As you may have picked up on by this point if you are regular peruser of this blog (or, actually, if you have seen pretty much any of my other posts) I am a huge fan of lists. In keeping with this trend, and in light of the fact I’m entering my final week at uni for this academic year, I decided to create the Ultimate Bucket List for a first year student here at Exeter.
Disclaimer: Some of these aren’t specific to Exeter and are more general first year university achievements. There is also a distinct lack of clubbing related challenges due to my own personal preferences on that front, but a quick Google has revealed the internet is full of them if you’re interested in that side of things.
So, from the bizarre to the admirable, to the must-do to the plain silly, in no particular order, here are 19 things I think it’s worth doing as a student in your first year at Exeter:
- Complete the Old Firehouse Challenge – devour an entire pizza and of course, the ultimate challenge of managing to find a table in the first place. If you’re feeling extra brave, follow it up with the calorific masterpiece that is Harry’s Heart Attack for dessert, it’s slogan being ‘Two will struggle, one will need the heart and stomach of lion!’ Challenge accepted.
- Get lost wandering around the green forestry of Exeter’s campus. Things to spot: Reed Hall, that pond with the fountain, random art installations and thousands of bunnies. I imagine I’ll still be getting lost come final year, but the abundance of woodland paths in and around campus is genuinely one of favourite things about Exeter.
- Order curly fries at the RAM to fuel you through a late afternoon lecture or seminar, and meet up with a course mate to bemoan how much work you’ve got to do in the coming week.
- Join a hundred and one societies at Freshers Fair, and end up becoming a regular member of only one of them. We are all guilty of this and it seems none of us will EVER LEARN.
- Walk along the Quayside on a sunny weekend or pedalo if the weather permits and you’re feeling adventurous! If you want a real challenge, trek along the river to the Double Locks pub for a classic pub lunch.
- Order horribly overpriced Dominos (even with the discount codes I swear Dominos is the biggest rip-off in the history of pizza) because you are just that bored of cooking.
- Take the train to Exmouth Beach, have an ice cream/fish and chips on the front in true tourist fashion, and wander up and down the sand feeling very self-satisfied in the fact you go to a university on the coast.
- Take a selfie in Parliament Street. At an impressively tight 64 centimetres wide at its narrowest, Parliament Street has (falsely) been claimed to be the world’s narrowest street, but it’s still pretty cool.
- Complete Rock Solid. I didn’t actually manage to get round to this, but I’d say to anticipate a lot of mud and a lot of laughs if the Facebook photos were anything to go by. Definitely something to do for second year.
- Do a week’s worth of shopping in the Pennsylvania Road Co-op because you just can’t be bothered to walk into town or trek to Morrisons. Instantly regret the decision when you get your next bank statement.
- Do something for bonfire night, whether its getting a ticket to Ottery St Mary to experience the famously bizarre local tradition of flaming tar barrels, or popping down to Exmouth for their impressive firework display.
- Actually go inside Exeter Cathedral and look round, as opposed to just taking selfies outside it. So I’m a self-confessed history geek, but the Cathedral has been around for 600-odd years and is genuinely a beautiful building. It’s vaulted ceiling is the longest in the whole of England, and it has an awesome astronomical clock too.
- Visit the Exeter Christmas market. Arguably a student staple must-do; brownie points for buying homemade chutney.
- Have brunch in Tea on the Green (or Boston Tea Party, whichever takes your fancy.)
- Swim in the outdoor swimming pool by Cornwall House. It’s been closed practically the entire time you’ve been on campus, but come May and exam season, the pool suddenly throws open its gates. Make the most of being in on-campus accommodation and plod down in your flip flops and towel for a de-stress swim in wonderfully heated waters.
- Spend a lazy day in pyjamas. Eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and revel in the bliss of no adult authority being around to tell you to do otherwise. You’re a fresher, that essay/reading/seminar prep can wait; Netflix can’t.
- Drink milk/orange juice from the bottle or carton to save on washing up. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- Take a photo with the University of Exeter stone. Okay, so perhaps not necessarily a ‘must-do’ for first year, unless you are super keen, but definitely something to get round to eventually.
- THE ULTIMATE EXETER CHALLENGE: Find someone from Yorkshire. Take a selfie with them, get their autograph, treasure their dulcet Northern tones – they are a rare and precious breed in Exeter and you might not get the chance to meet one again.