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An Insight into University Life (The World's longest post)

Discussion in 'GD Archive' started by Nim, 4 Apr 2003.

  1. Nim

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,450

    Location: Twickenham

    This is a post I've been thinking about for quite a long time. It began life as A typical week at University - Where your taxes really go..., but due to me not being able to stay focussed for more than 2 days at a time, and a wish to make the post as unantagonistic as possible, that title was quickly abandoned. To cut an unnecessarily long story short, what follows is an outline of a typical day. Hopefully most of the entertainment I planned will survive the transition.

    Before you start reading, please forget what you have already planned to post. No doubt there are many amongst you who have pledged their allegiance to either the anti- or pro-university camps, but that is not what this thread is about. If you have an overwhelming desire to start another one regarding whether or not university students deserve tax-breaks, and low-interest loans, please do, but keep it out of here. This is primarily an entertainment-orientated post, but feel free to use it towards a decision to attend a university, to fuel your existing rage at the pointlessness of education, or to relive your mis-spent youth. The idea that a post such as this could have even a tiny effect on someone's life is something that makes me feel more important. As I said to begin with, this post has almost surfaced in a variety of guises, and as such may be quite disjointed.

    So, if this extensive disclaimer/warning/discouragement has not marred your thirst for the post itself, read on :)

    Outline Facts:
    I am currently in my first year, studying Computer Science at Exeter University. It's a primarily boring course that I picked due its ease, rather than its career-furthering potential. It should be heavily emphasised at this point that I decided to go to university for the experience rather than the qualifications.

    I live in self-catered university accommodation, in the grottiest economy-level flat you could imagine. There is no plaster on the walls, I share a shower with 11 other people, and the kitchen is very rarely clean. These facts aren't particularly important or relevant, other than for scene-setting purposes.

    Even more irrelevant is the fact that Exeter Uni was recently voted to have the best looking girls in the country. This is also slightly for scene-setting purposes, but mainly for bragging rights.

    A Typical Day:
    10:30 - Wake up and roll out of bed. Grab a towel, and head for the shower. This first step has recently been added following the installation of a power-shower, thanks to our continuous whinging. The previous shower was slightly less effective than standing near the sea on a windy day. It was also hindered by the fact that if someone in the adjacent building contemplating running the taps, the water turned to hail, and felt like someone throwing a box of roofing tacks into your face.

    10:40 - Find some respectable-looking clothes and get dressed. Definitions of respectability tend to adjust considerably after moving to university. Previously, clean clothes tended to be defined as not having any noticeable stains or tears. At university, an item of clothing is clean if it possible to bend it. It is at this stage that yesterday's hangover is brushed out of my teeth, and replaced with "a minty freshness".

    10:50 - Go into the kitchen, avoiding the piles of mysterious sand which routinely appear every morning, and make some toast.

    10:55 - Walk with my toast over to the lecture theatres, up the massive hill. This education-style step can be removed entirely if it's the weekend (Thursday thru Monday), and the preceding steps moved back 3 hours.

    11:00 - Endure one or two of the following lectures:
    • A middle-eastern man, not unlike Borat, discussing the finer points of trademarks, copyright, patents, or cryptography.
    • Someone who looks and acts exactly like Lee Evans demonstrating Java programming via a series of surprisingly funny slides. This is the only lecture that you can expect an attendance of over 50%.
    • The cleverest man I've ever met trying to explain Calculus to a group of people whose very presence in the room is governed by the fact that they won't understand it (Computer Science degrees are almost exclusively made up of people who couldn't cope with Maths past A2 level).
    • The Lee Evans-man explaining MIPS assembly language. The lectures are equally amusing as the Java ones, but around 14 times more frustrating. The attendance in these tends to drop to around 25%.
    • The man with the World's most monotonous voice explaining Data Flow Diagrams. Everyone in the room has already learnt these as part of IT or Computing A-Level, so of the few people that do turn up, even fewer actually pay attention. Normal practice is to fashion some kind of crude football goal out of folded paper, and spend the hour flicking smaller rolled-up pieces of paper through it.
    Friday's schedule is governed by whether or not I have coursework due in. If I do, it usually means waking up at 8, working solidly til 3:30, then handing the work in. Most Fridays, thankfully, don't follow this pattern, which means they function as Saturday #2, after Thursday.

