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Guidance for the Naive Undergraduate - Part Eight: the Best Days of My Life?

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They (whoever they are!) say your university days are the best days of your life. This seems an odd statement to make and sort of renders the rest of your life pointless in living, if anything. I mean that is fine and all but if you are at a buffet, you don't continue to hover once all of the pork pies have disappeared do you?

University is a favourite of anyone who has been and I suppose you could comment that the main reason for this is because quite simply, it is what outsiders would naively consider an easy life. It isn't an easy life and a small part of me dies inside when people remark that it is and I despair at criticism of students. People express their hatred for students without realising that their doctor was once a student, the people responsible for prolonging or potentially saving their later lives were students, or that the person representing them in court on three counts of fraudulently claiming incapacity benefit, when really they were spotted professionally wrestling in Rhyl Town Hall for £50 at the weekend, was once a university student.

Academically speaking university is not an easy life and with regards to living, university is not an easy life. In terms of not having to pay tax, having dependents, paying "proper" household bills or working nine to five every day, it is not an easy but rather a straightforward life, if you will. However, studying constantly with fear of failure, late nights working the same shifts as the signer on television, living in squalid dwellings with landlords who may well be the offspring of Hitler and his one testicle, and constantly finding yourself scraping ancient coco-pops from a mouldy bowl whilst washing the five thousands dishes, is a tough life.

Of course, all of this is non-inclusive of the conflict you can encounter with your fellow students. Conflict amongst fellow students can present itself in a variety of different formats. This could be a dirty human rodent infesting your halls, vicious one-time flings that become a poo stain on the underpants that are your life and aggressive students who wish to perform a lapdance on you in a cocktail bar are some of the experiences of my friends and possibly myself. Okay, I'll admit, in the end I fought her off and knocked someone's Pina Colada down their dress from ASOS, despite all of this, in my experience, flatmates with swords can prove to be a pertinent issue.

During my first year at university in which I somehow ended up living at Pontins Holiday Park in Southport, I lived with two flatmates, one being an obsessive compulsive scouser and the other, a ruddy massive machete of sorts. In hindsight, though it probably wasn't a machete, it was a bloody big sword. I cannot seem to covey the ridiculousness of this situation, my flatmate had a sword, in fact he had a sword that ran the entire length of his bedroom wall and he had the bigger bedroom.

I understand individuals can often collect and hoard an array of weird, peculiar and genuinely bamboozling items, but at this point I wish to enquire as to why somebody needs a sword? Seriously! As far as I know, he had no requirement for one, he was not a pirate despite the fact he had a suspicious limp that may well have been a wooden leg or perhaps an innocent anatomical quirk. I also know for sure that he did not participate in the sport of fencing and if he did, the instructor would probably remark when he turned up to training, "what on earth are you doing here with a sword?"

Long story sword (sorry, irresistible), this is of no relevance to the topic of this post, I must confess that I never did manage to strike up the essential courage one would need in order to question as to why he listed a sword amongst his belongings. If I did however, I would have received a simple straightforward answer or my head in my own hands, but neither outcome seemed one worth pursuing. So I left him, his sword and relocated to a chalet the other side of the poorly maintained 1960's holiday park.

So, well, yeah, there you have it, the best days of your life, apparently.

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