The T*tler Guide to Burston Central University

inspired by SURVIVING FRESHERS: THE TATLER GUIDE TO BRISTOL UNIVERSITY http://www.tatler.com/news/articles/september-2012/freshers-bristol-university (thanks to @phil_baty)

BEDDING DOWN  Surprisingly, there isn’t much cheap accommodation available in Central Burston, so you’re in luck – you won’t have to bump into too many of the plebs if you pick up one of the expensive converted warehouse apartments available very close to the University.  If you want to mix it up a bit with other students and locals, then you could try Flyblown Hall, which is in an authentic area of town with lots of curry restaurants. Invest in an account with the local taxi firm so that you don’t get caught out walking back there, though –gun crime is quite high in the neighbouring areas.

THE BIG NIGHTS OUT The Students’ Union is a total dump – don’t even think of going there. Even the Rugby Club doesn’t bother. Instead, try Roxy’s disco in the city centre (no, the name isn’t ironic –it’s still the seventies experience it always has been). Otherwise, there is a KFC near the bus station and several branches of McDonalds. You’ll be getting a real cultural experience – ideal for those sociology students among you! If you want to link up with other like-minded people, hop on the train to London.

THE PUB Next to the University is the Salvation Arms. It sounds like a spit-and-sawdust place, but it actually has a patterned carpet, so it’s more of a spilled-pint-and-sticky-floor place. Serves gassy lager and occasionally has a vile-tasting real ale.

LATE-NIGHT MUNCHIES Cheeky’s café opens late on big nights, not closing till 9pm or so. Ideal for a snack on the way home! But it’s even better on the morning after, with a real builder’s breakfast on offer at bargain prices. With real builders available to ogle. Must visit. In the day, try the University coffee shop. It’s not cheap, but you can mingle with academic staff, who don’t have their own facilities – good for catching your tutor to ask for an extension!

WHAT TO WEAR Girls – Ugg boots, Juicy Couture track suits, big hair, lots of foundation.  Boys – jeans, hoodies, T-shirts with slogans.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR  Anything by Wills or Abercrombie and Fitch, unless you like spending the weekend in A & E.

WORK Attendance is only monitored if you are a foreigner, so nobody will notice if you don’t turn up. Don’t stress over preparing for tutorials – there will be 20 people in each group and you won’t get singled out. Nobody else will prepare either, you’ll get a mini-lecture instead. Generous consideration given to Mitigating Factors, but keep track of the number of grandmothers you’ve disposed of.

WEEKENDS Most Burston Students live at home anyway, but those who don’t will usually head off as the city basically closes down at the weekend. Although Primark opens late on Fridays.

WHAT TO SAY TO THE RELLIES Just say you’re studying in Burston – they will assume it’s ‘the other place’.  Remember, Mummy and Daddy spent a lot of money on your school years and this wasn’t what they expected. Don’t embarrass them any more. If they catch on. emphasise the ethnographic value of being in a different milieu for three years, especially if you’re ‘reading’ sociology.  Or the importance to society of vocational education (this won’t work if you’re studying cultural studies).

ALUMNI thousands every year can’t be wrong.


Wading Through Treacle fictionalises the stuff in HE which you couldn’t make up. You can follow @wadingtreacle on Twitter, or like the Wading Through Treacle page on Facebook to be informed of updates, or click on ‘follow’ at the bottom of this screen to register for updates from Wading Through Treacle. Feel free to send me accounts of daft things which could be fictionalised by email, too: wadingtreacle@gmail.com.

If you want to read the Advent Calendar 2012, which has a bit more of a narrative, see the ‘About’ page.

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