Welcome to Better Late Than Fresher! We’re chronicling the real-life experiences of a brand new UWA fresher from O-Day to final exams, and trying to offer some helpful advice and guidance along the way.
Cohen’s back from Albany and ready to go for the second half of the semester! Bridget’s not so sure she’s as ready to go as he is, and wishes that she was in first year again. We talk about online tests, assignment conspiracies, drunk foreign policy arguments, wholesome college activities, bagel cravings, Taiwanese parliament brawls, the Death of Unifi, class stereotypes, the upcoming College Row Lip Dup competition and murdering people with permanent markers.
[light, poppy intro music]
B: Hello everyone and welcome to our fifth episode of Better Late than Fresher, the wonderful fortnightly podcast where we check in with our fresher student Cohen and see how he’s going with his university experience, and pass down a little bit of knowledge, and a bit of wholesome advice from generation to generation. So! Big week this week back from Albany this week…
B: Cohen’s returned from Albany, for everyone listening! How did that go, travelling down to Albany during the break, and your time during the break?
C: I mean, it went really well! But it went the way that I was almost exactly expecting it to go.
C: I went down there and for five days I was like ‘Oh my god this is so exciting, yeah Albany! See my friends! Awesome, fun!’ and then for the last three days I was like ‘I have so much shit to do…’
C: ‘… and I have done none of it yet. And that just turned into me sitting in front of the screen, and by that I mean literally sitting in front of my laptop, staring into the backlight, waiting for some angel to give me inspiration.
B: You’ve discovered one of the grand joys of university- just being given an assignment and staring at a laptop, going ‘What am I doing?’
C: Literally, I have no idea. And like, true to my form, this assignment has been posted for three weeks…
C: I started doing it about four days before it was due, and actually finished the essay 23 minutes before it was due!
B: That’s incredible timing! See, you’re learning the nuances of university life already. That’s like, not even 4th or 5th years pro university students get that type of nuance down.
C: It’s an extreme sport. I live for adrenaline.
B: You got to get it down to the point where you submit two minutes before deadline. I couldn’t do that. I’m not that type of person.
So from last time we recorded, you were talking about the Spanish test you had to do on the way down- after you got down to Albany…
B: How did that go as your first kind of online quiz?
C: Well it was a grammar test, so it would be like ‘here is a sentence with the word missing!’ and it would be like…
B: Fill in the blank?
C: Yes, exactly, which sounds easy… but it’s Spanish…
B: Sounds easy, but it’s not in English.
C: So I cross reference every single question I did, ‘Put that in there, make sense’, submitted it- and the answer, the result I got was not astronomically high, but I have to say I was pleasantly unsurprised. [laughs]
B: Pleasantly unsurprised by your own standards! Now, on the way down to Albany had to get picked up at 4 in the morning and then got down there at 10, with not a lot of sleep and then had to do this assignment. How did that go? Because I feel like that’s a situation that a lot of uni students feel themselves in after going out, being hungover, tired, or not sleeping and having to push out assignments – its kinda one of the quintessential lessons you learn.
C: And I’ve learnt that the hard way so far.
B: How’d it go?
C: Well I got picked up at 5 a.m. by my brother. First of all, very shocked to see the amount of lights they were on at college at 5 a.m. – disgusting, sleep more! Second of all, I just passed out in the car.
B: Good you took my advice!
C: I did, literally! It was against my will, I didn’t have any control over it, I just passed out.
B: I mean, what else are you going to do in a car?
C: Exactly! So I slept in the car on the way down there. By the time I got there, my brother and sister were absolutely dead. They had no energy, and I was like [chipper voice ‘Hello Mum! Hello everybody, greetings to the day! Hi!’
B: You had a 5 hour sleep so you were fine! You had a long nap effectively!
C: Exactly! I was ready to destroy this Spanish test – and true to myself, I did not, but at the same time…
B: You passed it though right?
B: And there’s the famous maxim from university life: ‘Ps get degrees.’ [laughs] You just need to remember that. I feel like we shouldn’t be setting you up as a fresher for this amount of failure, quote unquote…
C: See, you just need to be able to hack my brain and fix the part of it that allows me to remember that phrase! [laughs] Everytime I rationalise me not doing something, that’s the phrase that comes to mind.
B:I think that’s the phrase that comes to mind for most university students. Like even as a fifth year, it’s like ‘Well I got 60% on this assignment… [whispers] Ps get degrees! You’ll be fine in the end, it’ll be fine in the end!’
C: I mean, I found out that St Cat’s where I live, is a college of academia… I can’t believe I just said that. [posh voice] A college of academia!
