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Saturday, January 9, 2010

An article for the University of Malta magazine - The Insiter

On the Art of the Fresher…

How intriguing, you might think at first glance. An article about the art of being fresh; by a freshman. Inspired by missing lectures, acting cool, overpriced books, and being confused about everything University-related in general.

The initially shiny, happy, squeaky flood of new students, by the end of our second week, have now dwindled into shadows of our former overzealous selves. Now we have begun to get used to a lifestyle where we are coffee addicts, fast food junkies, and eSIMS whores. Like crazed birds we flutter to our lectures at the break of dawn, if only to satisfy the lustful power that some lecturer enforces upon us, should we be tardy. Bus drivers and schedules take no heed of our frantic need to be in time, companies insist on guiltlessly parting us with our hard-earned cash, and the pocket money we get on our smartcard. We must stuff our brains with deadlines, to-do lists, and acronyms; long gone are the seemingly endless days of a sky-blue summer, and in empathy, these past two weeks the dismal weather has reflected our newfound state of being.

Quickly one learns that; the more enthusiastic you are about learning at university; the more it is going to cost you, and not just in terms of the fifteen euro that you’ll be charged for wanting to take up extra credits. We end up studying biology when we chose psychology, or chemistry when we chose physics. Sitting in a hall where more than two hundred and fifty souls dwell on hard wooden benches, or on random chairs, or even on the floor when no other option is available; breathing the stench of other students, sweat, cigarettes, caffeine. The humid and stuffy air smothers us in the lecture halls where the air-conditioners are broken, or so ancient that, if forced to awaken from their age-old slumber, will cough up dust and cobwebs in a rebellious protest.

We are so new, so fresh, still getting used to feeling our way around the buildings and its lecturers; unlike us, they have been here for several generations, and may have even known the likes of our once-adolescent parents, donkey’s years ago. The library is relatively modern, apart from the fact that it too, like some of our class destinations, are much too small to accommodate the increasing numbers of us newcomers.

There is a contrast between us, you see, a clash , if you will, between something so fresh and not diminished by the passage of time, and something so matured, so well-preserved by the brine of its era. We must learn to adapt to this environment, as freshers, we must cunningly conform to this primordiality; in order to be accepted and welcomed into this society of higher education. No more shouts of “we don’t need no education”, no more questioning, away with thinking! We now must practice the art of freshers, to be complacent and apathetic, till we, too, become finely preserved cheese, mature sips of wine. Mr. Philip Leone Ganado in vain tries to spark interest in us about KSU’s oh-so-secret financial profits; his curiosity is regarded as nought but an unfortunate fart in a sacredly silent lecture, to be laughed at and dismissed.

So I too must become a master of this ancient art; I must keep silent and accept the infallible knowledge of the lecturers, in hope that I may one day have the chance to reel it off by heart in hope of getting a degree. I will become a faithful follower of UoM, a disciple of the Maltese educational system, stifling my insatiable curiosity and my endless questioning. I will write down each and every single word of my lectures and regurgitate it during examinations, never offering my personal thoughts or opinions.

That is, of course, until the next issue of the Insiter.

Natasha Singh - 14/10/10


  1. Well, a smart guy would keep track of his girl's periods. After all, they are pretty regular ;)

    And the joke was funny. I LOL'd :D

    Good going!