16 November 2001


Thanks to all the students who entered the College Calendar competition. Writing about your first week at college was obviously a task you relished. Or maybe the chance of winning some cash was just too good an opportunity to miss! Either way, we were inundated with entries. Weve loved reading them. Some of them made us wish we were students again; some of them made us glad we werent! Weve chosen two winners – they get the chance to write a monthly column for farmers weekly chronicling the highs and lows of student life. Here is a brief introduction to our two new columnists and their accounts of their first week of term this year.

Kate Oleszko is a 21-year-old fourth year degree

student on an agriculture with animal science course

at Harper Adams in Shropshire. Kate hopes to work in

the dairy industry after graduating, ideally in the

breeding, nutrition or advisory sector. Her interests

include travelling, canoeing and horse riding

SEEING the freshers arrive at Harper reminded me of my first day, but this time I was seeing it through the eyes of a fourth year. The year where youre supposed to know better, supposed to spend your entire life within the grimy four walls of the library, supposed to know how to this and how to that!

I feel no older than a first year, but somehow the last three years have flown by. The reality of "this time next year youll be standing on your own two feet" getting nearer and then theres the worry of a career. Seeing UK agriculture in this depressed state, I wonder will there be a job out there for me?

But come dusk, all my worrying thoughts are wiped away as I push open the double doors into the bar and see all those familiar, friendly faces, which I left so many miles behind this summer. Smiles, hugs and summer stories fly around – the atmosphere is just electric, nothing in the world ever compares to this feeling and I have never felt it anywhere else but here, at Harper.

The new faces of freshers, nervously buying drinks at the bar yet again brings back those fond first day memories. The beginning of the best few years of my life. The Freshers Challenge, with the masses of mashed potato and molasses, the waves of petrified people cross the rugby pitch unaware of the challenges lying ahead. Memories which will haunt some, yet be the start of many good lifelong friendships and stories which, Im sure, will be re-told again and again at parties, stag dos, hen nights and, of course, on the big day in front of all the in-laws.

Tuxedos, long sleek dresses, high heels and the whiff of expensive aftershave bring us to the close of this mad week and to the Freshers Ball. The bucking bronco challenges the drunkards among us and provides the not-so-brave with hilarious entertainment. This is just the start of yet another unforgettable year.

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