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March 5, 2013 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Guide to Surviving First Year Halls

It’s the first day:

So you’ve got your swipe card and your room key. You are nonchalantly holding the lanyard they are attached to, not
wanting to show too much enthusiasm by actually wearing it. Your mother tries to tell you which drawer to use for
your undies. You say something snarky because you’re an adult now and you’ll decide where your own undies will
damn well go. She tries to leave you there by yourself. Suddenly you become super interested in what she’s doing
for the rest of the day. Yes you’d love to go out for coffee with Aunt Mildred.

Next door you hear someone burst into tears. Across the hall a boy who resembles a small troll is having the undie
drawer fight with his mum. He sees you looking and smiles weakly. His mum waves to your mum with a pair of pink
Jockeys in her hand. Eventually the parents leave to visit the Aunt Mildreds of the world and all is silent. You poke
your head out of your room and look down the hallway. It’s a ghost town. You shut yourself in your room and quietly
begin to panic. You unpack your undies into the drawer your mum suggested.

It’s Wednesday of O-Week:

You wake up to blankness. The troll from across the hall appears to be lying underneath you in your single bed.
You spy the pink Jocks flung over the lid of your laptop. Your door opens. In walks your new best friend (previously
known as bursts-into-tears-in-the-room-next-to-you). She seems to be wearing the dress Aunt Mildred bought you
for your 18th birthday. “Oh my God you’ll never guess what happened last night, Sarah got brought home in an
ambulance after she vomited in the lifts at U-Stay, Brit lost her phone again and nobody has seen Ollie since Mon…
What is the Trollop doing in your bed?!”

It’s the Friday before Easter break:

Your whole floor is squished into the lift to get to dinner by five thirty. Fifth floor has beaten you to the front of the dinner line. Graham starts an abusive chant, which everyone joins in on. Jason drops his entire plate of food on the floor because he’s wasted already and everyone laughs. The dark-haired dinner lady glares on… she hates every single one of you and probably gave birth to Gollum. You don’t care. You are having the best time of your life, and have forgotten you ever had parents.

It’s the morning of kick out day in November:

You are lying on the common room floor cuddled up to a yellow bucket, a bottle of shower gel, and a still-drunk Graham. Your RA is saying something loud about being out by twelve, but she’s also chuckling to herself and prodding people with her foot. Half packed suitcases and empty beer cans are strewn down the hallway. Last night was the goodbye BYO. You stumble into your boyfriend’s room and find him packing away the last pair of bright pink underwear. His mum smiles at you.

To conclude:

You will survive halls. You will probably love halls. And just like in life, in halls you will make mistakes. I could tell you what not to do. I could tell you not to gorge yourself on all the free carbs, sleep with anyone on your floor, or vomit in front of anyone important. But that would be somewhat hypocritical of me.

And so instead I shall leave you with two pieces of advice:
Always wear jandals in the shower and never trust the mystery meat meal.


Caitlin Attenburrow


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