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The virtues of the college system

by Jonnie Critchley on November 12, 2011

Hetti Lawrence

County, Furness, Lonsdale, Fylde, Bowland, Pendle, Cartmel and Grizedale… ring any bells freshers?

By now you all must be aware of the absolutely fabulous college system Lancaster University has in place for comfort, reassurance and unity for all students. Because whether you are County/Pendle/Furness till you die, it really is till you die.

The loyalty Lancaster students have for their colleges is always astounding. You don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to take the competition very seriously; chanting your heart out in Freshers’ Week, painting beautiful banners to guide new students to their new homes, and watching the Extrav ticket sales soar as everyone wants a piece of your college’s party (obviously, County FTW every time…)

“The loyalty Lancaster students have for their colleges is always astounding”

There is the fear that this competition could be unhealthy, even damaging, to students. Couldn’t it fuel maliciousness towards other colleges? I say, rubbish! Unlike the stringent college system in place at Oxbridge, where you pretty much get lynched if you enter a Corpus bar as Jesus student, students are encouraged to mingle with other colleges, get merry at their bars and join in with their events. You are actively forced to mix with members of other colleges in your courses, meaning that the competition is kept to the football pitches and Freshers’ bar crawls, and you can make friends with everyone, regardless of college loyalty.

A further advantage can be found on the University website: “you won’t just be 1 in 11,000!” Your college gives you a sense of community, almost like a small village within a larger town. You’re encouraged to eat at your college diner, drink at your college bar and get involved with all of your college events, from the small quizzes and themed nights right up to the Christmas Balls and Extravs. If anyone has yet to introduce themselves to the absolutely fabulous County Diner staff or Jeremy at County bar, get on it! They’re all wonderful people and it only heightens that sense of community more when you get a wave and a hello on sitting down with your pint.

Of course, if attending events doesn’t quench your involvement appetite you can take it one step further by joining a college sports team or even the JCR Exec itself. As an ex-JCR Exec member I cannot encourage this enough; not only do you make some brilliant friends that you will keep for the rest of your degree (and perhaps beyond), but you suddenly become a pro on all college goings-on. Your friends will be coming to you to hear all the college gossip, news and secrets – but be careful to keep that all important Extrav theme secret, on pain of death!

If I haven’t sold the college system to you by the end of this article then you must be crazy. But as you’re probably in County, the greatest college on Earth, did I really need to bother in the first place…?

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