B: [posh voice] Oh ho, a college of academia!
C: So, statistic that I heard of the meeting the other day: 50% of the kids at St Cats are averaging a distinction or above, and 25% are averaging a high distinction.
B: Now, are you within this 50% Cohen?
C: Well, we’ll see when I get my marks back from my major assignments! [laughs]
B: So you’re currently just in this gradeless void where you can get away with a lot.
C: Exactly, I don’t know what to expect. So I can see how it goes- I could be all the way up there, get all the scholarships…
B: I’m sure you will be, I’m sure you will be.
C: Thank you for your hope in me I don’t want to say it could be misplaced, but thank you for believing in me.
B: Someone’s gotta believe in you! Okay, so we did the Spanish test, that was fine. So now you’ve got a whole wealth of assignments that you’re facing at the moment?
B: You said earlier you’re writing an essay?
C: One of them is a 1200 word essay for my communications in practice class. The second one is a 2500 word essay -I nearly had a heart attack when I saw that – for law and society…
B: Bless, wait till you get like 4000 word essays.
C: That is exactly what I didn’t want to hear! And then I have another 1500 word essay for another class… and I can’t even remember what class. How bad is that?
B: Well must be a lot of time and effort being put into that.
C: Yeah it’s my speciality…
B: Because I feel like, this time of the semester, usually after the mid semester break is when all the assignments start to hit.
C: Yeah exactly!
B: It’s kind of a weird period in between week 5 and week 10, 11 – before exams but after midsems – where all the assignments kind of emerge from the depths of somewhere. All of the unit coordinators just plan a specific time…
C: It’s like they all meet up in a dark room around a big table with cloaks on and they just like…
B: [evil voice] ‘Yes, we will put the assignments on week 7!’
C: And they laugh and drink our tuition. [laughs]
B: All jokes aside though, I think at least some of them try to meet and make sure that there’s no clashes.
C: That is true.
B: So you don’t just get them all at once.
C: My timetable is like clockwork, the amount of space that I have between each assessment.
B: So, certain amount of times between class or…?
C: At least a week between each assignment at the moment.
B: There you go, that’s amazing! Plenty of time! As you as you learn at university, a week is like a year. You have so much time, provided that you don’t load yourself with other stuff.
C: That’s a good point.
B: You have so much time to do your stuff. So, speaking of extracurriculars- how are you doing with clubs and all of that fun involvement? How did EMAS go? Because I believe that Cohen got tickets to EMAS…
C: I scored tickets to EMAS the day before it happened!
B: How did that happen?
C: I was just offered them! ‘I’ve got some tickets!’, and I was like thank you Jesus! [both laugh]
B: Because have they sold out by this point?
C: They had sold out by this point, at the Oak Lawn…
B: [posh voice] The Oak Lawn… the one and only!
C: [posh voice] The lawn of Oak! So we went there, and I don’t know- it was a really weird amount of people that were there, because 50% were really into it and 50% looked like they did not want to be there, you know what I mean?
B: Ok, explain this. Explain this further, because I’ve been to a few EMAS events in my time and I think I can relate… but just elaborate on it more.
C: So, you go up to a group of people that would be on the dance floor and they would be into it- they would be having so much fun and be waving their weird foam glow stick in the air like their life depended on it, jumping up and down, having fun. And then you’d immediately turn around and they’d be people there that were like ‘This is so lame… let’s go.’
B: But then they were there?
C: Yeah they’d paid money to come there! Why did you buy tickets if you knew it was going to be like this!? But no I had a very good time, it was very very fun.
B: What other events are happening like at college or uni? I’ve just been locked in the library doing assignments, so I haven’t really focused on…
C That’s fine, let me shed some light. We’ve got this fantastic event called Secret Friends Week at college…
B: See I just live vicariously through you! This is so good, I love hearing about this! Ok, so Secret Friends Week.
C: This is the most wholesome thing I’ve ever been a part of.
B: I love wholesome things!
C: So we all applied to be in Secret Friends Week, and there was a cut off date and then one night we all got put into an event on Facebook and this message came up that was like ‘Look at your door.’ And then there was a person’s name on your door, and you would even know them or not know them, and their room number would be on there as well. You’d have to buy them gifts, maybe like write them a nice letter or something, and then give it to them…
B: [excited] When they don’t know!?
C: …without them seeing you or anything!
C: So you just open your door and have a gift from a stranger!
B: That’s kind of cute! So it’s like Secret Santa, but like no Santa involved! Just being secret.
C: And then on Saturday, we’re catching up and we’re roasting marshmallows and stuff over a fire, and we’re all gonna reveal ourselves to a secret friends!
