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.

Charlie King is an 18-year-old first-year, studying an

HND in agriculture at Bicton College in Devon. When

he finishes the three-year course, he plans to return

to the family farm in Dorset. His interests include

playing electric guitar in a band formed through the

Dorchester Young Farmers Club

NERVOUSNESS, anxiety and excitement. These were my feelings as I headed to Bicton for my first week.

On arrival I was greeted with a smile, a student handbook and the bombardment of information that is induction. All questions asked and answered and relevant (and irrelevant) forms signed and sorted, I headed off to my campus accommodation.

As friends had yet to be made, it was uncertainty that accompanied me to the bar on the first evening for karaoke night. I ordered my first pint and stood alone at the bar nervously sipping at my beverage. As I looked around at all the strange faces – no doubt from a whole range of places – I could not help but question my being there. HND in agriculture? Surely I had not thought this through!

I then realised an inadequate amount of beer had been consumed for immediate confidence and conversation. Nevertheless, I decided we were all in the same boat and found the courage and a face I recognised from induction and proceeded to introduce myself. It was actually easier than I expected.

Chat easily followed, as did beer consumption. Four pints later I began to find the Dutch courage that had eluded me earlier and so it was with only mild concern that I agreed to consider the karaoke menu. Two pints later we were called up to do the business. Should I Stay or Should I Go was then delivered in questionable quality.

From here, the night progressed into what proved to be a successful evening. Friends were made in the form of Herbie and Tanya and I began to get a feel for the place that was to be my home. Throughout the week, similar nights and activity – both in the bar and around the campus – ensured I was to settle in with success.

Before I knew it, the weekend arrived and I confess it was with some reluctance that I returned home to milk and feed the 100 dairy cows that awaited me.

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