‘Sunscreen’: A Freshers’ Introduction

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 2007, Welcome to Nottingham”
In June 1999, the song Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) reached number 1 in the UK charts. The words captured the imagination of millions when a chain letter containing the lyrics was emailed around the world and as a result led, by popular demand, to the production of the record.
The song’s simple observations and ideas seemed to provide a profoundly useful guide for getting through life and thus would seemingly provide this year’s freshers with the ideal inspiration and motivation for surviving their first year at Nottingham…
…However, where the original speaks of trusting advice, resisting jealousy and respecting elders, Impact’s version prefers to advise on the deeper and more sentimental things in a fresher’s life – canteen portions, pro plus and pirate outfits…

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 2007,

Welcome to Nottingham.

If Impact could offer you only one University for your future, Nottingham would be it.
The long-term benefits of Nottingham have been proved by The Times University Guide,
whereas the rest of the following advice has no basis more reliable
than our own, meandering experience…
Impact will dispense this advice, now.

Enjoy the freedom and light-heartedness of your first year;
Oh, never mind; you will not understand the freedom and light-heartedness of your first year until you’ve become a third year.

But trust us, when you graduate, you’ll look back at photos of yourself, and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how care free you really looked

Nottingham is not as dangerous as you imagine.

Don’t worry about making new friends; but know that worrying is as
productive as attending a 9am lecture the day after a Booze Cruise with a free bar.

The real troubles in your University life are likely to be things that never crossed your worried mind;
Such as running the walk of shame gauntlet in last night’s fancy dress pirate outfit

Drink one thing every weekend that physically impairs you


Don’t be reckless with other people’s private parts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours


Don’t fret too much over exams.
Sometimes you’re on a first, sometimes you’re on a 2:2; the terms are long,
but in the end, you only need 40%!

Don’t forget to call your mum now and again; remember, “you’re here to study hard for a degree”,
If you succeed in doing this, tell us how.

Keep your week one wristband; throw away your old inhibitions

Explore the campus

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your degree…
The most interesting people we know don’t know at 22 what they want to do with their degree.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds we know are still doing their degrees.

Take plenty of pro-plus

Be kind to your dinner ladies, you’ll miss their generous portions when you leave halls.

Maybe you’ll stumble across the library, maybe you won’t;
maybe you’ll join a society or two, maybe you won’t;
maybe you’ll pull in Ocean,
maybe you’ll indecently expose yourself on the Isis podiums.

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much (even David Brent could pull in Ocean)
Or berate yourself either
– your senses are often blinded by beer goggles.
So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy Facebook, use it every way you can,
don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it,
it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Streak…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own hall quad

Do NOT read Impact magazines they will only make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Get to know your immune system and your student loan. You’ll never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to the locals, they’re your best bet for directions and the people most likely to stick a punch on you in the future

Live it up on Campus 14 once, but leave before it makes you legless
Live it up on Campus 14 twice, but leave before it makes you penniless


Accept certain inalienable truths: friends from home will often amusingly inquire whether you’ve been shot yet, Karni reps will be a boisterous rabble. You too will leave halls and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were a fresher, Notts was famous for Robin Hood, Karni Reps were T-total and folk respected the shotgun ruling.

Respect the shotgun ruling

Don’t expect anyone else to support you financially.
Maybe you have a handsome overdraft, maybe you have parents with patience,
but you never know when either one might run out

Don’t expect to avoid fresher flus, blocked loos and endless dinner queues.
Do expect to enjoy spontaneous undress, hedonistic excess, and elaborate fancy dress.

Trust us: you’re going to have the best year of your life.

By Ben Davies


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