B: This is so wholesome!
C: It is, isn’t it?
B: Hopefully no-one tries to make it less than wholesome, because that’s just such a good idea whoever came up with that.
C:Some people are very very committed and some people and not really committed at all.
B:I guess that was kinda suck if you had a partner who wasn’t committed and you were committed to it. Hopefully you’re committed to it!
C: I’m so committed. I can’t tell you what I’ve done for my person but…
B: We cannot reveal it live on air!
C: I’ll give you an example of something that someone else has done good, and another thing that’s been done. A certain person went to open the door and someone was like ‘Awww, your mystery friend has a present for you!’, and they just stapled two pieces of dried apple to his door…
B: That’s not wholesome activity! That’s not the point! I mean it’s objectively very funny, but that’s not the point!
C: Then other people have like beautifully wrapped, well thought out gifts and care packages and bottles of wine… I got a plant!
B: You got a plant! Does it have a name yet?
C: That’s a very good point… I feel like it needs a name.
B: It does.
C: [pauses] Jennifer.
B: Jennifer? You just decided that it’s a Jennifer?
C: It is… if you saw the plant you’d know. [laughs]
B: It’s the vibe… it’s a vibe of Jennifer. Fair enough! So you’ve got a plant from your mystery person and you find out who they are at the weekend?
C: You find them out at the weekend and they’re getting a hug from me. That is their present a hug from me!
B: Ok so that’s all in colleges and stuff- and your roommate, or your next door neighbours and everyone are still tolerating you?
C: Yes in my mind -I don’t know about in their mind, but yes they are they still putting up with me.
B: So you told me a really great story the other night about your friend who went home drunk from EMAS? I think you should try to retell this because I think it’s hilarious.
C: So we were having pres before for EMAS and there were a few of us in there, and we all went to leave. Now I don’t know how, But from this point on I didn’t see this friend of ours for the rest of the night.
B: So he just disappeared?
C: Well he didn’t disappear, the rest of my friends were with him, but I just didn’t see him again. So I went to EMAS, went in there, had some fun, turned around and I was like ‘Where’s our friend?’ He had been given a wristband and then was immediately removed for the premises.
B: Instantly revoked!
C: Literally, instantly removed! The bouncer was like ‘No no no, good bye, bye!’
B: Now was this due to him being drunk or something else?
C: No he was a little bit intoxicated.
C: So they removed him from EMAS, and then I was like ‘Where the hell is he?’
B: I mean all of you lot got through, so it must have been alright.
C: We did. I mean, we were worried about him because I was thinking, how’s he going to get back to college? And I was trying to call him and every time his phone wouldn’t connect…
B: There’s always one friend in the group that’s like that! There’s always one!
C: … and then someone was like ‘Have you seen this person’s Snapchat story?’ and I was like ‘No, I’m a bit busy!’ and they showed it to me. And it was our friend, that have been kicked out of EMAS, sitting at a table back at St Cats, arguing with somebody else about foreign policy! [hysterical laughing]
B: That’s too good! That’s too good! The fact that he was managing to do that whilst drunk, with someone who is presumably not very drunk, and holding his own is so funny!
C: It was so weird!
B: Look, arguably that’s a better party than EMAS was!
B: What else is happening at uni this week?
C: Wel, the big controversy on campus the other day was the demise of Unifi!
C: The big controversy! This has been a talking point for the last couple of days. Unifi, for people who are listening, is UWA’s WiFi service. Any student who has a student number, or any student from any other university, can log on to Unifi and use the internet at uni. As of about Monday… or Tuesday? No, Tuesday… Unifi completely crashed. Pandemonium! No one could access the internet, no one could access anything any of their devices in terms of logging onto the internet, downloading lecture material, and do their assignments. So that was meant to be resolved by the end of Tuesday, then it wasn’t.
C: It was not.
B: They said it was, and then come Wednesday, it crashed again for the entire day again! And we’re now recording on the Thursday, and it’s holding up alright today, but whether it needs to be re-triaged I don’t know- it’s been pretty intermittent.
C: Do you know what this is all done?
C: This has unified us against the establishment! [laughs]
B: That’s beautiful! It’s unified us…
C: It’s brought us together.
B: I just went home- I’m just going to go home and do all my stuff. But if you are relying on it at university, or you have other no other means at home to access resources, you’re stuffed!
C: I was talking to a girl in my tute yesterday who had been hotspotting her laptop from her phone for the entire day.
B: Imagine the data fees from doing that!
C: And the phone bill when that comes along!
B: Luckily, its all been sorted out, but that was the hot topic issue for this week. Now, with assignment season approaching, this is the peak time for procrastination.
