The Biggest Dickheads You Inevitably Meet At Freshers Week

The UK’s most notorious week is drawing near: Freshers’ Week


by Amelia Phillips |

We all went to school under a stereotype. There were the laddy lads, the bitchy girls, the stoners, the boys who wore a full Villa kit on every non-uniform day, the dweebs. Luckily, by the time we’d finished our A-levels and learned to drive, the character cliches had diffused. The most popular students had become too apathetic to live up to their reputations and the least popular had managed to shake off theirs. We’d normalised.

Unfortunately, as you start university – after 18 years of fine-tuning the nuances of our personality – you’re reduced to a stereotype once again: the routinely despised fresher. As a label, it’s a bit of an idiotic one. Nearly half a million people are expected to start university this year, all tarred with the dreaded fresher brush. That’s a lot of different people. The reality is that there’s a whole host of loathsome tropes hiding under that blanket term that are best avoided. While it might be tempting to be everybody’s best mate in your first week, the sense of belonging will be less appreciated when you’re living with the Jaeger Crew and their morphsuit collection.

Here are the stereotypes to take special note of:

The lad

At the heart of Freshers’ Week and the onslaught of media coverage is the lad. It’s almost pointless criticising the infamous lad now. Lads have been criticised so often, they’ve become the proud victims, the punks. But not all lads are the problem. It’s tempting to hate anyone who mentions the words lash or banter or tits, but most of these boys are just fitting in with the status quo. It’s not the lads’ fault that really thin, deep V-neck All Saints T-shirts intended for rake-like Toni & Guy employees in 2003 muscled their way into mainstream fashion. The lad is just a victim of misunderstanding. He watched too many American coming-of-age films as a child and erroneously aspired to be the dumb jock instead of the clever Jew…

The macho man

No, it’s the macho man that’s the problem. He takes lad culture beyond merely a matter of taste. He demands attention. While some lads are content with a Joey Essex haircut, a too-tight shirt and a pint, the macho man feels the need to take everything to the extreme. Sunday football becomes gym twice a day; a daily shave becomes plucking the hair from your pecs and bollocks; getting drunk becomes drinking your bro’s vomit to the sound of indiscriminate, ape-like whooping; dressing up becomes wearing a vest with such low sides and neckline, it may as well be a piece of string. That is, if not already in fancy dress. While some people will use costumes as a sort of social lubricant during Freshers’ Week, the macho man will continue to wear fancy dress every week of university and beyond. He’s cut from the same very small bit of cloth as a body-builder: obsessed with his physique and his machismo. It means you’ll never see him in the pathetic but relatively amusing banana costume. He’d rather prance around in a tutu like an oafish, drunk ballerina under the spotlights of the SU bar. The saddest thing about the macho man is that he really has nothing to say. Aside from making crude jokes, posing for group shots with his guns in the air and egging on his mates, he’s nothing more than an inflated vessel for alcopops and protein shakes.

The needy

Beware the girl who nods at everything you say. An appeaser, a pleaser, she’ll want to be part of everything without taking any action or responsibility. She’ll always be around, but not really part of the group – and you’ll feel the need to include her. That dynamic will form the bones of your relationship. When she talks to you, her eyes will demand a response. There’s no chance to talk amongst the group when she’s around, it’s one on one. The first time she gets too drunk it’ll be your fault. ‘She’s your friend,’ they’ll say. Is she your friend? It’s hard to say. She seems to like you.

READ MORE: Six Guys You Have Probably Slept With At Uni

The complainer

British youth culture used to feel far removed from the American alternative, but thinking about it, the characters at university could easily be from a high school TV show. And what show would be complete without the quietly aggrieved, the complainer. Often dismissed as a geek, the complainer is much more of an irrational twerp. There’s no reasoning with him or her. ‘It’s the first week of uni,’ won’t wash when your civilised party of three gets shut down at 10:30pm. In halls, the complainer would take their complaint straight to the warden rather than ruffle any feathers personally. They’re cowards by nature. In a shared house, it’s a little more difficult for them. They’ll start each complaint with, ‘Guys, I know…’ just to reiterate that we’re all matey-matey here. They’ll probably have some bizarre excuse for why they’re having to be such a stick in the mud, an illness usually does it.

The uncool dude

It’s easy to see someone scrawny and dressed in black as alluring when faced with a sea of pastel pink pectorals. The uncool dude will charm you with his scruffy hair and relative lack of inebriation. While the rest of the boys will be trying to impress each other, the uncool dude will only be trying to impress the girls. Like *Made in Chelsea’*s Alex, he’s actually a bit of a wimp. After telling you how pretty you are, he’ll play the Velvet Underground (poorly) on his new guitar, Warhol print above his bed. The uncool dude gets zero for originality. Of all the alternative cultures he could have appropriated in time for university, he chose the most obvious and out of touch. He’ll tell you school was hell, but was it really? What he doesn’t want you to know was that he was just your average lad, a bit of a prick and with a computer game addiction. He lost his virginity round the back of Safeway’s and the only art he’s ever shown an interest in is the art of reinvention.

The promotor

What girl wouldn’t want to be friends with a man five years older than her with keys to the best carpeted club in town? Constantly in a Topman suit, hands in his pockets, three grams of coke, the promotor certainly carries the air of success. Sadly, it’ll take one night to discover that it’s his success with freshers rather than in life that funds his confidence.

The converter

To a non-religious person, the ‘spread the word’ part of religion can be a heavy cross to bear. Of course, most religious people demonstrate no need to convert the atheists, the agnostics, the nameless. But to some, it’s the ultimate challenge. It can be tedious trying to explain to a devout and persistent Christian that you don’t believe in God and would rather die than be immortal. Avoid anyone who asks you why you are doing something, if you can, such as, ‘Why do you feel the need to get drunk?’ You’ll only end up in a half-arsed battle of words, cloaked in pity on both sides, neither party any the wiser as to what the end result should be.

The unexpected

You can always count on mankind to surprise you. One girl I know had the rotten luck of discovering a shit directly outside her bedroom door. Some dickheads slip easier under the curtain of anonymity, so keep your wits about you.

Happy week of regrets!

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Relationships You Most Definitely Will Have At University

You Need To Watch The Secret Life Of Students - The Reality Show About Starting Uni

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us