peeling very well at all.
After about 20 minutes there was nothing left that I could peel, and about half way up my nails were still covered in shellac… they looked awful. I thought, there is no way I can go in public with ghastly nails like this. So I went into the kitchen and got a vegetable peeler. (Warning: do not try this at home). That’s right, the tool you peel a carrot with. I thought to myself, this is such a clever idea, I’ll literally peel the rest of the shellac off in no time. And I was right, the shellac came off so easily with the vegetable peeler! I was abe to get every little bit off, and it really didn’t take much time at all.
It wasn’t until the next morning, when I woke up with incredibly sore fingers, that I had in fact peeled off a good amount of nail along with the shellac.
3. That moment in the laundry room
The washing facilities in my halls were just one laundry room with 5 washing machines and 5 tumble dryers for a building with 107 flats (with 5 people in each flat) so as you can imagine, no matter what time you went in there it was always pretty busy with people waiting for a free machine to use. Annoyingly, the machines never showed an accurate time on them either – so what should have been a 60-minute cycle would often end up taking 90 minutes. Since I lived on the top floor.
I used Saturday mornings as my lazy time around the flat, in my trackies and cleaning my room and the kitchen (I know, you’re very jealous of my thrilling life…) so I tended to put a wash on at 8am when everyone else was in bed from their Friday night out – either asleep or nursing a hangover. So this particular Saturday I ran out of fabric softener and literally had a pinch of washing powder left. I decided to do a wash anyway since I wasn’t in a state to leave the flat. 90 minutes later, I was cleaning my room when the timer on my phone went off. So I grabbed my washing basket and headed for the stairs (going up and down 10 flights of stairs was the only exercise I really did in my first year of university – because, yes, I was one of those people that fully intended to join a sport society at university but when I went to the freshers fair I realised that everybody in the sports societies are already professionals and being the only amateur on the team, if I even made the team, wouldn’t actually be fun at all).
I headed for the laundry room and saw a queue out of the door. What? Why were so many people awake? Most of them did look hungover, but still, it was very unusual. I walked past the glares in the queue, into the crowded room, and over to my washing machine which had finished its cycle (for how long I’m not entirely sure, judging by the looks I’m guessing a while, but living on the top floor makes it very impractical to be yoyoing up and down the building every 5 minutes). So, feeling very embarrassed, I quickly put all my washing into my basket and shuffled out the room. As I approached the queue, all eyes on me, I hear a voice call after me. “Erm, you left your knickers.” I turn around to find a very tall, very attractive (even worse) complete stranger holding my damp granny pants. With a very red face, I said thank you and grabbed the pants.
I didn’t have enough credit on my laundry card to do a tumble dry either (and I wasn’t going back into that room anytime soon) so I just hung the laundry on a clothes airer. When they had finished drying, somewhere between the lack of fabric softener and the little washing powder had meant that my washing was all… Stiff.
So this is what one of my socks that I didn’t wash looked like.
And this is what one of the socks from this wash looked like.
4. This little light of mine…
Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love candles. I don’t really drink, I haven’t got any tattoos, I’ve never smoked or done drugs (or had fun, some might say), having nice candles are one of my little luxuries in life (very sad, I know). Anyway, being on the 10th floor of a building meant my room often got very hot and stuffy but I did not let that get in the way of my candle burning hobby, oh no. I tended to open the window whenever I lit a candle in my room. On this occasion, I went into the kitchen to get a drink and ended up chatting to my flatmate and… You guessed it… Left my candle unattended for about half an hour. I came back to my room to see this…
Because I had left the window open it had caused the candle to melt on one side and drip down the side of the bedside table onto the carpet. I did what any sane person would do – blew out the candle, waited for it to harden and went at it with a kitchen knife. But that didn’t do it much good. It wasn’t until my mum visited the following weekend that I realised you’re supposed to put greaseproof paper over it and iron it!
5. The Slug and Lettuce
Whilst I was shopping one afternoon in Asda, I picked up an iceberg lettuce. I generally buy a bag of mixed leaf lettuce when I do a food shop, but I realised how much cheaper the full iceberg lettuce was. When I got back to my flat, I washed the lettuce, ripped off a few leaves and placed them on my plate. It wasn’t until I had pretty much finished my meal that I noticed this little fella crawling around on my plate…
Being 10 floors up, I decided it was far too much effort to go all the way downstairs to set the wriggler free, and far too cruel to put him in the bin, so I opted for the window. The safety catches on the window made it very hard to flick the slug off the cucumber. With my had in a very tiny gap, trying to hold on to the cucumber (for what reason I’m unsure because I definitely wasn’t going to eat it), the slug ended up on the other side of the window. I guess I’ll never know if he ever made it down to the ground safely… I do hope a member of PETA isn’t reading this!
6. WARNING: I attempted a DIY beauty product
Like most students, I felt particularly poor in my first year of university. I tried to save my student loan for necessities – food, toiletries,
candles, and train journies home. However, sometimes a girl just needs a bit of a pamper! So I decided to try a DIY body scrub which I found on Pinterest.
It was labelled ‘DIY body scrub using ingredients you already have in your kitchen’. So after following the link, it turned out the ingredients for this DIY body scrub were just oats, coffee granules, and honey. And guess what, I had all those ingredients in the kitchen! So I got a bowl and added the ingredients to the bowl.
I start having my shower, and then turned off the water whilst I scooped the mixture onto my body and started scrubbing. I actually had quite a lot of the mixture, so I pretty much covered my whole body.
When I turned the shower back on to wash it all off, I realised that the drain was blocked and the water was up to my ankles. It didn’t take long for (half oat-coffee-honey-covered and completely naked) me to realise I had possibly used far too many oats, and along with the water and honey they had probably expanded and clogged the drain. So after taking off the rest of the mixture with a flannel in the sink, and shoving my pyjamas on, I had the embarrassment of going downstairs to tell the reception that my shower was blocked… and, of course, he asked what happened.