What NOT to do at University
What’s up, internet, it’s your boy Danny. I went outside last week— that’s not the interesting part—and guess what fell on my head? No, not the realization that my relatable jokes about not going outside might just be a thinly-veiled coping mechanism for a slowly-growing agoraphobia that’s taking over my life— this little guy! Look at you, you crispy rascal. SUMMER’S DEAD! Confirmed over! RIP! Hope you had fun while it lasted! It’s that time of year where you can practically feel the fear and dread in the air. Not talking about me on my birthday. Haha! I need to stop. CLASS IS ABOUT TO BEGIN AGAIN. Now, I’ve made videos before talking about my time in high school and experience with exams, but there is one period of my student life that I haven’t really opened up about yet: university. Or, wait, sorry, COLLEGE if you needed a ‘murican translation for that. As we all know about me, just like any hobby or interest that isn’t gaming or finding lewd art of whatever anime I’m watching at the time, I quit university after just one year, but in that one year, I feel like I pretty much got the which, in the UK, at least, is basically binge-drinking, eating kebabs at 5 a.m., living off Value tortilla chips, and amassing debt, so if not anything else in life, I at least feel qualified to talk about student life. Now, many of you guys recently have been asking me if I have any helpful advice for people about to go to uni, or if I could make a video about it. Advice? No. Terrible stories of things that happened to me that you could learn from or at least laugh at long enough to briefly forget your own suffering? Oh, yeah. So strap yourselves in, ’cause whether you’re not going to uni, going next week, in five years, or finished five years ago and have been repressing it ever since, I am about to open up for you. My first week at university was a fucking calamity. I am NOT making this up: in pretty much every way that I was tested, I failed miserably, but I guess you could say that I learned a lot, so I’ll sprinkle in some advice as we go. University is an opportunity to start fresh. If you don’t like your hometown, who you knew, who people knew you as, you can completely redefine yourself, so as someone who was a colossal loser who was only really ever punished for being themselves at school, I really thought I was just gonna turn up, click my fingers, and become that fantasy version of me I always knew I could be. Now, I was staying in a dorm—or halls, as we say—with seven other people in one apartment, sharing one bathroom… That’s… that’s rough. It looked like a Gulag, but a good tip is to leave your door open to your room because that says, “Hey, “metaphorically, my door is open. Why don’t you come in and talk to me, new friend?” Naturally, because I was just so socially anxious after my parents helped me move in, I locked the door, closed the curtains, and played Halo by myself for two days straight. So much for the new me, yeah? First tip: When I managed to finally poke my head out the door like some weird emo meerkat, one of my housemates suggested that we all go buy groceries together, which has to be the shittest group activity ever proposed by somebody. We walked for about an hour in completely awkward silence because we didn’t know each other, arrived at the shop, and then just split up to go buy stuff. Now, I knew how to put a pizza in the oven and open a can before I left home, so I figured I was fine, but as I was walking down the cavernous halls of this Asda, I had this epic moment where suddenly, I was confronted with the reality that I was alone for the first time in my life in a strange, new city with a bunch of people I’ve never met before in this new situation, and I had no idea how to live. No one taught me anything! Useless parents! I found myself in the cheese aisle, just staring into some Emmental, as if I could crawl inside one of those holes to hide from my responsibilities, and suddenly, I just burst into tears. So I did what anybody deeply craving reassurance and praise would do: call my grandma. Except I realized that on weekday nights, she was at her sudoku club and wouldn’t answer the phone, a metaphor for my life at that point in of itself. So I got my shit together so my reputation didn’t become the Weird Cheese Crying Guy, bought a bunch of food that I had no idea how to prepare, and walked home. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, come on, Dan. You don’t need to learn how to cook. There’s loads of simple stuff that is just obvious how to make.” I set fire to pasta because I didn’t know you had to put water in the pan with it, okay? Next tip: The next day, it was time for my first class, so naturally, I imagined in my head that I’d just slide into the lecture hall and bump into a perfectly diverse and zany Scooby gang of friends that I would just slot right into and bond with for life. Nope. When I walked in, I was so terrified by the hundreds of new people and the thought of having to introduce myself to any of them that I ran to the back right corner and sat by myself, which is where I was for the whole year. Try to meet people from your course before you go, even if it’s in a lame Facebook group or something. The lecture ended with the student president telling everybody to come to the society fair and to join a club of like-minded people that share your interests, so I thought, “Okay, yeah, You know what? This’ll make up for it. I’ll join a club.” I walked into the hall and instantly, the first person that interacted with me was the captain of the rowing club, which was a massive Scottish guy who grabbed my arm and said, “You’se a long lad, ain’tcha? We could use someone like you. Go on, get on the floor and have a go on that,” pointing at one of those rowing gym machines. Literally, someone touched me, then tried to peer pressure me into exercise. I didn’t even want to look at what else was going on there, so I pretended I had to answer an important call and noped the hell back to my room. In hindsight, I met people that were in loads of clubs, from law to LGBT to comic books, so there is literally one for everyone, and if you can, you should join one and go. Near the end of the week in class, we’d got set our first piece of work, which was just to research a topic, really, to discuss it in front of a seminar of people. I had no idea what that meant. I was terrified, so I went to the university library, and it had one of the most bizarre vibes I have ever experienced. Hundreds of students all silently reading, but it was like they were psychically communicating