On the whole, uni students are great. I should know – I am one of them. They inhabit the same grotty bars day in, day out, leaving you to wax languid in the cleaner, classier watering holes. They flood Centrelink, so you can take comfort knowing that your hard-earned tax money is being properly put to work. And best of all, they're enthusiastic about current socio-political issues, instigating change (or attempting to) so that you can enjoy the complacency of knowing someone else is taking a stand on that change in legislation regarding ... whatever it was.
However, like a Collingwood supporter's face or view of the Yarra, Uni students are best enjoyed at a distance.
At thirty metres you can spot them; carousing in packs of up to eighty at a time, usually clad in androgynous denim and some form of flannie-hoodie-chesty combination.
At ten metres conversation may reach you, causing your ears to crinkle up like walnuts as the assault of poorly structured conversation shudders through your frontal lobe. This will inevitably run along the lines of Person A: "I'm so drunk! This is just like that other time I got drunk, at every other social event ever!" Person B: "Wow! Me too!" Or perhaps;
Person A: "Foucault. Foucault Foucault, Othering, LMS, whyistheportalstillbroken." Person B: "Blog. Foucault Facebook TwitterBlog. Self-and-Other." note that these will most likely be Arts students, as no other university faculty is yet to produce people intelligent enough to both pass uni and maintain a social life).
At five metres you're in the Danger Zone. You'll get a solid waft of Laundromat combined with the unmistakeable tangy sweetness of cheap white wine, sweat, and possibly an edge of tobacco. Swill this around your olfactories and try not to open your mouth – this may be taken as an attempt to converse with the Student, which in itself is an invitation to be shown how unintelligent you are, on every matter ever.
Touching a uni student is yet to prove instantly fatal, but why risk it?
To be left in peace and relative quiet around the streets of Melbourne, just follow these simple guidelines;
1. Wake up early. You'll get a solid two hours of student-free city time to yourself. In fact, even being on a university campus before 8am has minimal repercussions
2. Never, ever go to the Prince Alfred Hotel
3. Avoid any cafe, restaurant or truck that sells any of the following; cheap coffee, cheap noodles, second-hand clothing
4. On that note, don't go to Savers. Ever.
5. Take extra precautions during Orientation Week, Prosh Week, Open Day, during exams, and most particularly just after exams, as these times commonly feature students either en masse, drunk, naked, in costume, dancing, yelling, or a mixture of all of these. Don't think you're safe just because you're off-campus – Bourke Street Mall is a particular favourite for the overexcited student, where music and costumes will disrupt an otherwise enjoyable day of placid consumerism.