Our Last Hurrah? Not Unless We're Lucky!
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When I first came to look at Lancaster university, I was told by every representative of every college that theirs was the best, which certainly didn't come in handy when eventually choosing which college I wanted to belong to. I finally received the following piece of unbiased advice, “To be fair, whatever college you join will instantly be the best within days of arriving.” Now, I've generally been regarded as a stubborn creature. Perhaps there was something inside me that refused to believe that could possibly be the case. But I still had high hopes when arrived, of chanting college mottos, attending college parties, having crazy nights in and out with my future flatmates. This never happened. Of my three other flatmates, only one of them besides me even attended the big night out. I went along. I played the games. I sang the songs. But none of this instilled me with a great sense of pride or belonging. As for my other flatmates? None of then were seen at various freshers events. I went through the first weeks of university life in an extremely lonely fashion until my course started and like-minded people began to gravitate together. I didn't even see my fresher's reps after the first day- and I was in a lot, too nervous to go outside on my own and my flatmates all seemingly recluse. It's not that my flatmates were horrible people- indeed, when I saw them, they were quite nice. One of them gave me a birthday card on my birthday. We washed up our utensils, kept the place generally tidy, never stole each other's food. We were all extremely polite to each other, but I kid you not when I say I saw one of them only a handful of times throughout the year. Our kitchen was a dark, dingy unappealing place and we all spent as little time in there as possible. It's safe to say the college system well and truly failed me, and it quickly became apparent that I was not the only one. A close friend of mine who started the year after found herself in a flat of ten, with only three others who were freshers –and none of them had anything much in common. Despite having much nicer accommodations than mine, designed to promote socialisation, she did not make any friends until she joined Theatre Group. Had she not had the fortune to get in a play in her first year, we would never have met, and her first year would have been extremely lonely. Another friend of mine actually got on swimmingly with her flatmates, but she still elected to move away from them in her second year and bares no loyalty to her college whatsoever. It was simply a name for her accommodation.
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