Second Year Sobriety

Something strange has happened to the rabid party animals I knew last year. They’ve all pulled out their intravenous rum-and-coke drips and are now in the process of becoming adults. It’s a dangerous disease: growing up, and the effects are irreversible. I’ve recently observed many harrowing symptoms since starting my second year…

The first thing I’ve noticed is that people who were previously into drugs and dossing about now get excited about tea towels and cushions. Making a casserole together and eating it at the dinner table (what, no more skulking off to your room to eat a bowl of Supernoodles alone?) has become the thing to do. Now, if you can’t cook, people don’t just laugh at you, or offer you food. They roll their eyes behind your back and secretly view you as some kind of ignorant pauper.

Put students in a house, and they take to it like a duck to water, it seems. The horrors of halls are long forgotten. Piles of slimy plates and stolen traffic cones are replaced with ‘funky’ washing up scourers and ash trays…which actually get used! Sophisticated home entertainment systems appear out of nowhere, brought forth by lads who clearly have their priorities right. And that’s only half sarcastic – once a house has inhabitants who regularly huddle together for hours in front of a box of moving pictures, it actually starts to feel like a home.

Clubbing patterns change. Pre-drinking is no longer a desperate race to inebriation. Girls stop wearing heels and start wearing coats. And second years also become ceaseless nightclub snobs. Now they have bills to pay, only the best establishments will do – no more Halo for them. A night is only worth the money if it’s at a small, little known club, with music too alternative for little first years to understand.

And, most tellingly, students start getting jobs and serious gfs/bfs. If that’s not the first step on the ladder to adulthood, then what is? The race to marriage and kids begins with a boyfriend you cook for and sleep in a bed with every night, does it not?

So, is there anything wrong with the fact that by your second year, Uni starts to feel a bit more ‘slippers and soft furnishings’? I suppose that we all need to succumb to it at some point. You don’t get far in life without being somewhat responsible. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Rest assured that the beloved student stereotype, revered and reviled in equal measure, is actually alive and well. Isn’t it heartening to know that there are still second years willing to blow their weekly budget on alcohol, go out in public wearing pyjamas bottoms and live on frozen pizzas? Don’t be fooled by the veneer of respectability – second years are secretly just as scrubby as Freshers.

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