The stages of university as told by ‘Friends’

Posted in: Undergraduate

As Freshers’ Week drew nearer, I felt the same twinge of nerves combined with bubbling excitement as I had over summer. While I love to socialise and meet new people, one of my biggest concerns was how much common ground I would find with my new flatmates, especially since I didn’t watch much TV.

In fact, my flatmates (who were so easy to get along with!) created a list of TV shows and films to binge-watch throughout the year. Right at the top of this list was the American sitcom ‘Friends’. It seemed that everyone at Bath had either watched or fallen in love with this comedy classic – and soon I did, too! So, get ready to relive your childhood – here is my experience of the past few years at university as told by ‘Friends’ quotes.

First Year

Ross: PI-VOT!

After a long and tiring day of travelling, my dad finally switched off the car engine parked right outside the distinctive green walls of Quads accommodation. I couldn’t wait to settle in and say hi to my new flatmates. My dad, on the other hand, was staring fixedly at the narrow corridors and awkward staircase, wondering how on earth we could move my bulky luggage up to my room (did I mention I was on the fifth floor…?) The result: pivot! Fortunately, I was able to move in pre-coronavirus and with the help of my family. I’d recommend checking out stories by current first-year students who have experienced a different kind of move-in!

Ross: I’m FINE…

Moments after my luggage was hurriedly manoeuvred into my small room, my dad wished me the best of luck and set off on a long drive back home. Initially, the buzz of moving into university accommodation was the overriding feeling. It was only a couple of days later when everything started to settle that I acknowledged a few signs of homesickness. If anyone asked, I channelled my inner Ross and said I was fine. In reality, the short bout of homesickness reminded me of how grateful I was for my family.

Janice: Oh. My. Gawd.

Hands down, Freshers’ Fair was one of the highlights of my first semester at university. With its central location on campus, where I could easily just roll out of bed, the buzz and swarm of students made for an event like no other. The minute I squeezed through the door, there was the tempting waft of free Domino’s pizza – and for anyone who knows me, you can’t go wrong with a decent pizza! But the freebies didn’t end there… by the time I left, I was armed with a tote bag, a new water bottle and enough pens to last a lifetime. Fast forward four years later, I haven’t needed to buy a single pen since.

Second Year

Joey: The morning’s here!

After I’d inevitably spent at least an hour trying to decipher my timetable, I started to miss my timetable from my first year. When I first started, I’d thought 9:15 am lectures were bad. Now I was crossing every finger and toe that my 8:15 am lecture (they really exist!) in Second Year was a timetable mistake (it wasn’t). The silver lining, though, was that it turned out to be the perfect transition to becoming an early bird, avoiding the long bus queues up to campus and bagging my preferred study space before anyone else did!

Ross: Brussels sprouts? That’s worse than no food.

There’s always one housemate who practically lives and breathes Christmas. You know, the one who unashamedly watches Love Actually in November and has a Christmas playlist ready to go? Yep, that was me. Amid the increased academic workload that comes with Second Year, our Christmas in Bath was the perfect way to create some amazing lasting memories. Even if it did come with a whole new level of chaos and created a heated debate on whether brussels sprouts can even belong on a Christmas dinner!

Third Year

Joey: Hey, how you doin’?

Much of Second Year had been leading up to this moment: the Year Abroad, an integrated placement year that I chose to split between France and Germany to support my degree in Modern Languages. After settling into my new surroundings – first in Bordeaux, then in Stuttgart – I could confidently answer the inevitable questions that crop up in introductions, namely “So, where do you come from?” or “What do you do?” That’s one of the best parts about a placement year… it allows you to meet new people and build lasting friendships.

Phoebe: Je m’appelle Claude.
Joey: Jet aplee bloo.

After arriving in France knowing no one, I was suddenly caught up in a whirlwind of activity, constantly meeting people during my placement, volunteering work and social events with locals and other students. Quite often, you’re either a ‘names’ or a ‘faces’ person. If my experience in France taught me anything, it’s that people’s names can be very difficult to remember. Especially when you’re not quite fluent in French, everyone is in fancy dress and some people are struggling to remember even their own name after one last game of ‘Ring of Fire’.

Final Year

Monica: Do you have a plan?
Phoebe: I don’t even have a ‘plan.’

Final Year comes with its own set of challenges, whether it’s a dissertation or an increased workload. As many graduate schemes open to applications as early as October, it was initially overwhelming to figure out how I would balance academic commitments with career planning. I’d definitely recommend checking out the MyFuture page and Career Service website, where they offer career quizzes, career events and an entire platform dedicated to other resources (I’ve personally found these very useful!).

Rachel: No one’s been more like a sister to me.

As my friends are planning to soon start a new chapter of their lives, I’ve found myself looking back at the amazing memories, friendships and experiences over the past few years at university. I’ve been lucky to have met some amazing people and I’m excited to see what the future has in store!


Posted in: Undergraduate


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