There seem to be a few general assumptions that the majority of the population has about how students live:
- That a vast quantity of the food we eat comes out of a tin.
- That we all spend about 90% of the day in bed.
- That we all spend about 90% of our evenings getting incredibly drunk
But just how true are these assumptions? Do we really all magically become nocturnal creatures fuelled by alcohol and tinned goods upon enrollement?
I am of course aware that I can only look at the truth behind these statements in terms of myself and the people I have gotten to know, surprisingly quickly, over the past month. But I think it’s fairly safe to assume that we aren’t too different from the general student populace.
I suppose that the easiest place to start would be at the beginning – with our apparent love for anything in a can. When I first arrived at halls I went out with my parents to do a quick food shop, my mum did pick up a pack of baked beans and say ‘well seeing as you are a student now I’m guessing you will be wanting these’. So she certainly believes it’s true. I cannot therefore deny the fact that I do have baked beans in my cupboard, but seeing as they are still there after a month they aren’t exactly my staple food source.
However the same can’t be said of one of my flatmates who arrived on 24th with, what I would consider to be at least a year’s supply, and has since gone on to consume at least one tin a day. But he is, as yet, the only person I have met who seems to be quite so keen on the stuff. I must say that I am quite impressed with how many different meals he has managed to invent using them as the main ingredient – though not all of the looked exactly appetising.
Through him and several others I have also learned that it is pretty much possible to buy anything in a can: from strawberries and chicken, to beef (looking suspiciously like dog food) and weirdest of all… pie! So although it appears that students do have an occasional tendency to buy canned goods of those rather interesting types, quite a few have in fact ended up being opened, sniffed at and then thrown out due to the fact that they actually look nothing like food.
As for the idea that we all spend all day in bed; I won’t deny that there are mornings that I would quite like to do just that, but I happen to be unfortunate enough to have at least one lecture or seminar everyday. As to do all of my flatmates – in fact quite a few of them start at 9 most days – making staying in bed all day more than a little difficult. I’m not denying that if given the opportunity they would and that we may have all missed one or two for a much-needed nap. But as of yet, we have all managed to actually get up at some point everyday.
Now to that assumption which seems to be the closest to the truth – the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol. Obviously when you think of Freshers you expect a certain amount of drinking will be going on, but I was truly impressed with quite how many empty bottles were in our bin after just the first night.
Although I can’t deny that there are few nights in that first week that are a little on the hazy side, I do remember the vast majority of all of them. There is no doubt that I drank more over those seven days then I have ever done before, but even so, I never let myself get to the point of being so drunk that I didn’t know where I was or what I was doing. After all, as lovely as my flatmates are, for the first week you are basically getting drunk with a bunch of complete strangers, strangers that are also very drunk, so I didn’t really fancy the prospect of leaving my getting home okay entirely in their hands.
I can’t say the same for all my flatmates however, as there were a few evenings that ended with them hanging over the toilet or (the most impressive so far) not actually getting back until 11am the next morning and having no idea what they were doing up until that point.
There does also seem to be a slight tendency for any society or group meeting to end up in the pub, but then that’s only logical really, because everyone knows that the best ideas are formulated after a few drinks.
It seems to me, therefore, that although these stereotypes certainly do hold some truths, they are by no means the commandments by which we all live. In fact, take away the fact that we go to the occasional lecture and write the odd essay, switch them for a paid job and we are the same as all other 18-25 year olds.
Except of course that they actually have money, and will probably have real baked beans as opposed to Asda own brand.