Fresher’s Week

Thursday 22 Sept. 2011

Blog Entry II: Fresher’s Week

School hasn’t even started yet and I am already procrastinating at a dangerous level: 15 blogs in 11 weeks and I’ve only written one. It’s not that I have nothing to write about, in fact, I have loads to write about, the problem is that I don’t know how to write it. Being as cynical and judgmental as I am people often misinterpret me, basically when I take the time to destroy something verbally it means that at the very least I got enjoyment from it.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way I can more successfully write this blog without making some readers cross, others discouraged, and those who know me, giggle (maybe). I will admit that this blog is being written substantially later than I had originally planned, in fact, the blog that I should be writing right now is the one about the first week of school but instead I am so behind that I am writing about a social week that has been over for almost a week. So to get a better feeling of how Fresher’s week “rubbed” me I may insert here and there pieces of a half started blog which I will than add to and tweak to perfection.

(17 Sept. 2011)So fresher’s week is over, at least it is for me. Yes, there’s a day left to go, filled with supposable exciting activities for all of the new first years and study abroad students to do before the strenuous study begins. But as of yesterday I have chosen to opt out of the rest of these misadventures. Sure Fresher’s week and I had a descent enough run, me rushing around from spot to spot trying to find the one activity of the twenty or so being offered, then me arriving at said activity-early of course- and realizing that it was a total bust. I attended five or so activities out of the possible hundred plus and all of them followed the same general pattern: sounds interesting, either attend or realize there was a secret sign-up that is now full, either way leave disappointed and feeling cheated. Finally after Thursday’s Literature Society’s Jazz themed meet and greet- the Literature Society’s one second introduction to the society and then thirty minutes of nothing but chilly wind, alcohol (which I don’t drink), and conversation with the person I met the day before on another botched event-I threw in the fresher’s towel. Now don’t get me wrong, Fresher’s week is a fantastic creation of the University’s-my freshman flat mates have been very much enjoying the festivities- but for a junior who didn’t like being a freshman when I was one and dreaded the association of being one now, I did not so much enjoy the festivities. So to fill the gaping holes in my days left by the expulsion of fresher’s week I began to explore the city, aka go to a coffee shop (usually Starbucks) and read, I was surrounded by people, didn’t have to worry about meeting any of them and overly enjoying myself, score.

Okay so that is where my last attempt at writing this blog ended, and honestly at that time that was really all there was to report…well almost. A small addition that I was waiting to put into that blog (which has now become this blog) is my night out clubbing and vital things that I learned. First of all, Edinburgh is a major metropolitan city which means that it has loads of clubs and night life options-all of which include alcohol- so of course I had to go out clubbing at least one night during fresher’s week. Turns out one night was really all I needed. On this said night I was accompanied by about 7 other people, though this number dropped to 3 pretty quick. We started the night off at about 10pm down in one of the other people’s flats where everyone was huddled in the kitchen playing ring of fire (rule one if you are a drinker: alcohol can get expensive if you are going out whether to a pub or club, so the best thing to do is have your own going out whether to a pub or club, so the best thing to do is have your own stock in your place and start the party there so you get a buzz and spend less on drinks at the final venue). Finally when it hit about 10:30pm we all decided to head on over to the club Hive (which some of them had been to on the previous night on the Medics Pub Crawl). But on our way there the group got split up due to confusion, so instead of going to Hive (which is free before 11pm) my group turned around to meet our other half at the bar, Room at 34. Once there the group had another round of drinks just before the bar close and we had to leave. Once outside again most of us decided that we really didn’t want to pay to get into a club and that instead we should go to Teviot (which is like a student center type thing at the University of Edinburgh) and check out what they had going on since we had are Fresher’s Pass (which cost 35pounds and really wasn’t worth it) and would get in free. So we all headed over there for like a total of ten seconds before myself and three others decided that Teviot was a total bust and we wanted to go somewhere else. At this point it was about midnight and one of us, the macho man who goes by the name of Lucas, decided we should head down to cowgate (which is a bit of an iffy area at night) and go to one of the clubs that he had gone to the previous night. Since this was the only idea that we had we all decided to go for it, it would’ve helped though if Lucas had known where he was going (which brings me to rule one if you plan to walk around Edinburgh at night or at all for that matter: always have at least a general idea of where things are in the city because if you end up wondering the streets late at night with a group of people who also don’t know where they are going it can get scary and uncomfortable pretty quick) luckily for everyone, I have a fantastic sense of direction and knew exactly where to go. The first place we went on Cowgate was free but empty and really not that exciting, so after a quick stop in the toilet we left and went to another club further down the street. This is where we remained until the closing time of 3am. For those of you, like me, who don’t really like being surrounded by people and have never really enjoyed dances of any kind; be it prom, homecoming, an expensive birthday party, whatever, I suggest that you never go clubbing. To be one hundred percent honest this is what broke my fresher’s week enjoyment, I really should’ve known better. To begin with the music was horrible and I kept waiting for different songs hoping it would get better, it didn’t. Then of course there was the fact that I was obviously the only one there (minus the security, bartender, and DJ) who was completely sober, you’d think this would be great because than I could laugh at everyone’s foolishness, wrong again it doesn’t work like that in a club. This brings me to the final part that just made this whole thing a catastrophe, for me (I should probably mention that I am a bit of an introverted person who doesn’t like being touched or in a claustrophobic dark area with flashing lights and no air: i.e. the definition of a club) this was the multiple individuals who decided that it would be a great idea to practically have sex in the corners of the club. Now I can see why this would seem like a good idea; for one everyone else is so drunk and disoriented that they wouldn’t really notice you getting it on, second you are so drunk yourself that all that really matters is the base desire of sexual satisfaction. Sadly I did not fall into the drunk group, as I’ve mentioned above, and being the overly observant individual that I am I witnessed pretty much every encounter from start to finish (none of them were actually having intercourse, thank goodness, it just seemed like they were). I am not a perve believe it or not; I did not wish to see these retched entanglements of two individual’s sweaty bodies as they tried to momentarily reach ecstasy, I was just stuck on a spot on the dance floor that had a premium view of the couples (oddly every couple would go to the same general corner). Though I will admit that it is a bit like watching a fire, you try to look away but don’t because you are so fascinated by the flames and wonder exactly what is going to happen next. Usually what happened is suddenly the couple would break apart and the girl would walk away looking angry and the guy would just look more disoriented and confused than before. So went my three hours at the club; me feeling nauseated every other second and wanting to return to my flat to wash the repugnant atmosphere of the club off my clothes, and everyone else having a ball because they were too buzzed to really comprehend what was going on. When 3am finally rolled around I was overjoyed but also painfully exhausted, I got to bed by 4am and woke up the next day near 10am with a throat cold. Thus I concluded fresher’s week to be over and spent the rest of the week days doing a bit of self-guided site seeing, reading in my favorite coffee shop Starbucks, and lying around in my room watching Top Gear trying to get better before classes started.