    12/13:00 - With the day's work out the way, it's usually time to walk back to the flat via the shop. A usual day's provisions include 4 pints of milk, and a molten chicken/bacon/cheese/pastry mess. £2 well spent. Once back home, the pastry lump is microwaved while a pack of 11p Tesco noodles is cooked. This simple meals works equally well as a hangover cure, a snack, a full meal, or a remedy for most household illnesses. Why no-one has cottoned on to this in the past is beyond me.

    13:45 - Neighbours time. A normal audience in our flat will involve about 10 people, packed onto 8 chairs. Despite the apparent attention the programme receives, no-one actually watches it very deeply. Most of the time is spent arguing about which of the cast is most attractive, and shouting abuse at the more annoying characters.

    14:10 - General slobbery for the day begins. This can include the following activities, for varied amounts of time - football, sleeping, playing Goldeneye, juggling, watching my Futurama DVDs, or generally just sitting around. As you can plainly see, we live a rich, full life.

    18:00 - Even more religious than our love of Neighbours, is that of the Simpsons. Many arguments have raged between us and the girls in the flat about whether we watch that or Friends. As of yet, they haven't won once.

    19:30 - Between the Simpsons finishing, and this time, people are generally in the kitchen, making dinner. Fitting 9 or so people into a smaller than average kitchen/living room is hard enough at the best of times, but when they’re trying to cook as well, the task becomes exponentially harder.

    20:00 - The evening's festivities begin. We've normally begun the casual drinking about 2 hours before this, but nothing on a noticeable scale. Recently, our social calendar has been governed by whether or not there is a pub quiz on. This generally takes care of Sunday to Tuesday. Our recent performances have been less than impressive, and weren't helped by me essentially throwing away £100 by getting a painfully easy spot question horribly, horribly wrong. The happy hour prices that usually grace the quizzes though, are more than enough incentive to ensure we still go along every week. Wednesday has recently been taken up by Juggling club. This is an abysmal excuse to go on a lot of pub crawls, but one that we are thankful for. As a rule, going out in the evening can be summarised by the words 'pub, then club'.

    23:30 - Sunday to Thursday = Takeaway Time. Thankfully, we are in the nearest block of flats to the grotty university takeaway. Much of the grottiness is eliminated by the fact that I regularly lend DVDs to one of the girls who works there, and in exchange, she hooks me up with mountains of free food. It's a particularly sweet deal. On Friday and Saturday, the festivities will continue for many more hours.

    1:00 - The evening's philosophical discussion usually begins around now. This, entirely coincidentally I'm sure, often signals the time that our resident blonde girl goes to bed. Depending on blood/alcohol level, the subject under scrutiny can range from the ethics of vegetarianism (we have 2 of them in the flat, so this comes up quite often), why Communism failed, or which Nirvana album was best.

    2:30 - More people have normally headed off to bed by now, so if the remaining number is 4 or less, we tend to play Goldeneye again until we fall asleep, and eat everyone else's food.

    4:00 - Head off to bed, put my Brass Eye DVD on, and fall asleep with my headphones on.

    8:00 - Drift in and out of sleep, paw my headphones off my head and onto the floor, and fall back to sleep.

    This excessively long diary can be very easily simplified in the following delightful graph.

    [​IMG]

    As is painfully obvious, the largest portion of my time is spent doing undefined activities. These include all sorts of things, but boil down to me having about 9 hours a day to do whatever takes my fancy. Food shopping, and other essentials do fit in there somewhere, but a very large amount of it is taken up by me sitting around in the flat arguing about whether Quincy is better than Diagnosis: Murder.

    ----------------------------

    It appears that this post got rapidly out of hand. The fact that it's actually longer than a lot of the essays I've done this year should only go to emphasise the point I've already tried to make about the difficulty (or lack of) that University consists of. If past records are anything to go on, only Ĺőpęż will actually bother reading all of it, but for any others of you that make the courageous effort, thank you. It's not as though I'm trying to get something off my chest, it's just a post I felt like making. No doubt there will be mixed reactions, from people enjoying it to people finding it a complete waste of their time, but whichever group you fall into, feel free to comment :)
     
    Last edited: 4 Apr 2003
  2. local hero

    Hitman

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 688

    Location: Stoke

    Insight. Incite=to start something off e.g. a riot.

    [/fox mode]

    :p

    *goes back to the top to read thread...*
     
  3. BenST

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,122

    Location: Southampton

    Wow, interesting post :)
     
  4. pamplemoose

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,061

    Location: I used to post here

    Pretty much what I figured uni was like tbh :p

    I must say I do envy you students :(
     
  5. The Running Man

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 34,037

    Location: block 16, cell 12

    thats so true

    i have tuesdays and fridays off

    and only have 12 hours of class per week

    still gets tough sometimes though

    i spend most of my time in bed/in my suite socialising

    until crunch time, exams:/

    argh
     
  6. Nim

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,450

    Location: Twickenham

    Holy uncharacteristic mistake, Batman! I can't believe I've done that. After the amount of time I spent checking the post itself, I didn't even think about the title for more than a few seconds. Cack.
     
