When writing this piece, I sat and muddled my mind through all the embarrassing experiences university has brought me, from pre-drinks to club nights, socials to birthday parties. This process not only made me feel like the old fourth year I am but also incredibly nostalgic. I find myself extremely jealous of those who have all this embarrassment to come. I hope that, while they should be wary of these moments, freshers know that university is for making silly mistakes – after all, it gives you a great embarrassing story.
One of my favourites from first year isn’t just one but a chronicle of sorts. It was later named by friends as the drunken series of ‘Isobel tries to fit into small spaces’. However, the lead-up to these experiences started soberly. In first year, I lived in Glen Eyre Halls, a short walk away from campus with lots of green spaces. I would walk the same way every day to my classes, a cute path cutting through the accommodation. Every time I would pass a small hollowed-out tree stump covered in moss, and every day I would think to myself, “I could fit in there”. I can’t explain why this thought occurred or what reason I had for my desire to sit in it, but it was there. However, no sober person climbs into a tree stump at 2pm on a Monday with an audience of hungover students, so I let the thought slide.
A few days later my friends and I headed to Spoons to celebrate a flatmate’s birthday. After a pitcher or two, we stumbled onto the bus and headed home. As we walked the path back, I was struck once again by the thought of the tree stump. Fuelled by alcohol, I sprinted off towards it, much to the bewilderment of the rest of the group. I can tell you I did indeed fit in the tree stump. However, it came at a price. Several people now possess photos of me in compromising positions in the stump and candids of my drunken difficulties getting in and out of it. It had also been raining, a fact I hadn’t considered but regretted when I emerged coated in mud. My white jacket is still stained to this day.
I would like to say that I learned from this embarrassment, but as you’ve probably guessed this wasn’t the case. With my first try at fitting into a small space a success, my drunk alter ego set out to do better. This is how I now know I fit into a tumble dryer, something I later told in a panic as my fun fact for an interview (I did get the job). Unlike with the tree stump, the tumble dryer fiasco was not pre-meditated. A friend and I left a Halloween party in my flat to collect our clothes from the laundromat on-site in halls, a mundane activity that was made interesting to us by our drunken state. When there, the question once more struck me of what small space I could fit into. I succeeded in getting into the tumble dryer, dressed in a ringmaster Halloween costume and fishnets; it is a great embarrassing video, I can assure you.
Some honourable mentions in the small space chronicles include: a laundry basket, a kitchen cupboard, a bed drawer, and my own wardrobe (which is an achievement if you know how many clothes I own). While these experiences were embarrassing, they do provide a funny story. So, I would advise freshers to not be afraid of making their own.