So you’ve just accepted a place at the University of East Anglia? Congratulations and prepare yourself for an adventure! Here are 15 tips that every UEA fresher should know…
1) Do not swim in the broad
When your tutors tell you this, they’re not just being boring. Not only have TWO human bodies been found in it since 2013, but one guy went in for a summer dip and came out with an eel attached to his ballsack. Just don’t go there, especially as a UEA fresher.
2) The Sainsbury Centre cafe is a great place to work
When you need a space to work but every coffee shop on campus is heaving, head down to the Sainsbury Centre. You can nearly always find a table and there’s a steady supply of coffee and tea. The only downside is that food is pricey, but you can always smuggle in a meal deal.
3) Take your flat key with you EVERYWHERE
When your cleaner leaves, they will lock your room regardless of how they found it. If you’ve popped out to the kitchen to get a cup of tea and didn’t take your key, you are fucked. This is even worse if you live in flats without ensuite bathrooms. Chasing your cleaner through halls clad only in a towel begging them to unlock your door is no fun, especially as a UEA freshman.
4) If you lose your campus card, Campus Security will let you in
… the first time. After that, they start charging you, and the rates get steeper and steeper. The security people also get progressively more pissed off, and who can blame them? I still have flashbacks of angry men zooming towards me in a golf buggy in first year. It’s better just to bite the bullet and buy a new card ASAP.
5) Get your piercings done at Factotum
Now that you’re a UEA fresher, there may come a time when you want a bit of metal forcibly inserted into your flesh. When this day comes, go to Factotum and speak to Olly. He charges more than the other piercing places in Norwich, but for those who care about not having their body deformed by a needle-gun-wielding idiot (I speak from personal experience) his mad skillz are worth every penny.
6) If you score at a Tuesday LCR, beware of staying the night
The fact that UEA thinks it’s a good idea to have halls cleaned the morning after Tuesday LCR nights never fails to mystify me. This means that if you score at a Tuesday LCR and stay over you are categorically going to have a cleaner walk in the following morning. This is a situation best avoided. Make your escape early.
7) Register at the Medical Centre pronto
This is one of those boring paperworky things UEA encourages you to do straight away, and though you might be tempted to put it off, it’s a good idea. If you don’t feel like registering now, think how little you’ll feel like it when you actually are ill and need some damn antibiotics already.
8) … now that you’ve registered, say hi to free contraception!
If you walk through the waiting area to the door that leads to the main rooms, there are baskets where you can help yourself to condoms of all varieties as well as those weird little ketchup packets of lube, which are good in a pinch if not the classiest of options.
9) Your cleaner is your new BFF
Whatever the reason, your cleaner is guaranteed to see you at your worst. This means that it’s imperative not to treat them like shit, as they are going to be the one cleaning up your shit next Wednesday. And don’t be under any illusions – they WILL catch you in bed at least once a week.
10) Do not mess with your room
The newer your accomodation is, the stricter UEA will be. Avoid Blu-Tack like the plague; if you leave stains on the walls they will fucking fleece you. If you want to hang stuff, get a string of fairy lights or similar, secure it by wrapping it round objects in your room, and secure photos to it with pegs. Or, y’know, just use the massive wall-mounted pinboard they provide you with. This is one of the best tips for a UEA fresher.
11) Visit the beach in summer
A trip to the seaside will set you back about £5 for a return train ticket, so hop aboard (and bring your swimsuit if you’re feeling brave!) Norfolk’s big beach destination is the infamous Great Yarmouth — this total shithole is always worth a visit, and if you go to the fairground the doughnuts are great. For a genuinely tasteful seaside experience, try Cromer or Sheringham. You can even walk from one to the other.
12) Things that come premade are expensive
Obviously living on takeaways and microwave meals is pricey, but this rule extends to more things than you’d expect. If smoking is your vice, I’d suggest you lay off the straights; rolling is much cheaper. If you, like me, count it as your patriotic duty to drink at least 8 cups of tea a day, invest in some looseleaf. A 100g pouch of loose English Breakfast costs the same amount as 50 teabags and lasted me nearly a year!
13) Avoid the Tesco Express on Earlham Green Lane
This place is the work of the devil. Just because it’s slightly less extortionate than the campus shop doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. If you’re prepared to walk another 10 minutes in the same direction you’ll make it to Aldi, where you can buy enormous bags of frozen salmon fillets for £3.
14) … and Fiveways
Across the road from the aforementioned Tesco Express sits Fiveways. This pub, with its convenient proximity to campus, has lured in many an innocent young fresher. Don’t be fooled! This is not a student pub AT ALL, and even crossing the threshold will incur the wrath of the many old, grumpy locals who frequent it. There are many excellent bars and pubs in town, so give this one a bodyswerve.
15) Chase the rabbits
The great thing about UEA, and being a UEA fresher is that there is no university campus more suited to running about like an arseclown. If you stagger out of the LCR at four in the morning and see a rabbit, chase it while flapping your arms and yelling. You belong to a proud tradition stretching back 60 years.