On Freshers’ Fairs

Ah, the university fresher’s fair. If, like me, you love your free stuff, then this is the event to be at. The York university one was actually a couple of weeks ago but only now have I had enough time to go through my loot. (For some reason my course modules want me to do some work. What’s with that?) As a refresher/unfresher/academic who’s delaying the inevitable foray into the real world, I have my experience of several freshers’ fairs, and yet I still haven’t mastered the art of surviving them without an inbox full of emails from societies I signed up to with no real interest. I am getting better – in my first year of undergrad I was very timid and almost vaulted over a table to avoid vociferous political people – but still not great at being strategic. Personally I blame the heady atmosphere of new opportunities and enthusiastic people grabbing you if you happen to glance at their stall.

It was an impressive fair, spanning different sites in the campus. We got there early to avoid the monumental queues that developed in the afternoon, and it took us three and a half hours to go round! I also had a hangover grumbling along in the background. Not really relevant, I’m just setting the scene. This is also why I really appreciated the free pizza Domino’s give away. Sadly the people on those stalls tend to be vigilant and see who’s coming back again and again, but we still managed to get a few slices of cheesy goodness.

Artist's impression. (Pic from NBC.com)

Artist’s impression. (Pic from NBC.com)

So, the material run down. I am now the proud owner of:

  • 1 ruler
  • Sooooo many bits of paper
  • 4 bags for life (just in time for the new 5p charges on plastic bags)
  • 6 beermats
  • Various chocolates (all eaten now)
  • 8 pens
  • Various promises of discounted food. Cue trying to explain to my new American friends what the hell a “cheeky Nandos” is, and how a chicken burger can be made “extra cheeky”.
  • 3 mugs
  • A half of beer (instantly drunk – it didn’t help the hangover)
  • More free condoms than you could shake a something at.

The only thing I’ve lost is a pint of blood, for signing up to donate blood. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for ages now I’m more-or-less over my dislike of needles.

Prize for strangest freebie goes to the teabag and paper towel from the Douglas Adams Society. If you know your Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you can tell that I am now a woman who always knows where her towel is.

Also, the biscuit game here is a lot better than at my undergraduate establishment. So many tasty home cooked goodies here. Just look at this little fellow from the York Anti-Trafficking Society:

I named him Terry, and then I bit his head off.

I named him Terry, and then I bit his head off.

I’d say it was a pretty profitable day. I got a free lunch, loads of stuff and enough leaflets and vouchers to be responsible for the death of a small forest. Like I said, my inbox is still full of emails from various societies I was guilted into/too shy to say no to when they jumped out from behind their stalls. Annoyingly, the groups I’m actually interested in, I can’t get to – I have a lot of late afternoon classes and these clash with a couple meetings, while all the creative writing, blogging and satirical newspaper societies meet at similar times on a Thursday night. Way to split your audience, guys.

It’s probably just as well, though. Between socialising, volunteering at a museum and actually doing work for my course, I don’t think I’d have enough time left over for trying new things. For now I shall just enjoy my free stuff, safe in the knowledge that I can freeload well, when I want to.

PS On a small side note, I realise it’s a year today since I started this blog. Thank you everyone who’s stopped by to read my ramblings. Aye, even you. Cheers.

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