Abhi Sharma: Flickr

When I moved down to Exeter as an underweight bookworm last year, armed with little but a Wilko’s crockery kit and the dream of becoming a dashing student of the Humanities, nobody ever warned me about homebrew vodka. Let me be the first to tell you: if your new flatmate offers you a swig of their 40% distilled regional spud juice, be smart: ask for tap water. Otherwise, there’s a decent chance that your first night in halls will end like mine did; being tucked into bed by someone who you will never see again. Well, you hoped that. Tomorrow morning, you will discover they live on the same floor and would like to borrow some sellotape, if that’s quite alright.

Luckily, my Freshers’ Week picked up from there; the Xpression drop-in sessions got me hooked on live radio, a platform I never saw myself playing in when I was undergoing speech therapy for a stutter a few years ago. Picnicking with the 2017/18 Exeposé editors was a blessed experience.  Rediscover Church welcomed me with waffles. However, what I remember most fondly are the moments that upturned my expectations. Veterans will tell you Exe’s group centric ‘Team Skills Development’ is a ploy to drag us snowflakes from our desks into the socials. Well, maybe, but it turned out cracking the Dewey Decimal system was a great bonding exercise, and I made friends that day who would carry me through the year ahead.

My biggest problem? I was greener than a spinach soufflé. I drank beyond my limits. Wasted an indecent amount of time worrying about whether anyone would like me. Even emailed Exeposé a portfolio because I was convinced I needed to prove my worth. But I was always welcome. It’s where I was always supposed to be. You’re welcome too.

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