with each other, all eyeing each other up in a way that—honestly, I couldn’t tell if they were all threatening each other or flirting. I saw two people silently wrestle each other for the last copy of the book that I went there to check out, and then a girl winked at me and walked into the accessible toilets. So I thought, “You know what, fuck it, This is weird. Y’all are weird. Imma go home, download a PDF for this shit, and read it in bed.” I went to just one seminar the entire year. Honestly, if you’re confused about anything, just ask someone: a friend, someone in your course, a professor… It doesn’t matter if it’s a stupid question. Just don’t do nothing in awkward silence like I did. By this point in the week, I’d used my five pairs of underwear and socks that I’d packed for moving to a new city, ’cause I’m really intelligent, so it was time to go to the laundromat. Now, like cooking, it turns out doing laundry was something I’d never actually thought about in my life until that point. I knew how to use the washing machine in my family house, but a laundromat is a thing. It’s like a very specific, social thing with its own rules and etiquettes and big, scary laundry machines that are coin-operated and have all kinds of buttons and timers and weird crap. It was an hour wait to use one of the machines and then they took an hour to actually clean your clothes, and just when I got to the front of the line, some guy yanked open the one next to me, pulled out someone else’s clothes, and then put his laundry in the machine, using the time that he didn’t pay for. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, then some weirdo walked past the clothes pile on the floor, picked up a single sock, and walked away with it. If the thought of someone chucking your laundry on the floor when you’re not there isn’t bad enough, I don’t want to know what that other guy was planning to do with that sock, okay? He just had one of those faces, you know what I’m saying? Like, I’m not shaming… I’m just saying. So I was like, put all of my clothes in a suitcase, and got a taxi to the other side of the city, where Phil’s apartment was, and used his washing machine. For the whole year. Learn to use a laundromat, I guess, and stake your territory like a maternal grizzly bear. At the end of the week, I was harrowed physically and emotionally, but it wasn’t over yet, as the student union was throwing the an epic club night that ten thousand people go to, to get sweaty and projectile vomit on each other. I was well excited. I had actually managed to introduce myself to all of my housemates by that point, so we were all happily preparing for a… well-hydrated night on the town, as students do… Down it! Down it! Down it! apart from one guy. On the top floor of our apartment, we had an international student living with us. He was a Chinese guy whose name I didn’t know. I didn’t know what course he was on. In fact, he didn’t speak to anyone the whole first week. The only interaction I ever had with him was once at 4 a.m. when I got up in the night to get a glass of water. I walked into the kitchen and found him stood, only wearing a pair of very tight white Y-fronts, hacking at a chicken with a meat cleaver. And no, there isn’t gonna be a sketch cutaway for that one. Please, any of you try to top that for Most Traumatizing Moment of Direct Eye Contact. I don’t think you can. On the night of this party, however, while the rest of us were in the lounge making a fortress out of cans, he appeared like a mythical creature. Honestly, the rest of them didn’t actually know whether he really existed or not, but yet, here he was, so naturally, he got a big cheer and without any consent, he was dragged into our cave of debauchery. Now, my memory was slightly fuzzy that night, but something happened that I will never be able to erase from my mind. I’m not sure whether it’s the societal differences between here and China that was so exciting, or maybe it was just the strength of the Cheeky Vimtos that he had, but this guy completely lost control. As we were all getting ready to leave for this night out, he suddenly stripped completely naked in front of everyone, started… dancing… with the couch… if you see what I’m saying… threw up, and passed out face down on the floor. None of us had any idea how to react to this other than just swaying in stunned silence, but thankfully, a girl that was staying behind anyway volunteered to look after him. And when I woke up the next morning—okay, afternoon; it was like 5:00 p.m.— expecting to maybe have an awkward conversation in the kitchen, he had gone, as in, he had completely moved out and left, and to this day, none of us have any idea why. Like, did he just feel so much shame from what happened that he just ran away without telling anyone? Or maybe he was just a figment of our group imagination, representing the nerves that we all had and fear of getting to know each other, and then the moment we all came together and had fun, he simply ceased to exist. There’s not really a helpful moral from that bit of the story or lesson of any kind; I just really had to share that with you. I’m sorry. But yeah. When my grandma returned that fateful call that I left her so long ago and asked how my first week at university was… “Eventful” is what I said. Don’t let me scare you, okay. Naturally, I make everything a thousand times worse than it ever actually has to be; it’s like my superpower. But if you just learn to survive, don’t be scared to ask for help, try to be social even if it’s hard, and generally be nice you will easily scrape by and get that qualification that you’ll never use. In all seriousness, you know I didn’t end up liking the law course that I chose, but everything else about being a student was awesome. It was one of the most fun years that I ever had and honestly, I wish I could have had more of it, so if you’re going to university, look forward to it. And hey, if you’re not going to university for whatever reason, phew! Fuck all that, right? Please, if you have any advice or stories for people going to college or university, leave them in the comments down below. I do very much enjoy reading those. And if you want more content—or, should I say, confessions—from the life of a steadily declining British guy, please, subscribe to my channel. Or instead, if you just want some light-hearted banter, check out the gaming channel that I got with Phil for some much more frequent, distracting content, and I will see you next time… if you survive the first week, that is. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!