C: It is. I have a huge problem with procrastination. I feel like it’s an inherent part of my soul and it’s gotten so bad that I will often find myself doing things that I do not usually do just so I don’t have to study.
B: Join the club, join the club!
C: Join the club!
B: I am pretty sure that applies to most university students; when you’ve got three assignments and four exam you need to study for and make notes for, and it’s just like ‘You know what? Let’s just watch Netflix. Let’s just catch up on YouTube subscriptions. Let’s just not do what I’m supposed to do.’
C: Literally! So here’s a fun fact. I got my first ever bagel as a way to get out of studying…
B: Sorry, first ever bagel?
C: Yeah I know…
B: They don’t have bagels in Albany?
C: …. No. I mean, probably… it’s hard in the Regions, okay!? So I had my first ever bagel as in way to escape studying, but I think my brain has conditioned itself to a point where every time I don’t want to study, I just get a craving for bagels. And because I never ever want to study I’m 100% of the time craving bagels!
B: Oh no…
C: So guess where I’m going after this?
B: To get a bagel?
C: To get a bagel!
B: Is that from Reid Library?
C: No, it’s from The Tenth State!
B: Nice, okay! High-end bagels!
C: We’re classy!
B: It’s not from the Caltex across the road- this from The Tenth State!
C: [posh voice] Across the road from the Caltex!
B: That’s hilarious, the fact that you’ve conditioned yourself to associate bagels with procrastinating.
C: A bit of a problem.
B: Because everyone, I guess, has their own different ways of procrastinating.
C: That’s true.
B: Whether it be eating bagels or otherwise! [laughs]
C: Do you ever, like, write really questionable things on your laptop and then realise that there are people watching you halfway through lecture?
C: Like, I like to put things into my own words when I write them down. So we were learning the other day, from maybe a slightly biased professor, about how Trump is the end of democracy and how there is no way of escaping the authoritarian state. And we will learning about the powers of the executive, so I’m making notes like ‘executive = top shit; these damn men…’ and this girl next to me was like ‘The executive is the supreme force of the…’
B: With her MacBook? With the [makes obnoxious typing noises]?
C: Yes! And then he started talking about Malaysia, Malaysian politics, and then I just ended up looking up fights in Asian parliament on YouTube.
B: There’s some good ones in Eastern European parliaments as well- like, people in Russia just having full on biffo fights in parliament.
C: Because I can, I forget where I am. So I was looking up Taiwanese brawls in parliament -which are fantastic, I would thoroughly recommend that by the way – and then suddenly you can just hear someone behind you going ‘Mmmmmmm.’
B: Hey don’t judge me for looking up Taiwanese brawls in parliament!
C: Literally it’s fascinating! We’re in a democracy class, where I am looking at democracy in action!
B: It is related! Unlike Netflix chick! If you could associate whatever she was watching with what was going on, she might have just be getting content for a lecture.
B: And the fact that you went to the right tute this week? Mate! Such an idiot… [applauds]
C: Thank you! Yeah look, it’s just so simple. Like I found out that if you check things before you go, you will never be wrong!
B: Funny that, funny that!
C: It’s like if you’re unsure about what time it is, don’t just take an educated guess!
B: Don’t just take it easy! Don’t assume anything! So everyone, I’m sure, was glad to have your presence in there tute. I mean it is your tute, but you haven’t rocked up to the past couple.
C: They probably missed me at the last one, ‘Oh, drama boy’s not here!’
B: [sympathetic] Oh, drama boy! That’s a good question- do you think you’ve developed a reputation in any of your classes yet? I feel like that, specifically in first year, it’s a natural instinct of a lot of people to try and pigeonhole people and stereotype them into being drama boy or overly studious girl. Obviously people don’t always fit those stereotypes, but it’s easy to bracket people you don’t know into them.
C: I don’t know. When no one else says things in tutes, that I get on a roll. My reputation in Spanish is- well, I always get called on, and I don’t have a lower skill level in the class, probably in the middle. So my reputation’s probably the boy who gets all the questions wrong! [laugh]
B: At least you’re standing up at making an effort though!
C: In POLS, I’m the one who doesn’t necessarily do all the readings but still get the answers right.
B: Oh you’re one of these people! Okay, the one who doesn’t do the readings and just knows all their stuff so well.
C: It’s not a blessing, it’s a curse.
B: Yeah sometimes.
C: Mind you, I say that and I’ll probably get my assignment back and I’ll be like ‘The answer to this was in the readings, you’ve missed the point!’ It’s alright, I’m way too full of myself.
