Welcome to Question of the Day. Teaching you the only thing you need to know about higher education.
This guy is supossedly the coolest ever University Challenge contestant, so take note.
Hey, freshers – are you worried about not fitting in at uni? Not sure how to make the best possible first impression, so that people know you're into cool stuff like drugs and having sex with other people without shouting about it? Wondering how to best disguise your public school accent? Well, quit freaking out, The Guardian has it covered with a handy student guide, complete with a "Dos and Don’ts of Student Fashion". Two totally original Guardian concepts there that both rely heavily on wearing skinny jeans so that people think you're left-wing and pretending you know about West Coast hip-hop. Two handy tricks that are worth carrying over from university if all works out for you.
However, why listen to a respected nationwide publication, when we could ask a collection of random people on the street, some of whom had never even attended university? High achievers and high dropouts, how do I look cool at university?
Shaun (left), Winston and a former engineering student (F.E.S.) who declined to give their name or be photographed.
VICE: How do I look cool at university?
Shaun: Drink a lot. Just be yourself.
So reinventing yourself at uni is a bad idea?
Yeah, just be yourself and drink a lot.
F.E.S: The problem is that, if you’re artistic, you’re cool instantly. If you’re an engineer, you’re not cool instantly, that’s when you have to do all that kind of stuff to make people think you're cool. The rest is bollocks, you just have to get in with the "It" crowd.
I’ve got an engineer mate and, whenever he gets drunk, he just starts talking about beams.
That’s the problem. Even the girl engineers are so rigid.
Rigid, although you could say frigid. The thing is, when I was at uni, the engineers fortunately shared the building with textiles and design. That's the whole point: When you mix with that kind of crowd, you have to come out of your shell as an engineer.
Were you cool at university?
Obviously. I’m still cool. But your definition of cool might be different to mine.
Winston: What’s your definition of cool, then?
F.E.S: Really, my definition of cool is not the way you look or how you dress, but how the opposite party perceives you. I could wear a pair of knickers and they could be like, "He’s fucking cool."
Winston: What’s your definition of cool?
This guy wearing knickers.
David, 33, web designer: At university? I left university about 12 years ago, brother.
How were you cool back in the day?
I don’t know if I was cool, to be honest.
You look pretty cool now. Did you have the glasses at university?
No, these are a recent purchase. How cool was I at university? I don’t know. You've just got be yourself, I suppose.
What about drugs? Is that the pathway to being cool?
Probably, in some circles. You know what, actually? A lot of the time it is.
Solomon, IT: You’ve got to take in the experience, because it’s a once in a lifetime thing. You know what? Looking back at it now, knowing the fact that you're going to be working the rest of your life after you finish, I would have just gone for the life experience angle, rather than focusing all on education, education, education.
So you’re recommending more partying than working?
Yeah, just get on with people. Live life. Take every experience you can.
David, hairdresser (doing a hairdresser face): Keep it simple.
In terms of what you wear?
Yeah, just don’t overdo it.
What would you class as "overdoing it"?
Just anything garish and flashy. Stuff that's over-detailed. You need something with more quality.
Is it OK to overdo it when it comes to alcohol?
It depends. Do you want a degree? Or do you want to end up sweeping... no, you wouldn’t even be able to sweep the streets. It depends what you want out of life. Do you want to be a fucking loser, or do you want to get on and make something of yourself?
So, you’d recommend the straight and narrow at uni?
Yeah, if you’ve got a strong enough mind to be able to do that, then I'd recommend that for anyone, mate.
Abraham, 28, IT worker: Bridge the gap.
Bridge the gap?
No, go to GAP.
Go to university at GAP?
No, for fashion.
What? Let's take a step back here. Where shouldn’t you go for cool uni gear?
Primark. Don’t drink too much.
What? Why? Have you had some bad experiences?
Many, yeah. Just don’t drink too much, yeah?
Okay, OK, I won't.
Jack, chef: I'm not really sure, mate. I get out of my chef’s gear everyday and go home in shorts and flip flops.
Freshers tend to dress up a lot. Would you recommend a chef’s outfit? You could hide a beer in the apron pocket.
Yeah, you can stash a lot down the front of the apron. Students should just wear aprons all the time.
What wouldn’t be cool?
I don’t know, I haven’t done uni. Don’t do tequila suicide. I’ve done a few on holiday and they're never a good idea.
Previously - Who's Your Hero and Villain of the Summer?