20 July 2013

Confessions of a Fresher!

So, it's been some time since my first Freshers week at University College Birmingham toasted the beginning of my university experience. It was go! Since that crazy period of time life hasn't been the same, I suppose everything happens for a reason? Let's play the ring of fire and down that dirty pint because my first days of my university experience were madness!

The summer of 2010 had come to an end, signifying the beginning of my university journey. I was ready for the life changing step of moving away from home to explore Birmingham. I had no need to be apprehensive but fear is good for us and it was definitely for the best as things didn't start too badly! The drinking and mayhem would soon begin but I was finally ready to experience the unexpected, as for coming to terms with a personal revelation I wasn't so sure about! To the left is the Maltings, the halls of residence for students who attend University College Birmingham. The middle window on the first floor was my first room at the Maltings. 142 Davenport House showed me so much, a series of events that were truly blessed!

My friends Catherine Broad and Lucy Houghton also lived in Davenport House but in different flats, it's clear to see the all the cool kids have lived in Davenport House! Over the first three months of my first semester at University College Birmingham life changed for the better, spending time with my new uni friends showed me another way of life completely. Who knew that watching films crammed into one small room was the best thing? I know that watching S Club's Miami 7 show on YouTube doesn't sound like the most riveting thing to do but it will stand to be one of my lasting memories of my Fresher period! Oh the simple things! With many other faces that joined us on the way I'm thrilled to say that I'm still friends with Catherine and Lucy! You're my Birmingham stars!

Freshers 2010 faired to be absolutely immense, with our group together we embarked on the first chapter of our uni life! Beginning with a series of great nights out that lead to the Heroes and Villains Bar Crawl, a night that became extremely eventful indeed! My life had been turned upside down it was goodbye home and hello to the student life, I was enjoying the party so much but knew that the first few weeks were meant to be insane. Birmingham had become our playground, when the sun set we donned our best clothes and started to get crazy! Pre-drinking was our way to a cheap night out for us students don't have a lot of money to spend so its wise to get wasted before we've even got to the club. Learning how to hold my drink became so easy I was putting away a fair bit dancing juice on a night out, not so good for the hangover though! I just embraced each day and night for that first Fresher period. Let's go!

Bar One became our local during our first slice of student halls living, watching shows like the X-Factor on a Saturday night would be a regular occurrence as things started to inevitably slow down. It's human nature that not everyone can get on all the time but I have to say that the general Fresher period was such a fast paced experience it would have been only but a blur if there was any negative energy. From the very beginning and through all the pre-drinks the Freshers flu probably hit all of us, its no wonder people were feeling under the weather the amount of crazy things that were going on! It was all about being a good egg and seeing that drink off! At the end of the day we were only Freshers once for the rest of uni careers. The 'Ring of Fire' showed me a thing or two but I just couldn't get the hang of 'Fuzzy Duck!' It was all about being a good egg! Looking back I know that UCB chose me rather than me choosing it! I must be drunk? Anyway, I've still got more to recount.

University changes people's lives, I had something voices in my head that needed answering! Most of the Freshers events were centered around Broad Street so they were pretty mainstream, I knew what part of town I wanted to revisit once the sun had gone down! Dressed to kill we all ventured down to Birmingham's Gay Village for a night out with a difference! The Vengaboys we're back and were performing at Nightingales, a super-club located within the heart of Birmingham's Gay Village. A little bit of physical attraction mixed with an inevitable chemical reaction sealed what I had been thinking about for a while. The jigsaw puzzled had been completed and I knew what the deal was! See I wanted my Freshers experience to have a bit of variety! The Vengaboys threw back hits like 'Boom, Boom, Boom!' and 'We're Going To Ibiza!' From that moment I was welcomed on a fabulous journey! Party on all!

So, now in October our Freshers programme had concluded to the final night at the Custard Factory. There was no custard involved only a crazy night grooving to the sounds of Alex Zane and Jaguar Skills, we had therefore survived Freshers and the first few weeks of uni as we knew it. Like I had been to the Custard Factory! I had settled into uni life without even realising it, I went home once or twice but Birmingham called me back for more! For all was about to change as we would be reminded of the real reason why we had all moved to Birmingham to study. From the very first moment in BarOne to the time we called it a night at the Custard Factory I knew that my Freshers had been one amazing and crazy mess! Friendship had been made but would this setup truly last? I was having too much of a good time to care in that moment. On many levels it was the tonic that I needed! I was ready for the next chapter of my first semester at UCB! Can I rewind time back?

Classes had started, initiating the beginning of my academic life at University College Birmingham, I was ready to meet a whole set of new people from my classes. Even though the serious side of things had begun it would have been simply rude not to maintain a certain level of clubbing! Our weekly routine would begin with Oceana on Monday then followed by Sports Cafe on a Tuesday, resting on a Wednesday. Returning to the party on Thursday at Walkabout for that night always fared to be eventful, especially the Varsity night that we decided to randomly join the action. Fridays would be the icing on the cake as I would finish my cooking practical and get back to halls as quickly as possible to get ready for the night to start pre-drinking. Propaganda at the O2 Academy would be what I always hurried back for on a Friday evening, it was well worth the panic! Oh no, those double whisky's! I was living for those nights!

Halloween brought the flat parties of all flat parties, for our fancy dress alcohol fueled night was very eventful indeed! I say with no regrets I had a great time and knew that if things all ended with this party I would be happy for the whole process up to then was out of this world! Let's just say what happened at that Halloween party I look back with an accomplished state of mind. Our nights out were still pretty relentless but when lights came back on we just wanted a snack before bed, it was easier said than done for the door supervisors at one takeaway got a reality check! I'm very grateful for the time I spent during Freshers 2010 and for the friends that I made along the way, some of which remain close to this day but others have gone their separate ways. It was a lesson in life, teaching me that the simplest series of events can stay with me forever! How did I ever report for work at the weekend?! That retail department store never knew of my hungover state! I'm so done!

Be a Good Egg!

Joseph Harrison

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