Top Five Culture Shocks of a Durham Student: Freshers Edition.

1) Backpack, water bottle and Google Maps as a backup: walking to a lecture or a Duke of Edinburgh Gold?
Unless your passport says ‘Jessica-Ennis-Hill’, that hill is known as a ‘toughie’. Similar to doing laundry for the first time, it’s a struggle. Yet like a Roman Army march, it must be endured in the name of Missoula Wednesday, Klute Sunday or more importantly satisfying that Starbucks addiction- 25p off when you use a reusable cup…thank me later. Maybe we should petition for Bill Bryson Library to have a free Powerade stand?

2) ‘Ugh, then I chundered.’
I’m sorry but ‘to chunder’ is not a word. As a Northern girl, the biggest shock Freshers brought was the verb ‘to chunder’. Why do we say it? What happened to the classic ‘I was sick’, or ‘I threw up’? This has brought about a lot of unnecessary confusion, made even more complicated by some Southerners saying ‘I chunned’. I feel I need a dictionary just to decipher some conversations.

3) Hearing those words ‘Its Paul from Dominos’ is the equivalent of hearing ‘9am’ and ‘cancelled’ in the same sentence.
There is nothing that saves a long day like a Domino’s cookie and a Meteor pizza (if you know, you know). Possibly an investment meal, but what are student loans for? Obviously for late night pizza when reading and note making gets too much. In a ‘Ross and Rachel’ style domestic, turn to Dominos when you and your degree need a break- turned out alright in an American sitcom so surely it will be the same for us?

4) Ensuite Room AND Catered Accommodation? Take up residence at the Palace.
I’m lucky enough to be one of these people, and I take my hat off to any self-catered Butler student yet to realise Tesco will come to you. I’m equally sorry to any shared bathroom student to whom I’ve asked ‘so, have you had arguments yet?’ or to any self- catered student who has faced the ‘so have you ran out of things to cook?’ Its just a different world to me since I genuinely struggle swiping my campus card, I admire you all.

5) Setting an alarm for a 13-minute nap? Fundamental.
What happened to us here? Rewind a year ago, my lightest day was two hours in college and I was still full of the joys of spring by 10 am when I was ‘free’ for the day. (‘Frees’ or ‘study periods’ will the debate ever end?) My mind has turned to that poor bed I’ve abandoned and frankly, to not make use of it during the day is plain neglect. To anyone who doesn’t take a 13 minute lie down: I’m not angry, I’m disappointed.

To sum up: University is somehow a different world with its own necessities that we absolutely need for survival. Dominos and Starbucks number two are well earnt after another day working towards that Graduation Instagram caption: ‘Durham? Completed it mate?’ (I’d recommend Valencia filter). If all else fails: Costa has just launched festive drinks , with a Gingerbread Latte in toe, freshers, we’ve got this…

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