Ten Commandments for the Fresher
An Excerpt from Exodus
And so, Moses brought the stone tablets down from the mountain to the Israelites and proclaimed that God had given them law. The Israelites celebrated and provided a sacrifice in thanks to the good Lord. But the Lord God was not yet satisfied. He called Moses back up Mount Sinai, for God’s law was not yet perfect.
The next ten commandments, God pronounced, would be given twice. Once to Moses, and a second time to a second year undergraduate at a small Scottish university under a newspaper deadline. God told Moses to grab a pen and a notebook, but language confounded poor Moses who knew what neither was.
God proceeded to dictate, and Moses did the best he could to remember. But Moses made a poor effort. Once the good Lord had finished, God sent him down from the mountain unto his chosen people where Moses’ memory failed him. Moses’ vague ramblings about ‘Fessdrews’ and ‘mailing lists’ left little impression upon the Israelites.
And so, the Israelites, frustrated with Moses, set off into the desert. Woe to Israel! For Moses’ actions had created a ‘bad vibe’, which really sucked.
Such laws were not lost, however. For the Lord revealed himself to William Finlator, author of this article, to present ten more golden commandments.
“I am the Lord, fear my presence, for I am the creator, I am the destroyer, I am all that ever was and is. I am love and I am hate, I am unity, but I am also nought.”
“As proof of my being, I shall pronounce Aston Villa’s transfer business over the coming window”. The good Lord proceeded to announce the moves of Diego Carlos, Phillipe Coutinho, Boubacar Kamara and Ludwig Augustinsson to the West Midlands club.
The Lord’s messenger later saw the Lord’s righteousness as such transfers were in their turn announced on Twitter.
“But more importantly, I have ten new commandments for the St Andrews University fresher. To avoid four years in the wilderness, abide by the following commandments”:
1. Thou Shalt not Post on Fessdrews
The Lord announced that never had there been a group of weirdos more limited, angry and lonely than those that post on Fessdrews. And so, the good Lord proclaimed that those that did would be damned to a special hell, both before and after their deaths.
For the poor souls led by the devil to post half-arsed truisms and bitter denouncements are damned. Even the Lord, that great spring of eternal mercy, cannot pardon some crimes.
2. Thou Shalt not Covert Thy Neighbour
The Lord said that flatmates are just mates and should be no more. Those blessed with the Lord’s gift of loose game should not use their power to act contrary to the natural order of things.
The Lord God knows all and knows that your fling will backfire. Stay clear of these temptations. By doing so, thou shalt respect your corridor and respect your Lord.
3. Keep the Sabbath Holy
And then the Lord pronounced that there is a holy seventh day of the week. A day free of the baying eye of party, pleasure and study. The Lord God presented his gift to man and it was a thing of beauty.
And the Lord said that Sunday is a day for reflection. It is a day where daily rhythms shatter into kaleidoscopic fracture, where everything has its place and the day demands nothing. It is a day where one rises above and so looks down upon all the valueless struggles of human life and gently chuckles.
Obey the Sabbath, said the Lord, and you shall be happy.
4. Thou Shalt not Join a Club Committee
God created man, a divided creature, whose love for his God fought an endless war against man’s love for himself. Man’s love for himself won and created towers, tall as the sky, to challenge our Lord.
And when time and temptation drew such artifice back to rubble, man challenged the Lord God again, by creating the committee.
And the committee brought into being human misery and slavery. For the fresher, being ‘Club Treasurer’ came at the expense of unhappiness and self-division.
All is vanity, cried out the Lord. And the Lord, generous enough to grant his creation freedom, allowed man to deny his love for the Lord through combining with one another in committee.
5. Thou Shalt not Share Honest Political Views
To be happy, proclaimed the Lord, one must not make oneself hated, nor close oneself to others that are different. For the first year of university life, said the Lord, keep opinions to thyself, so as not to create division where there need not be division.
The Lord created pride, and pride created the man that is not ready to engage with those that challenge their values. Thou shalt compromise if others are not mature enough to do so.
6. Thou Shalt Not Sign Up to Clubs Mailing Lists that Thou are Not Interested in
And the Lord created the mailing list, as a gift to man so as to coordinate club activities. And man took this gift and used it well.
But some were foolish. Some signed up for clubs that they only had a lukewarm interest in. For those convinced by the appeal of Taekwondo, Korfball and Futsal at the Freshers’ Fair, beware! For the appeal of such clubs wanes amidst a busy schedule.
7. Thou Shalt Make A Few Good Friends, Not Many Distant Ones
And then the Lord pronounced that the good fresher should make a few close friends, not many distant ones.
For, if man should not be understood by his fellow man, declared the Lord, he can feel lonely even in the company of others. The Lord said, not all men are created equal, and many will be severely disappointing, limited individuals. Seek out those that are not and stick to them in moments of solace, and you shall find happiness at the lowest low.
8. Thou Shalt Waste Thy First Year
The Lord God declared the first year was to be a year for mistakes. For University is a unique moment in the life of the Lord God’s creation, where the student is disorientated and uncertain of themselves.
The fresher will cling to that which will make them feel accepted, yet this will not allow them to be their authentic self. The Lord God declared that this was natural, and the fresher should recognise that this will happen to them – and not be unhappy when it does.
9. Thou Shalt Recognise the Importance of a Night Out
The Lord God declared that everything was created for a purpose. The ‘Night Out’ is no different. The Lord declared that new social connections had value in themselves, for what makes us is the people we are with.
So the Lord God ordered us to go out into the world and make friends.
10. Thou Shalt Show Devotion to the Lord God’s Prophet
“What is a cultish spin-off from a major religion without bare self-interest?” asked the Lord. “Nought”, replied the Lord God’s messenger. And so, the Lord God asked all true believers to read all the prophet’s Saint articles as well as follow his Twitter (@williamfinlator), Instagram (@williamfinlator) and blog (unitistblogs.co.uk). And then, the Lord God added that those of you that are female should totally ask the Lord God’s messenger out while you’re at it.
The Lord God was then silent, for the Lord’s messenger had received the Lord’s law in full. The prophet Finlator wrote down the Lord’s words and presented them to the masses.
For those that say this is offensive or something, God came to me, this actually happened, so screw you - don’t deny my lived experience.
And for those that think it’s rather implausible that God came to me like this, well screw you too. This set of events is marginally more plausible than whatever the hell the Mormons are on about, and a good portion of America believe that.
And for those of you on Fessdrews, here to complain, well, don’t shoot the messenger! Complain to the big man, not me, his poor witness.
Illustration: Lauren McAndrew