I went to a University called *Harper Adams, it is renouned (*within the Agricultural community, no one else has heard of it) as the very best for it’s facilities and graduate opportunities (I went because I saw a student had gone to Kenya on his placement and wanted to go on Safari).
I reached Harper Adams with my parents (in my best tweed, hair in perfect curls) and observed the other freshers’ who could be possible lifelong friends (as they wondered who let ‘farmyard Barbie’ in)
We got shown to our rooms, I was in a Halls called ‘Harris’ (a name which was going to be my ultimate downfall of University). It was an emotional goodbye to my parents (as I booted them out my room ‘see you at Christmas!’) then ran next door to meet my neighbour and walked in her room (without a knock, introduction or even a hello – but instead “thank GOD – finally got rid of the parents, let’s get wankered” and walked around the corner to be greeted by her parents).
As with every university the first week was largely dedicated to getting to know everyone (as I was doing a terrible job on my own, telling people ‘I only have pretty friends’). The third night we all went to the Student Union and were invited on stage to do games (I didn’t get involved in the boat races, or other drinking competitions) I volunteered for a couple (‘would a male and female fresher from each halls please come to the stage wearing the opposing sex’s underwear’) and I ran to the front in my bra and the boxers (I’d ripped off the closest male). We won the task – and our halls celebrated! I walked to the front of the stage in my bra and boxers bowing at the audience (who all thought I was a total idiot and branded me “Harris Hilton”.)
The following day we went to breakfast in our catered halls (everyone commenting ‘it’s just like school’, as I sat there in my childs’ tweed coat, pretending I also went to an expensive school – not a comprehensive in Swindon). Then we got ready for our freshers’ initiation, we’d heard a number of rumours regarding this event (but at no point did anyone say it was like an initiation to the army).
Harper liked to be a little more eccentric, the entire year forced to get on all fours like farmyard animals, herded into the student union (whilst being attacked with sheep spray and hurled abuse; ‘DIRTY FRESHER’ pelted with water bombs, eggs and the odd crow banger to really get you in the spirit that you are about to be slaughtered) I tried to remain close to my friends and inconspicuous (however I immediately got attacked and my £100 a week hair colour went from platinum to blue).
After the barn (of hell) we were forced to run across the rugby pitch ( I virtually vomited half way across the field) we were greeted by an army style obstacle course, going under trenches and over mud slides (still dodging eggs and crow bangers, wondering ‘why didn’t I go to a normal university.’)
That night we headed to the SU to let off some steam (and I lived up to my ‘Harris Hilton’ alter ego) once the music stopped and the lights came up I was not ready for the party to finish (so I didn’t let it) I invited a few others back to my room (shouting ‘there’s a party in my pants and you’re all invited’) and had a party back at mine (with a severely unbalanced ratio of boys to girls).
The following morning I missed breakfast, lunch (I basically missed every activity that took place before 6pm). There were a few rumours circulating about my extra curricular activities during fresher’s week (which were not helped by my cleaner. We shared a mutual dislike for one another – as I stuck a bin outside my room every morning, and she was refused entry to clean my cave.)
On the final night of freshers’ week, I was looking forward to a sober affair (and not another night of fresh rumours) we were treated to an evening with a hypnotist. I took a seat at the back (hidden) the hypnotist came on stage and introduced himself then requested a volunteer (not just any volunteer; “Would Harris Hilton please come to the stage”) I sat at the back and didn’t move (until a bright white spotlight found me in the audience and the hypnotist continued to request my presence on stage). I walked to the front (attempting to ignore the whispers “is that her?”, “that’s Harris Hilton – I heard she stuck five dildos up her arse” – or something along those lines)
I reached the stage – he then requested ‘Would Harris Hilton now please take a seat in the centre of the stage’ I took my seat, dreading what I was about to do (the shit I do without being hypnotised is more than enough) he then went silent for 5 minutes as I looked out at my year (wearing their tops with slogans I didn’t understand ‘I like girls, like I like my tractors – dirty with a big set of front weights’) The hypnotist finally spoke (and just when you thought life couldn’t get anymore embarrassing) ‘Would Harris Hilton please leave the stage, and return to her seat’ (social suicide) I got up and left the stage (all dignity lost, red faced holding in the tears).
Everyone (my one friend – who was not impressed when people started calling her Nicole Richie) agreed this was really out of order (the rest of the year hysterically laughed and pointed at my humiliation) I called my mum that evening sobbing; ‘they all call me Harris Hilton …because of my hair colour’ (I missed out the party in my pants evening) and she told me to stay strong and keep going ‘it can only get better’ (the other years returned the following week – it got so much worse).