And so ended my week days of Fresher’s Week, but before it was completely over there was the one big event which ended the whole week of festivities with a bang: the Fresher’s Ball. A wonderful and beautifully decorated dance in Teviot that had freshman and study abroad students flocking to George Square dressed in their very best (tux’s, official Scottish dress with kilts and all, prom dresses, heels). To this event I decided to go alone, though I was invited to join my fresher’s group (which consisted of my flat mate, the macho man Lucas, and the 5 other people I had been partying with). The dance started at 8pm so I arrived about 7:40pm and the line was already around the block and quickly gaining ground to being curving around the other block. The funny part of this night does not involve my 40 minute wait in line, which was more like watching a circus roll through town because of all the outfits that girls were wearing, but rather it involved the moment that I entered the grand gothic entry way of Teviot. The Fresher’s ball was divided into about six different venues: there was the jazz and dance room in the main hall, the drinking and techno room in the “Underground” or basement, the techno themed library bar in the library bar, the other jazz lounge on the second floor which also had BBQ, and the Ceildh on the top floor in the main ballroom. The first room I went to was the jazz dance room; this is where the story begins and ends. The room that this portion of the ball was being held in is by far one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen, it is usually used as a cafeteria type place during the year and is filled with tables and such, but on this night it was all cleared out and lit up. So when I first entered this room I felt like I had gone back in time and was on the Titanic, this may sound like a load of bolax but truly this room does resemble the style of rooms on the Titanic. The thing that really drew me further into this room was the staircase that led up to the second floor balcony, the view from this balcony really made me feel as if I was on a five star ocean liner, that plus the jazz music and the fancy dress of all the other students, really sent my imagination reeling. So as I was in this state of shock and awe I decided that I should visit the other rooms before ending in this one, this is where the story comes to a dramatic climax. While I was coming down from the balcony I really got into the whole elegance and grander mood, so I descended the stairs holding my head up high and trying to look grand, poor decision on my part, because of my high held head I didn’t notice that there was a hidden step at the bottom of the stairs so of course I proceeded to miss this step and instead of making the graceful step from the final step onto the floor I plummeted forward and landed on my hands and knees in front of 50 plus people. This is the incident I like to call “The sinking of the Titanic”. Though unlike the Titanic I leapt up and announced that I was okay, then it dawned on me that no one had made a move to see if I was okay. Even the one person who I knew had seen me fall quickly looked away when I looked up at her as if she was afraid of being chastised by the others for even acknowledging my fall from grace. This ticked me off to no end and though I tried to brush it off and enjoy the other rooms and the comfort that surrounded me when I returned to my room of disgrace, I could not let go how horrible it felt to be completely and utterly ignored in such a fashion. After thirty minutes I could no longer take the environment or my dress that had once seemed so nice but now felt like a clown costume so I stood up and without falling down the stairs again, I left and went home to my flat. And finally Fresher’s week truly did come to a close, thank goodness.