We know it’s probably a bit too soon in the summer to mention this, and the last thing we want to provoke in our readers is WHSmiths-heart-sinking ‘Back To School – Stationary Offer!’ vibes.  Actually, stationary is the fucking best.  Nothing beats Calligraphy sets for Christmas, and the joy of a Parker Pen in your hand - scrawling over the first immaculate page of a pristine and overpriced moleskin.  That’s heaven.


What isn’t heaven is graduating from your BA with future-terror burning in your eyes, realising you’re still wearing the same “ironic” T-Shirt as when you moved in, and that your virginity is so intact everyone calls you Mary, Mary Mother of Jesus (FTR they’ll use the Latino pronunciation of ‘Jesus’).

CHILL THE FUCK OUT. We care about you.  We won’t let that happen.


This will probably happen in Sainsbury’s, somewhere between the tinned tomatoes and the plastic bottle openers.  After dropping off your most prized possessions (all 706 of them, stuffed into bursting bin bags) in your new bedroom/cupboard/cell, Mum and Dad will take you shopping for culinary essentials – chickpeas and condoms.  It won’t seem real yet, this moving out and being an adult schtick.  But then you’ll glance around and notice a pair of second years, bored behind their trollies, fingering the avocados and snobbing their way through the bread aisle.  They’re glorious.  They haven’t washed their hair in weeks, one of them is covered in paint, and there’s no chance they’d give you a second glance with Mr. and Mrs. Parental grinning behind you, debating the liqutabs.  Old people need to return to suburbia, and you need to find the Student Union ASAP, drink your weight in Aftershock, and curl up in a stranger’s sweaty arms.  Don’t call home more than once a week, don’t get so homesick for your dog you walk around Battersea crying, and for fucks sake don’t go home on weekends.  Your Mum’s roast isn’t as moist as you remember.  The rest of your life is starting.  Deal with it.

TIP: Olive oil is good for faking second year greasy hair.


We not suggesting you spend your days of higher education as a social pariah, but avoid the temptation to tie a Chevron friendship bracelet round the wrist of the first grinning mathematician you meet.  Nice people say hello first, they link arms with you on the way to orientation, and pick you up for the fresher’s tarts and vicars party wearing furry suspenders and a demented grin.  Nice people also bore you to tears with endless You Tube videos starring their WACKY dad “can you believe he’s the minister for Bromley?!”, call you from their shower “You’re talking to me naked! You’re gay!”, and get psycho jealous when you laugh with other people after lectures, “This bracelet is representative of a friendship promise you made to me. A promise you made to us”.  Wait a week, seek out the cool kids, then grunt at them in the cafeteria and ‘accidentally’ drop a Neil Gaiman by their feet.

TIP: Make sure it’s Sandman, not Coraline.  DON’T BE A COMMERCIAL BANDWAGON JUMPER.


Knowledge is everything.  Education is paramount. Obama is a fucking don. And the Platform office has been so hot this week the boys aren’t wearing tops or shoes.  THESE ARE FACTS.  But sometimes your alarm doesn’t go off (you haven’t slept since the Victorian era), sometimes you’ve already studied the subject of the lecture (your feet are talking to you), and sometimes you just can’t bloody be arsed (you just can’t bloody be arsed). On those occasions don’t feel guilty.  Embrace it, buy one of those  student friendly pizzas – the Chicago Town ones with chatty oven instructions, “pop it in the smoky fire you big loser, and try not to check the calorie content” (hate you innocent smoothies packaging.  You started this friendly/kooky chat - “this strawberry smoothie contains 2 bananas and a church” NO IT DOESN’T, AND THAT’S NOT FUNNY), then watch Blue Velvet.

Just make sure you’re not cutting every week, and that it’s not the same course each time.  No one likes a skeezy drop out.

TIP: Do check the calorie content you big fatty.


Preferably ones that are nothing to do with your course, and seem to have no relevance whatsoever to your future career.  Believe it or not, this is actually the area of work you will go into.  Deciding at the age of 18/19/23 (Thailand isn’t THAT good you frickin’ waster) on the subject to dedicate the next 40 years of you life to is the same as wandering through a field of cowpats with your eyes closed.  You’ll realise pretty quickly you don’t want to be there, it will smell like rotting grass, and that this is a ridiculous metaphor.  We don’t want to finish the cow/university course/shitty wellies comparison.  Actually that, inadvertently, is exactly our point – your inital life choice will be wrong (probably).  Consequently you need to push yourself into fanzines, art collectives, weird maths girls in fleeces you never thought you’d fancy, and homosexual relationships with a bisexual called Frankie.  That’s the university of life my friend, and that’s where you really learn “who you are”.

TIP: Check whether androgynous Frankie is a boy or girl before bounding into a (hopefully) same sex tryst.  If you get it wrong you’re just that weirdo going out with smelly androgynous Frodo Frankie, completely losing the point of bisexual connotations.


OMG Dr. Jango is so freaking cool! And he’s so young - not like the crabby old fart pants from School - remember the one that smelt like old digestives?  She was so lame with her ‘weak hip’ or whatever it was she’d bang on about till I was so bored I ate my own teeth.  But Dr.J - he’s amazing!  He’s so funny, and it’s like, I actually want to listen to him, you know?  I want him to think I am clever and interesting…No, not like that, no I don’t fancy him.  God, why is that always the first conclusion you jump to when I say I like a member of the opposite sex?  It’s not true!…OK it’s usually true, but not this time - come on, he’s married, and his wife is SO beautiful.  It’s more that I just really respect him.  Did you see him at that party the other day?  I totally chatted to him for ages about Philosophy and Jung, and he laughed at one of my ironic references.  It was fucking AWESOME.  Shit, I’m late for one of his classes, actually - you wanna grab a coffee before we go in?  Nah, he won’t mind, he’s really cool about that…Serious, chill out, let’s get our latte on.


TIP: Make sure there’s another person there when you’re saying all of the above, otherwise you’re kind of a nut bar.

Ultimately though, just have loads of house parties, kiss everyone, do the weirdest stuff you can, and try and get some work experience in the summers.