  7. local hero

    Hitman

    Joined: 17 Feb 2003

    Posts: 688

    Location: Stoke

    Re: An Incite into University Life (The World's longest post)

    Where's the argument? It's quite clearly Quincy. :p
     
    Last edited: 4 Apr 2003
  8. mikester

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,006

    Location: Edinburgh

    well, as a student going to uni at the end of the year, im very glad you posted this thread. youve taken some weight off my shoulders, since i thought i would have no spare time to myself at all, ever. i am also a procrastinating student, who only works hard when he really, really has to, but reading this entire post leads me to beleive university won't be as bad as everyone makes it out to be.


    so, in the end, im glad you posted this. :)


    EDIT: oh, and Simpsons > Friends everyday. ;)
     
  9. Andrew

    Gangster

    Joined: 1 Dec 2002

    Posts: 220

    Location: United Kingdom

    It's like the internet version of Big Brother.

    The most interesting post in a long time IMO.

    My favourite bits:

    13:45 - Neighbours time. A normal audience in our flat will involve about 10 people, packed onto 8 chairs. Despite the apparent attention the programme receives, no-one actually watches it very deeply. Most of the time is spent arguing about which of the cast is most attractive, and shouting abuse at the more annoying characters.

    23:30 - Sunday to Thursday = Takeaway Time.

    Fantastic:D

    5 *
     
  10. theleg

    Capodecina

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 13,417

    Location: UK

    Quincy.
     
  11. The Running Man

    Caporegime

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 34,037

    Location: block 16, cell 12

    welcome to the club!!!

    unfortunately school here isnt quite so like that

    (although here my schedule is friday/tuesday free, only 12 hours a week)
     
  12. IndyModeOCHW

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,346

    Location: The Zoo, Michigan, USA

    Nim - I envy you! When I was in Uni I had to study all the time :( Monday thru friday I had at least 4 hours of class a day and another 4 hours of work a day, plus 2-4 hours a day of coursework, and on the weekends 6 hours a day of coursework.

    I feel as tho I wasted uni on Academics! :p
     
    Last edited: 4 Apr 2003
  13. Nim

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,450

    Location: Twickenham

    Oh yeah, I know that. But will my flatmates listen? All I get is "But Dick van Dyke, man." Still, makes for interesting mid-programme discussions :D
     
  14. Lostie

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,984

    Location: Cheshire

    Haha, great post! :D I'm not the biggest student fan, but hell, if you've got it - flaunt it!
     
  15. Captain Fizz

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,058

    Location: Inverness (UK)

    You go to Uni almost EVERY DAY!!! :eek: Wow... You must be a right studier!

    We worked out how much we went to uni in 3rd year - About 0.5%. :D That was lectures from 9am until 2pm every day with roughly 2 afternoons a week in Labs. Ooops.

    Still passed though! :D

    Daily tasks (Didn't matter if it's was a weekday or not):

    ~4pm - Out of bed. (Already missed all lectures)
    Play cards and smoke for a while
    ~6pm - Get a shower for an hour or so.
    Play some more cards and smoke some more
    ~8pm - Get in car and tour about for a bit, find somewhere to doss-about!
    ~2am - See other mates and... Yup... Smoke some more.
    ~5am - Go to bed.

    So a nice 13 hours awake - 11 hours sleep. :) Nice!

    And some people worry that uni is too much hard work!!??!!?? Pffft...
     
  16. Werewolf

    Commissario

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,606

    Location: Panting like a fiend

    Definately Quincy ;)
    That should free up some of your time for other arguements ;)
     
  17. Lostie

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,984

    Location: Cheshire

    Heyy I enjoy an 11 or 12 hour sleep each night, and I work (well, almost) full time :D
     
  18. iam

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,472

    Location: Wirral, Cheshire

    Thanks for posting and entertaining me :)
     
  19. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,991

    Location: Birmingham

    Yup, that about sums it up. Although I probably have more lectures that I'm supposed to go to than most, so I do spend a fair bit of time asleep in my lectures, strange really, as I have a perfectly good bed in my room.
     
  20. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 229,021

    Location: In the radio shack

    Am I too old at 36 to go to Uni?

    K.