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The fresher invasion makes me feel like a haggard old grandfather bored stiff of his duties of care to the little brutes that he has to call his grandchildren.
First is all that 'fun' they're having, loaded up months in advance and forced upon them by grinning union officers in need of a good shag to put a lid on all that excess energy. Nobody has 'so much fun' in the way that a fresher does - how did we look upon the Willow queue as a thing of such joy in my early months? How did I wear Moroccan harem pants and tell my critics that I looked 'ream' (means cool in 'Essex') and that they really didn't understand? A crotch that low is never a good look.
Fancy dress is an embodiment of this inexhaustible drive for the F-word, but it rarely ends well. An unfortunate friend of mine woke up in a strange bed wondering why the sheets were red, only to remember that he'd been unfortunate enough to make love to a burgundy-hued M&M.
Freshers being the age of our little siblings, is number two on the hit list. How are we meant to take them seriously when they're the same age as our little sister, who only three years ago left the house in 'make-up' and got picked up by the police on accusations of prostitution?
Numero trio isn't exactly the fault of the freshers, but pansying around the eggshells of the welfare brigade is enough to frustrate even the most conscientious Feminist Society panderer.
Last year, I sat around in a circle of head-STYCs (who were almost all JCR committee members) as we decided whether a naughty little parent (female, before you ask) should have her fresher's wrist band 'cut'. The mood was solemn, as the case was weighed - the JCRC Welfare Vice-Chair presiding over the instense discussion. "I saw her buying the fresher vodka" is met with sharp intakes of breath; "I think they may have taken a taxi together" sees the slow shaking of heads. And then the vote. The decision. IT WILL BE CUT. The jury rose - assured in their duty of justice, their sense of power and self-aggrandisement - and walked like a funeral procession leading said girl to the gallows.
But fear not freshers. Freshers Haters will always be Hatin' as I believe the expression goes (and if not, it does now). It's Freshers' Week. There are no bed times, no parents, no vegetables. And to top it off you've got a quota of at least 20 photos of you passed out with your head in a piss-filled urinal before your housemates start asking questions.
Slag 'n' Drag is gone. Robin Thicke is being banned by unions across the country. The very hand that once dolled out fun by the YUSU welcome pack-load (even of the 'organised-not-spontaneous-and-so-not-that-fun' variety) is withering. And you fresher reader must thwart them. S'n'D might be a grim prospect, but CabaretD just gives us boys an excuse to pop a white shirt and braces on. What do the girls have to wear? Oh wait... Still not much.
At the end of this year you too will have to endure the freezing cold of pseudo-middle-class-perjury (it doesn't feel like an Indian summer in my bedroom). You too will bore of Kuda and its queues, swelled by the latest influx of excited little freshers, until you also form up in front Bangers and Mash, a house night so achingly impoverish-chic they might as well have called it House and Hummus.
So go forth fresher, and when York veterans sneer down their noses, long denied their sense of smell by the Ziggy's toilets, you can tell them that you've got big plans for Fun.
You're going to dress as a slutty Moroccan Lawrence of Arabia, get with your STYC in the Willow queue before returning to your over-heated flat in the Boulevard to sleep before you go out tomorrow night. They will have little to say, except perhaps, through clammy hands and shaking rage: "I... library...dissertation... destitution..."