advice from a “pandemic finalist” – Palatinate


By Cerys Edwards

The other day I came across a Twitter thread titled “Kingdom Survival Guide for All Freshmen”. Written by a “pandemic graduate”, the list turned out to be an interesting read and included more or less specific advice: you will gain weight (true), do not bring heels (fake), do not sleep with your roommates (gospel). However, rather than the content, what struck me was the confidence with which the author was able to dispense such advice.

Guess I could be described as a ‘pandemic runner-up’ and while I can offer my two cents worth of Durham-related tips and tricks (basically: pack diapers, north is cold), the truth is I feel closer to a ‘silly fresh’ than a finalist. I am still overwhelmed with a slight sense of dread upon entering the Billy B and still haven’t found the courage to join Overheard, despite losing my campus card more times than is acceptable for one person. (generally) competent.

Many of us feel closer to “silly fresh” than to the finalists.

I’m sure many “pandemic finalists” – and “second pandemic years” for that matter – are the same in this regard. Simply put, we just didn’t have the college experience we expected. Having to navigate two security towers in the TLC is now as (if not more) familiar to us than being asked for ID at Jimmy’s. The interior of an examination center is now more recognizable than that of our departmental building. Such descriptions would be incomprehensible to a 2019 graduate, but that doesn’t make our college experience any less valuable; in fact, I would say the opposite is true.

Hopefully, the start of this new academic year will hopefully mark the end of these pandemic-isms. As I reluctantly enter my final year here, I remember my hockey friend Liv, who was in her third year when I first joined the team. She claimed to have a “fresher outlook on life” and was always the first to arrive and the last to leave every social and training session. If possible, I think we should all adopt a similar attitude this year. Spare us another Social Zoom – experience the eccentricity of Durham in all its glory in person.

We didn’t have the college experience we expected.

With this in mind, this “freshers” edition of Indigo is devoted to all things Durham and is designed not only for new students, but also for new students looking to make the most of all the university has to offer. And there are many. On pages 8 and 9, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to the best events scheduled for this quarter, chosen by our wonderful Indigo section editors. There are real treasures there, including the “Museum of the Moon” exhibition at the cathedral, reviewed on page 16 by Visual Arts.

Continuing on the theme of “freshers,” pages 3, 12 and 13 provide recommendations from books and films based on student life, while Food and Drink offers proven remedies for the flu. Freshers on page 9. If you’d like you involve with Palatinate, turn to page 10 for an interview with our editors and Indigo editors. Also keep an eye out for our upcoming social freshers where you can chat with current editorial board members.

We hope you enjoy this edition and that it will prove useful in some ways. Maybe after reading, you’ll even be tempted to write your own Twitter thread.

Illustration: Sophie Draper


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