Everybody here seems to be much cleverer than me. I’d been having a bad week- everybody already seemed to know what they were doing, after it went from ‘friendly introductory’ week one, to ‘if you don’t know what you’re doing, leave now and be judged’ week two. I had already fallen prey to this, having sat down in an Animal Science lecture for at least five minutes before realising I was in the wrong place, and having to shuffle shamefacedly out. Now, despite having the world’s worst cold, it’s starting to feel like Uni’s becoming a bit more comfortable and like I might actually be starting to figure out what I’m meant to be doing (shock horror). Plus, most people seem in the same boat and are ill too, so that’s great. Due to the fact that I am not in the two most common categories of those-with-a-cold (either the ‘staying at home in a lair-of-misery’ fashion or the kinder ‘stay-away-I’m-infectious’), but in the slightly more evil and less popular ‘spread-the-plague-so-everyone-is-as-miserable-as-me’ group, I’m slowly getting to those who have so far managed to avoid it. I’ve been enjoying the lectures and not feeling too terrified (true, so far I’ve been skating by on the introductory allowance and been asked to do nothing more challenging than remembering my own name) and even feeling quite relaxed…until I hit the creative writing part of things, and realised they had been luring us into a false sense of security. At first, the only thing I was worried about was that, as much as I like writing, I do not like reading my work out to everybody. However now I’ve seen the class, I have more concerning matters and, forgetting the earlier abnormal relaxation, am back to the more familiar and comfortable feeling of terror. The way we survive these first few weeks is by having the token individuals who hold all groups together- the loud one, the argumentative one, the peacemaker and so on…but, whether it was because of the heightened nerves of being new at Uni or simply because they felt intellectually challenged, the attributes of these people were emphasised so heavily that the lecture became an increasingly rapid cross-fire of questions, disagreements and raised voices that had me sliding further and further down in my chair. The teacher, who had been so supremely confident at first sighting, became immediately inundated by arguments and was, for a moment, apparently defeated; yet he soon wound himself back up and the lecture continued at high speed. Upon being addressed with intelligent conversation by some of my neighbours and mumbling back incoherently, I was promptly dismissed, and started to feel much safer, and when some bewildered individual staggered in an hour and a half late, I was even (slightly guiltily) triumphant that I would not be the only one there who was overwhelmed. However, as if to make up for his late arrival, the latecomer immediately pitched in his own (obviously intelligent) views, even volunteering to be the first to read his own creative work aloud. Despicable. This proceeded to make my solitary addition to the conversation of “can I have a tissue” even more woefully ignorant. Oh well. It was actually kind of fun.


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