Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Royal Holloway, University of London


After four years plus away, I decided to bite the bullet and face my past – I returned to Royal Holloway, University of London. The place where, seven years ago, I embarked on a three year odyssey of Media Arts, a degree which, four years later, I have still yet to put to any practical use whatsoever.

It was a strange experience, did I feel nostalgic? All fuzzy inside for drunken nights out, house parties, essay writing all nighters and crazy, crazy pranks? Err, not really, it was more a sense of bitterness, mixed with an unhealthy amount of loathing.

Mostly infuriating, it has how much nicer the whole place looks. Huge new residential blocks have been erected, with glorious modern kitchens, double beds and large spacious bathrooms (several residential blocks were condemned the year I left). In fact the buildings where I spent my final year are now amongst the worst on campus, and also where I would now be housed if I were to return there as a postgrad.

Security is still top notch. The main university building is Founders Hall, a stunning building (just on the outside, not so good if you live in it), a building which has at least, off the top of my head, six doors on the outside, and ten more from the two courtyards . Only one of these doors has a security window. All these doors are open from 8 in the morning till 8 at night. So it’s pretty easy to walk right in. All the bedroom doors were open to, granted there’s no one staying there at the moment, but had I wanted to pinch a bit of cheap furniture, there was nowt to stop me.

All the bathrooms remained unrefurbished, still just six toilets to provide for a floor of 70+ plus rooms. Still probably aren’t cleaned during the weekend, which made always them nice to visit on Saturday morning, and even nicer Sunday morning. I remember the time I found a begger asleep in one of the cubicles – love that security.

Student Union is apparently even worse than it used to be. Once upon a time Radiohead played, there. It was one of only two places Bill Hicks played at in England. When I was there, who did they have? The Cheeky Girls, half of garage group the Artful Dodger and Bubble from Big Brother (twice). But there were lots of RNB nights, and lots of dress up theme nights, even more now...

While there, I always generally got the impression, that as a student, I was the least important person there. Somehow, I doubt that’s changed. I always be bitter at just how shit the student life was and just how generally alienating it felt just to be there. It was a good thing I made a lot of really good friends or else I’d have pretty much wasted a lot of my time.

Oh well, Egham’s got five charity shops now. That makes it 40% more worth visiting than it used to be.

Shelley Von Strunckel’s Pearl O’ Wisdom of the Week:

Knowing that others would misunderstand tricky situations, you said nothing. Having learnt about your behind-the-scenes manoeuvres, certain individuals are now upset. Even if you’ve nothing to apologise for, simply say you’re sorry. This will heal wounded egos and allow everyone to move on?

I think she been watching The West Wing again...

3 comments:

Matt said...

Yes, the student still is the least important person there.

With reference to the music, the headliners at this year's summer ball were Jason Donovan and Right Said Fred. I can't remember any guests at the uni at all.

Whilst we were there, they did have King Prawn, which was quite cool for fans of UK ska-punk, all 5 of us.

As for your calculation of 40%, I'm not sure that's correct. If you're basing it on there now being 5 charity shops instead of 3, that's actually an increase of 66.7%, or two thirds. That's what a Master's in Economics from RHUL gets you. Unless, of course, you calculated differently?

pamela said...

No way... King Prawn? Wow they really did only have shite on when we were there!! Me and Andrea were at the front for the Cheeky Girls... the only people who weren't booing... although that was cos we were laughing... a lot.

Matt said...

Hey, don't diss the Cheeky Girls. Since they came out, one of them's married a UK politician (albeit a Lib Dem), their home town football club has qualified for the Champions League, and Romania has joined the EU. Coincidence? They're on a mission. Once the US Election has passed, wait for revelations that the unmarried one is having an affair with McCain/Obama... cheeky cheeky indeed.