Freshers Lifestyle Muse Freshers

Editor: Welcome To York, Welcome To Nouse

MUSE editor Alex Thompson welcomes you to Nouse, and to York, with his advice for making the most of your first year

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Image Credit: Annie Watson

Welcome to York and welcome to Nouse. Under better circumstances you’d be reading this in a colourful little magazine the team and I had spent a week of our lives stressing over, but this year we have decided to collect some Freshers’-orientated articles into this rather fetching-looking edition of The Weekly Nouse.

Let’s get some housekeeping out the way first.

It’s Nouse (N-ooze). Not ‘noose’ like the rope. Not ‘nouse’ like house. It’s a pun someone came up with in the sixties because they thought it sounded clever and now we’re in too deep to change it. So this is us – Nouse, mispronounced nationwide for 56 years.

Covering everything from News, Comment and Sport in our main paper to Music, Film and Arts in our magazine MUSE, Nouse is the oldest (and best) student publication on campus and part of the many great media groups we have at York. I joined Nouse as part of the music team in my first year at Uni and since then I’ve interviewed sex workers, blagged my way into plenty of gigs and accidentally came out to my family via a Comment piece, making some of my closest friends along the way.

Tonight I’m even posing for some cooking photos in my kitchen, while Food & Drink editor Charli pushes some rather sad looking pepper round a pan and Nouse editor Jonny shows off his rather violent, yet ultimately successful, sauté action.

What I’m trying to say is you have no idea where student media will take you, even if it does lead to staging an incredibly awkward photoshoot (for evidence of this, look no further than our recipe collection).

Anyway, welcome to York! You probably have a whole bunch of questions so I’ll try and clear up as much as I can. Yes, Freshers flu is definitely a thing (stock up on Lemsip). Derwent does have asbestos but is still the most fun. First year doesn’t count until you need a safety net score. Take everything on Yorfess with a heavy pinch of salt. Nisa is overpriced. Town isn’t actually that far (unless you’re stranded on East). Geese are little shits. And no, you definitely shouldn’t swim in the lake.

All jokes aside, University is a confusing time for everyone. I remember my first day, unpacking my belongings into a tiny room, having an awkward cuppa with strangers who are now some of my closest friends and chain smoking out of pure stress. I’m not going to lie to you, Uni will be tough. You’ll probably get lost a fair bit, drink far too much and make a few poor decisions – I know I did. But that’s what University is all about. By the end of the year you’ll know every shortcut around town, the best way to get rid of a hangover and exactly who in your house is a massive lightweight (if you don’t know who, it’s probably you).

Anyone who knows me knows I probably shouldn’t be giving out any sort of life advice but honestly, the best thing I can recommend for first years is to get stuck into student life at York, as much as you can anyway. Join societies and clubs, visit the city, try new things and make the most of your time here because it’s been the best few years of my life. For some starting points, Deputy Editor Jenna and I have put together a little bucket list of things to do in your time at York that might help you make the most of the city, or give you some inspiration for things to do with your new housemates. In Comment, Dom Smith also looks at why ‘Welcome Week’ this year may be the fresh new start freshers need, rather than a booze-fuelled clubbing crusade, and how it can be a great opportunity to explore York, make friends and get involved with societies.

This year is going to be different. It would be foolish to even pretend that there will be any sense of normality this term but this doesn’t mean we have to bury our heads in the sand and this doesn’t mean that student life is a standstill. There might be a lot to despair about, but not even a global pandemic can stop the events teams of York’s student groups and I advise you to get involved with all the brilliant stuff they are doing. In this edition, Elizabeth Walsh gives a rundown of some of the various events taking place this term, both in person and online, much of which is hosted by the fantastic student groups on campus. In our Features section, Annabel and Alice talk to the chair’s of various societies to discuss how they will be adapting to the ever changing guidelines, so make sure to check that out as well.

You’ll doubtless have more questions. I know I do, and I’m in third year. Unfortunately you’ll have to work some of those out for yourself and, in the meantime, why not have a read through some of the brilliant content our team has pulled together? From bucket lists to book reviews, societies to campus news and how to stay sane throughout it all, you might just find some answers among it all.

If nothing else, you might take away a good recipe or two.

Enjoy and stay safe,
Alex x

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