B: Anything else that’s happening in your social life outside of uni?
C: Yeah, we’re having all the colleges -I don’t know about you, if know about this – starting preparation for the Lip Dub this year! Do you know what the lip dub is?
B: Yes I do.
C: For those of you who don’t know what the Lip Dub is, it’s when every single college takes all their students and makes a video of them lip-syncing to certain songs in a competitive competition between all of them.
B: Now this is different to fresher dance?
C: Yes it’s very competitive.
B: I remember watching Uni Hall and St Cat’s ones in like first and second year, and they are phenomenal! The amount of coordination that’s required, and the story and the plot like- it’s just amazing.
C: It’s like a three minute minute video that takes 2 to 3 hours to make, And it all has to be done in one take! And like, I have to do well because my brother was at Trinity in 2009 when they won…
B: [understanding] Oh!
C: I think that was the first Lip Dub ever, and they won…
B: So you’ve got a family standard to uphold!
C: I’ve gotta win!
B: I remember for some reason… I remember in the first and second year, Uni Hall involved a horse in theirs?
C: [shocked] What?!
B: Yeah so if you could obtain a horse from somewhere… or includes the St Cat’s dogs in it, then you’ll be on a winner!
C: We could just have the dogs in it and have the dogs on horses?
B: Dogs just moving their mouths!
B: Very excited for that!
C: Except when I say it’s the most competitive time, it is the most competitive time at college. Because this is the one that everyone wants to win. These videos get put on YouTube, they are immortalized forever- if you don’t win, why you there?
B: You’ve gotta put your heart and soul into it! Similar to the fresher dance, I think you’ve learnt and you’ve grown from that experience.
C: Yes we have.
B: Can you incorporate any of the dance moves that you saw in Trinity’s…?
C: Tommy More!
B: Tommy More! Can you poach any moves from them and put it into the Lip Dub?
C: Yes… but why would we want to?
B: Okay, go on your own way! That’s a fair, controversial and brave take!
C: Exactly we don’t need to stoop to Tommy More’s level!
C: I’m sorry! I’m sorry to anyone who listens who’s from Tommy More!
B: Because I know with colleges there’s a lot of intercollege dating… intra-college dating.
C: You a lot of couples come up to college together, they decide they don’t want to live together and then go to separate colleges.
B: I feel like that’s a recipe for disaster.
C: I mean living in separate colleges to each other makes more sense to me than living in the same college?
B: Just having space from one another?
C: Yeah. Ooh, something cool that’s going on at Tommy More at the moment, with almost made me want to be a part of it – there doing this thing where, apparently every year it turns the entire college on its head. It’s called Assassin?
B: Ohhhhh yes! Uni Hall do this too!
C: Yeah I think we do it at some point as well! Tommy More is full extra though, they’ve gone extra. So what they have to do is, you’ve given a name of somebody and they have to attack that person with a permanent marker. But there’s not allowed to be any witnesses, and it if you get caught, it’s game over! So after you attack your person successfully and kill them, you get their person.
B: So you just have to progressively, quote unquote, murder people with a permanent marker.
B: So surely this would get brutal, right?
C: Yeah one of my best friends goes to Tommy More, and she was telling me yesterday that the tactics that go into it are insane. She had two of her very good friends together and one of them was her target. So she was messaging my friend and was like, ‘You need to change my name in your phone to someone else, so that when I text you to leave it looks like it came from someone else!’ So she was like ‘emergency, I need you to come now!’ and the other friend was like ‘I’ve got to go sorry!’ And then my friend walked in there and was like ‘Hey doll, how you going? ZAP!’
B: That’s brutal! That’s like Hunger Games level allegiance, oh my god!
C: Yeah like- I came to win or die.
B: And further update from last episode: have we discovered who the Uber eats driver is? Has he come back?
C: No he hasn’t! I even had a kebab the other day to see if he did.
B: From the same kebab store?
B: Was is as good as last time, and did it take as long as last time?
C: It didn’t take as long as last time, and it was an exponential improvement. The Uber driver this time had a little less conversation, he was just as kind, but I want to know who this person is! Can we like crowdfund an expedition?
B: Crowdfund an investigation into who this man is? If only he taking a screenshot of the driver!
C: I know!
B: Alright I think that just about does it for this week! Thank you once again, everyone for listening to this episode, and will be back with more in around the next fortnight! Cohen, come up with a sign off please!
C: … bringing you all the freshest hits?
B: Now we’re turning into a radio station.
C: Yes of course!
B: I’m Bridget…
C: I’m Cohen…
Both: And we’re bring you all the freshest hits!
B: Alright, bye!
C: See ya!