The university buildings' revolving doors perhaps provides the best metaphor of my university experience so far. Initially perplexing, constantly in motion, and ultimately short-lived, it doesn't seem three months since I first fumbled at this marvel.
The challenge of the revolving doors is something I have pointed out on each geography tour I've been a part of. The trepidation in the sixth-formers' steps as they subsequently attempt to breach the Arthur Lewis Building's defences is surprisingly satisfying. I tend to be with an interview group, so I'm charged with making pitiful jokes and answering an often bizarre array of questions. When both of these are exhausted, it is impressive how efficiently individual conversation develops. I liken this to Lord of the Flies. One popular topic for discussion is the likely first choice university. The power dynamic in the room suddenly shifts. Here I become like Piggie, helpless to affect the mob. Don't mind me, it's not like I'm at the UoM.
There are some questions I would bank on getting each week. The first relates to the university workload. Perhaps a product of my subject choice in Geography, I had maintained that this was minimal. However, the brutality of week 11 proved to be a watershed moment, as on top of an essay deadline and group presentation, our Geology lecturer threw in a surprise test (apparently it was in the course handbook). I guess first semester wasn't meant to be all easy. The group presentation, despite prior anxieties and organisational hiccups, proved to be an enjoyable opportunity for improvised comedy though. The second question would relate to sports club initiations. Cricket 'welcoming' — whilst being far from a joyous experience — certainly had its merits! I was very proud to have earned my tie.
I've been told repeatedly that membership of a sports club increases prospects with women. Although I appreciate this notion, I'm yet to experience it in practice. Conversely, university hall life opportunity provides a great avenue to exploit Netflix and Chill's potential benefits. That's not to say I've developed any mastery — in terms of the revolving door metaphor, this would still be a fumble, but at least I've gotten in (not an innuendo).
Located on the ground floor of my block and second from the door, I'm in prime location for after-dinner dates. Sadly, I'm also in prime location for burglaries, of which there have been several attempts — one successful. Although distressing at the time, the insurers fixed me up with the 2015 model of my decrepit laptop. This was not nearly as stressful as continued house-sharing discussions. Like Bismark's partitioning of Africa, it is not looking destined to end well.
In terms of things achieved, I would view my ability to nap as being right up there. Just like using the revolving doors, this should have been easy to master, but it was not. The intensity of university makes napping a must, and after 13 weeks, it is certainly time for a break before re-entering the revolving door of university.
Reuben Cutts writes about student life for The Manchester Magazine. He is a first-year Geography student at the University of Manchester.