University Observations (Rant)

This particular submission was for the first issue of UTS’ student zine Vertigo for 2008. Unfortunately it didn’t get past the editors, but whatevs – I like it anyway. The basic premise was an introduction to UTS for new students into the quirks and nuances of tertiary education. Obviously there is a fairly strong Frankie-vibe to it, but I am trying to find my ‘unique writing voice’.

I hate how speaking in abbreviations has permeated into my everyday vernacular. CBF throwing abuse at brain fart that is The Hills. Bastards.

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Things You May Discover Once You Begin University

Aloha. Welcome. Now take it easy, and calm the fuck down. Please refrain from hyperventilating into a sad puddle of Ksubi jeans and cardigan cool, because more people will be laughing at you than sympathise the death of your arty pose. Chances are, these would’ve been some of the few intriguing things you’ll have discovered when you stepped foot into this architectural phallus known as UTS (it’s really not that bad). Such it is that some of these observations have been especially compiled for you complete with sub-headings and bullet points (because everyone loves a numbered article):

1. The girl-to-guy ratio is 5 to 1, at least if you’re studying Humanities. A dire situation for those in search of the requisite uni significant other (an epidemic likely to sprout amongst your school friends because look! Fresh meat!). A fair proportion of these guys will either be really, really, ridiculously good-looking, ridiculously intelligent and thus, unavailable, or good-looking, intelligent, and gay. Insert sob here. Mating choices for the straight boys will be considerably wider, in which case I’d suggest you learn to differentiate between the visually pleasing and the intellectually pleasing. In actual fact however, there isn’t really that much of a human smorgasbord to feast upon. But before this sub-heading descends into more disturbing depths, consider the possibility that you may be cavorting with the same sorts of people you’d find at your high school, just meshed together differently and at times, sartorially better. That said, should you truly find a significant other more significant than you originally thought, then kudos to you!

2. Last-minute essays are the way of the future. Most likely you will begin the semester with an overzealous approach to completing assignments weeks before they are due and earn the most votes for “Most Punctual” on Facebook – I did (am such a rebel). However, come end of semester you will be likely to descend into the pits of procrastination limbo, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming one with one of the many computers at the library and twiddling your thumbs approximately 27 minutes before the assignment is due. That, and you’ll have noticed the fact that Market City is just across the road! Resistance is futile.

3. Lemons solve everything. A fruit, a core vitamin, and more multi-purpose than your average multi-purpose cleaner (including the pink grapefruit kind). This will be all you need if you’ve just moved out of home for the first time because chances are you’ll be witness to both you and your housemates’ free dump policy of the food, drink, and bodily variety. Sometimes at the same, but in different rooms or out different windows. Regardless, cleaning will be the norm. Lemons are the Swiss Army Knife of fruit because they can do everything – imported beer garnish, salad dressing extraordinaire, trusty cleaning agent. Dilution will ruin its impact, so apply to sticky, stainy surfaces raw and sliced in quarters. Add baking soda to toughen up the old geezer. Marvel. Or sue Vertigo for giving you shitty cleaning tips.

4. The Clare is your second home. Friday night drinks are normal from about week one. Most likely you’ll start off at The Loft for their excellent Happy Hours, but for a more rounded (albeit mild) overview of the university nightlife, leg it across Parramatta Road to The Clare where its vintage charm envelopes you with dumpy, comfy couches and endearingly sticky tiled walls. Home to many a drunken Engineering (and Humanities) student, this pub will hold a special place in your heart once you’ve left and graduated from your 10-year degree. It will be the place to go when you’ve finished classes on Friday (or Monday, whatever), and also the place to go when you’ve failed classes. Pat your liver as it gives a woozy smile when your alcohol tolerance rises considerably. Or not, if you balk at the mere scent of Vodka and all you drink is a fizzy concoction commonly known as lemonade. Hello designated driver.

5. All your newly discovered friends will disappear after the first week or two. So make an effort and get their contact details now to avoid despair. Or you could always stalk them on Facebook.
You play nice now, kiddies!

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