Freshers Week at the University of Surrey got over a a few days ago, and I’ve been having my first week of classes this week. Boy is it tiring to have to manage everything from cooking to laundry to shopping and then still find time for studying and partying – but it’s fun in a sense too! The amount of control you have over your life is immense; you really feel respected as an adult free to make decisions and not be mollycoddled by what parents / professors / hostel caterers (which we don’t have) choose for you.
I joined quite a few societies here during Freshers’ Fayre on 30th September 2009. Freshers’ Fayre is where all societies put up stalls and freshers can go around finding out more information about the societies and signing up for the ones they want. The video above has a sort-of video tour towards the end which is very confusedly shot. I also have a photo gallery of Freshers’ Fayre 2009 that you might want to check out. Clubs / societies go all out to attract members. Particularly hilarious was the attempt by the Mountaineering Club:
University of Surrey Mountaineering Club – Voted best club in 2009 *
* According to a poll of three random strangers at a pub
There’s other stuff I was up to at Freshers’ Fayre. Like, riding a mechanical bull. Admittedly, I suck at it. I gave a career compatibility test once and ‘Texas rancher’ was among the least compatible career paths for me. Reasons listed were: a) not born in fucking Texas b) terrible at the job. Yeah, that seems about right. As demonstrated by the fact that if I were trying to yodel “Yeehaw!”, I’d go as far as “Yeee…” before falling off.
I signed up for the following societies: Atheist, Space, Indian, FairTrade, Photography, Sci-Fi, The Stag (student newspaper), GU2 Radio (student radio). AGMs (annual general meetings) for most societies are yet to take place though, so I haven’t got around to meeting members of most so far. I also joined MAD TV, the student TV, later on in the technical / editing / writing department. First shoot that I’ll be filming is on Saturday, on multiple locations on campus. This is gonna be interesting. Will be using a Canon XM2.
Parties during Freshers’ Week were fun, but the best was the Foam party where they drown the dance floor with foam. About 2000 gallons of it. (No, I didn’t measure. The DJ told us at the end.) Also attended (my first) two pub quizzes; one at an old-fashioned pub near the town centre called The Drummond, and the other at our uni’s very own Chancellors. Went solo in the first one and got battered with all the UK-specific questions. The latter I got some good partners on-the-spot, and we did pretty well, but not enough to win. I wonder whether the winning teams used Google. :p
Cooking. I don’t know anything about it. To give you an example, I hesitantly picked up Nescafe jars at Tesco – on multiple trips to the supermarket – and put them back on the shelf because I couldn’t find any instructions on the package and wasn’t even sure how to go about making coffee. I finally got a packet to instant-mix Tesco brand mocha. So basically I tend to stick to microwave food as far as possible but still manage to screw it up. The variety of microwave food available is quite extensive. Otherwise, an old kind-hearted man called Uncle Ben has been keeping me well fed.
Went around town part-time job hunting yesterday. Vacancies are full almost everywhere because they’ve been filled up by early birds. Got some on-campus university-related job application outcomes pending though. Fingers crossed that I get one of those. Thanks to minimum wage (and university jobs are generally paid at a rate higher than that) you can clock up a decent pot of money at the end of every month. The point I’m trying to drive at is that I can eat out every day, thus solving the issue of me not being able to cook. It’s just that I set a pizza on fire while cooking it in the microwave and now everything smells burnt after being cooked inside it.
Classes so far have been elementary, since the first few weeks is just about refreshing and getting everyont to the same level. We’ve an incredible diversity of students and national syllabi in all countries vary widely; besides, we also have ‘mature’ students who join uni after a few years of work. Lectures should become more interesting soon. One module where I (and most other Indians) are getting are asses whipped is electronics lab, because we’ve never done stuff at the level these English guys did in high school.
I’ll be putting up archives from the pub quizzes I attended on gyaan.in once I get free time. Might as well put up videos from Foam party if I have time.