Out with the old, in with the new…
It’s the time of year that makes event promoters and club owners in Leeds drool with the sight of £-signs swirling in their heads – Freshers’ week. More on that later.
But the mass arrival of – I don’t know how old those kids are – hasn’t been the most interesting part of my life since the Great North Run. It actually carried no real significance in my life – but was certainly fun to read about: the referendum in Scotland. Although I do my best to pay attention to British politics, a lot of what I read on the BBC website quickly departs my brain. However, as September 18 approached, I was buzzing with interest: Scottish voters would decide whether to become independent from the United Kingdom. When I first heard there would be a referendum, I didn’t think much of it – probably because I really didn’t understand what was behind the independence movement. But at one moment – according to the polls – the “Yes” vote was leading. So as expected, this country’s major political leaders made their way to Scotland to urge that country’s people to vote “No.”
Well, you know what happened. I do wonder though what the political/social atmosphere would have been like if “Yes” side had prevailed. Anyway, I’m just glad I was in the UK for a once in a lifetime moment (Even if it was a squeaky bum time moment for a lot of people here).
As I mentioned earlier, this week represents the arrival of Freshers (a.k.a. the first year students). Now that I think of it, this week also represents the return of the second and third-year folks. But regardless of what year they’re in, university students in this country (probably like university students everywhere) love to party. While I generally feel too old to party with a bunch of 19 and 20-year olds, Phil (a dude who lived in my flat last school year) was throwing a very late birthday party on Tuesday night, September 23 (ten days after his birthday) and I figured if this party was anything similar to the way he celebrated his birthday last year, the night would be fun.
(He actually threw up on the way to a club that night)
The party itself was nothing out of the ordinary. But, it was fun (Especially after the music got better). The most memorable aspect of the night was … people actually remember me. I don’t think that I’m super special but apparently at the party, I was often referred to as “Mr. Rucksack Guy” and those partygoers asked, “Where was my rucksack?” A bit hilarious because I don’t think my black backpack is the most remarkable aspect of my appearance. But if people remember me for that, well… I’m not complaining.
(Actually, the next day – or maybe even later that morning – someone at the Freshers’ Fair asked if I had lived at Royal Park Flats. I said “Yes” and asked how she had remembered me. And well…it’s because we had taken the same taxi to a club one night. Safe to say, some people have better memories than me)
However, the school year has brought a lot more than more opportunities to party. The school year has brought… a new name for my university. Leeds Met has become Leeds Beckett University. I won’t get into the reasons why the higher-ups made the change – I’m not thrilled about it but… oh well.
Anyway, the arrival of the freshers has provided me the opportunity to earn some £ – I haven’t done the ParkRun the last two weekends as I have worked as a removal porter, which has provided me the very exciting task of helping students transport their belongings to their new rooms. All sarcasm aside, it is interesting to see how much shit these kids bring – certainly, a lot more than I took to college and seemingly, a lot more than when their parents went to college (The most peculiar item I’ve helped transport was a fridge – something that can obviously be found in all of the flats. I have no clue why someone would want to bring a fridge to uni).
I’ve actually spent much of the last week working in the Student Hub, helping students out with everything from getting the new campus cards (due to the name change, all students have to replace their school IDs) to helping them master Google Calendar. Monday and Tuesday could be described as a madhouse, things slowed down a bit on Wednesday, and the last two days have been relatively relaxed. Today was the most enjoyable of the days I’ve worked – not only because it was Friday but the weather was quite nice (I even felt comfortable walking outside in a short-sleeved shirt). There were no ridiculously long queues for campus cards and I had actually had a blast helping people find Google Calendar in their Leeds Beckett accounts.
While today ended calmly, next Monday won’t start in such a manner. Stay tuned.