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My shit week so far

Tom Fennelly looks at what's in the news this week

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[caption id="attachment_120177" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Image: Harriet Cheshire
Image: Harriet Cheshire

There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe how boring this time of term is. Deadlines are looming, exams need to be prepped for, and dissertations need to start taking shape - or, in my case, need starting.

Is there anything new going on in the press? Islamic State is still very evil. Asian plane crashes have now nearly killed as many people as Ebola. Freedom of speech still isn't working.

The most exciting and positive bit of news to come out was the news that the University of York has been named the best drinking university in the UK. Averaging 19.73 units per week (about 10 pints to you and me), we shot to the top of the table from our previous mediocre position of twentieth in 2012.

Congratulations are thus in order - but think again: in the time that I've been here since 2012, the same amount of time that fees have been at a record-high of nine grand, the number of units that students consume per week has dropped considerably. Rather than drinking to forget a lifetime of crippling debt, we're either deciding to knuckle down to do our work instead or simply turning to harder forms of substance abuse.

In 2012, despite being twentieth, we were still knocking back more units at 20.5 per week, so we've actually cleaned up our act over time. The winners back in 2012 drank 27.3 units a week; we're not going into Salvo on a Wednesday and ordering a pint of absinthe, but simply drinking less. Although, under the international drinking rules, we're not even allowed to say 'drinking', despite the banned word being placed in the title. I much prefer the phrase, 'elegant escapism' anyway.

Meanwhile, student press is crammed full of coverage of the #YUSUelections. Throughout the past few weeks, our campus, which inspired the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, was turned into an unseen cardboard round of Takeshi's Castle/the world's biggest fire hazard.

For yet another year, we were faced with a dreary list of boring student politicians snaking their way up the YUSU ladder, a 'joke' candidate, and candidates who feel compelled to run in the elections purely because they have a mildly punny surname or one that sounds enough like a brand to make a campaign slogan.

With that little competition, I'm surprised I didn't enter myself to represent an orange. Branding would have been simple and I probably would have had the best shot at presidency since Lee Harvey Oswald.

Has anything else happened? The weather: that happened. Although I selfishly see it as a pathetic fallacy for my own life; the weather in York is mediocre at best. York is perfectly situated just far enough away from the coast and just far enough away from the Pennines, meaning any extreme weather is soaked up before it gets to us. As a result, the weather is always averagely glum like Adrian Chiles' face.

There wasn't enough snow this year to stop anything, nor was there so little snow that we wouldn't even notice it. Instead, we were gifted with just enough snow to piss everyone off and make everyone four minutes late to whatever they needed to be at after stopping to laugh at you slipping on the ice in front of that girl on your course that you like.However, what was funny about the momentary national snow epidemic was all the male council leaders coming out and warning of six inches of snow in most areas. It just goes to show that men are never going to agree on the length of six inches.

Nevertheless, this still isn't enough to stop the preppy southerners from making the age-old and frankly boring 'joke' about how it's so much colder up north. As a southerner, I feel that I am suitably positioned to say that you must have mercury for blood to notice a one degree celsius difference.

And if you're still confused as to why the north is always a bit colder than your rural retreat in Kent, don't make the assumption that 'the weather hates the poor northerners'. Maybe, in all your academic wisdom, consider that you're just that bit further away from the equator.

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