8 Awkward First Year Stories That Will Make You Cringe

University is hard. You’d think that because we’re all uni students, we’re all mature adults who’ve gracefully surpassed their awkward high school phase. Oh boy, were we wrong. Here’s a compilation of weird, unexpected and awkward experiences that people have faced in their first year at UCT. Hopefully they’ll make you feel a bit better if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.


  1. “On my first day of orientation, someone thought I was a postgraduate student and kept asking me for directions and questions about their degree. They were annoyed when I finally told them it was my first day.”

2. “I was sitting in a lecture in Beattie LT one day and I was kinda over it. Our lecturer put on a video towards the of the period. With the lights off and everyone's attention on the screen - I figured it would be my perfect opportunity to escape. I got up and quickly turned to quietly run up the stairs to the exit, but my shoelace somehow got caught on those metal edges on the stairs and I fell. I could feel 400 pairs of eyes on me as I quickly got up and dashed to the door. Karma.”

3. “During my first year people would always think I was older than I am and eventually I just went along with it. This lead to me having a very in-depth discussion with a second year Acc-Sci student on my advice on how they can survive third year and post-grad.”

4. “On my first day of law school, we had a “fake lecture” to scare us. The lecturer asked us legal questions and started shouting when nobody knew the answers. She looked at the class list to pick someone to answer and CHOSE MY NAME FROM A CLASS OF 200 STUDENTS. I wanted to cry. She said she chose me because she liked my name, and I responded “Thanks, I got it for my birthday”.


5. “When I was in first year a girl smiled at me from afar. I spent a week trying to speak to her but no avail. A friend of mine decided that shoving me into her path would give us a reason to speak and result in a cliched meet-cute, but he miscalculated and I fell into three people, missing her completely.”

6. “During registration they told me to go to Leslie to get my student card, one of the buildings on Campus. I approach a woman in the registration queue and ask her for my student card. She said she couldn’t help me. I asked, “but aren’t you Leslie?”. They meant Leslie as in the building Leslie Social.”


7. “In a nutshell - the first time I had to hand in an assignment all the printers on Upper Campus had a super long line, I forgot a flash drive so I borrowed a friend's, and my student card refused to let me print. I ended up handing in my assignment 20 minutes late, even after desperately emailing it to my tutor maybe 2 hours before the due date. In the midst of my rush I forgot my friend's flash drive in a computer lab - which resulted in me running across campus to get it. My bra broke in the process.

8. “One day, I had a two hour Media Studies tutorial. It started at 8am, so it was normal to see a few students floating in late during the first half-hour. Towards and during the second hour, suddenly two people started hastily coming in and taking out notebooks. I didn’t recognise them, but it was only our second tutorial. Maybe 20 minutes into the second hour, another tutor comes in and speaks to my tutor, discovering that there was a misunderstanding and they double booked the venue. She announced to her class, who was waiting outside, that they’d find another venue. These two people, who had now been sitting in our tutorial for maybe a good half-hour, awkwardly got up and left with the rest. They’d been sitting AND TAKING NOTES in the wrong tutorial. I cringed on their behalf.”