It’s weird how much you will come to appreciate school the very second you start uni. It happens to everyone. As the people carrier pulls away, leaving you in your tiny blank cell alone for the first time in your life, you will feel as vulnerable as a new born kitten dragged from its mother’s teats and dumped in a burning wheelie bin.
Before you’ve even Blu Tacked the Bob Marley poster to the cigarette smoke-stained walls, the realisation will hit you that, as great as it is to be away from home, the whole experience is going to be much less exciting than you thought it would be.
Once the first week is over, you will realise that you will never again experience anything with the same wide-eyed naivety as you did for the first time at school. Here are just a few things you will miss.
School food, as genuinely awful as it was for you, tasted fucking delicious at the time. Processed “chicken” burgers speckled with bits of bone slapped between two pieces of warm soggy bread and covered in ketchup so cheap and acidic it could strip paint? Yum! I don’t care what Jamie Oliver the fucking cunnilingus face thinks, school dinners rule.
When you get to uni it’s all healthy eating and “Did you know those crisps have monosodium glutamate in? I only eat Kettle Chips because I like to be in control of my body at all times”.
The day you start uni is the day your money trouble begins. All you had to do at school was stick out your hand each morning and your mum would pour enough change into your hand for as many Chomp bars and cans of 7-Up as you could stomach. Life was a breeze.
Now you’re at uni you’ve got rent to deal with, bills to pay and food to buy. For the first time you will have friends who want their 10p back, with interest. You will be the guy buying toilet roll for the whole house because your flatmates would rather wipe their arses across the edge of the sink than fork out 69p for six rolls of tracing paper.
Oh yeah, and then there’s that problem of the tens of thousands of pounds you now owe the bank once it’s all over.
Ahh, how amazing were these? Prancing around high on a mixture of fruit punch and petrol you found in the shed at home, locking lips with anything that came within three feet of you, and trying not to ejaculate if you got to do a slow dance with a girl. And all this while teachers stood there watching with full-on tents in their trousers. Actually, that was a bit of a weird, pervy experience, thinking about it now.
You’ll never again get the chance to dampen a digit with a fat girl behind a tall stack of chairs in the assembly hall, and then go and let your mates have a sniff of your finger as you all stand around giggling.
Instead, you’ve got to ply some hippo at the student union with 11 pints of cider to get her back to your room, only for her to cry and tell you she’s deeply in love with some morbidly obese 60-year-old lecturer with neck acne and a chronic sweat problem.
You are very, very lucky if you will see even one of these at uni. I don’t think I witnessed a single punch being thrown the whole three years I was there. School fights were amazing though – everyone huddled round screaming, “FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!” like they were watching two randy hamsters battle it out. I’d say I must have witnessed about 30 fights in my first week of secondary school. You’ll never again get anything that rivals the fun of you and 40 of your mates going on the bus to take on three tiny kids two years below in a nearby private school.
None of the “special needs” kids make it to uni. You know, those slightly unhinged, but quite smiley people who can barely spell their name, constantly smell of piss and come from severely odd families. You will not find that innocence and naivety in anyone you meet ever again. As much as you laugh at them while at school you will come to miss them (until they are hunting you down on Facebook and you discover they now have four kids, weigh about 25 stone and would love to hang out).
You can’t call people “a fucking idiot cuntface dicksplash” any more because somebody in the Fucking Idiot Cuntface Dicksplash Student Protection Society will overhear and then they will have a massive protest outside the student union the next morning and threaten a mass suicide unless you are thrown out.
Instead you have to be civil and mature the whole time and stop yourself any time you go to say something offensive. At first people will think you’ve got Tourette’s with all the unfinished outbursts you’ll be making. Fuck ’em!
A version of this tosh appears in the Vice Student Guide.