Column: Costas Mourselas

PanopticonI tried the 'real world' and it sucks

Salutations University of York! It is I, generic white male no. 58 reporting from the second floor of my beloved Harry Fairhurst. As I write this column, I am currently in the process of winding down on the sofas with a group of friends after a long hard day of work (two hours). And by winding down I mean chatting loudly, abusing the 'studious buzz zone' signposting and annoying absolutely everyone around me.

Yeah I see you eyeing me angrily from that opposite end of the room, fresher that probably takes first year far too seriously. I relish in your excessive politeness and inability to walk up to me and justly tell me to shut my gob. 

But anyway, it is with a heavy heart I must remind you that it is ‘that’ time of the year again dear reader. The time where BNOC’s (Big Nob’s on Campus) come together in an annual dick measuring contest; as you’d expect, men generally take home the bacon. Now, as much as I would like to dedicate this column to relentlessly mocking the YUSU elections, I am really not in the mood to tango with the YUSU censor.

Before I move on though, I would recommend that you don’t vote for any of the utterly unfunny ‘joke candidates.’ Should any of them buck the trend and actually manage to be somewhat entertaining, I would still urge you to cast your vote elsewhere. As I mentioned last year, the only thing funnier than a good joke candidate is a serious candidate.

So, what is there to talk about then? It would seem like fate has thrown me absolutely nothing of interest to write about this week. No controversy, no instances of the proletariat seizing the means of production and no campus up roar. I have to say, I am quite disappointed in you, York. Not a morsel of outrage.

So, let’s talk about my favourite topic then; me. You will probably be pleased to know that a member of the library staff has endeavoured (and succeeded) to publicly shame me for my contributions to York Vision. This particular gentleman has a habit of finding me in my habitat, the sofas of the Harry Fairhurst, and loudly asking me for my autograph or a selfie – it alternates each day. While making sure that plenty of students are in earshot, he will also quote certain lines from my articles entirely out of context, making me look like an absolute tosser. So, thanks for that mystery library man who I will not name for fear of causing you too much embarrassment (but mainly because I can’t remember your name). But hey, at least this means that someone other than my mum reads my columns.

Ohh, and it may surprise you to know, dear reader, that this deadbeat columnist is actually looking for a job in the real world. That’s right, there is actually a world outside of University, a world that extends past the boundaries of Heslington East. I realize that this information may come as a shock to some of you, but please, don’t break down and cry. Prospective PHd students, you may want to stop reading.

Anyway, in a somewhat shocking turn of events, no journalistic outfits seem interested in hiring a student columnist that writes provocative columns about campus events that absolutely no one outside this fine establishment gives a shit about. But, like every other wannabe journo, I’m currently pinning my failure on the ‘dying press industry.’ That’s right Costas, there is nothing wrong with you. The rest of the world is to blame. Excuse me while I lovingly caress my damaged ego.

Being the good student that I am, I decided to go to my supervisor to ask for advice. I could go to the careers service, but that requires waking up at 9am to book an appointment, so fuck that. I told him about my inability to break into journalism and my recent efforts to ‘diversify my job portfolio.’ That is, to apply for jobs in other industries at the same time.

Unfortunately, he saw right through my elaborate self-deceiving ruse. He had the look of a man that had seen many a university graduate led astray from their dreams, tricked into serving our all-powerful corporate overlords. ‘Don’t sell your soul Costas,’ he murmured. Okay, he didn’t quite put it like that, but it was the University career advisor equivalent.

In what can only be described as a remarkable coincidence, I’ve started watching the British version of The Office recently, and having completed the very last season, I can’t help but draw comparisons between myself (and indeed other fellow third years) and Martin Freeman. After an excruciating day at the office, Martin realizes how much he hates his dead-end job at a Paper company and decides to give it all up and study to become a Psychologist – his lifelong passion. However, after having confessed his intentions to the entire company, he is offered (and accepts) a promotion to the rank of ‘Senior Sales Manager’ and 500 quid extra a year.

So yeah, I feel like Martin Freeman from the office. That is, if Martin Freeman wasn’t an award winning actor and multimillionaire. Now that I think about it, the YUSU presidency doesn’t sound too bad. £20,000 a year to further my own political agenda at the low, low price of my dignity? Where do I sign up?

Top four ways to be edgy at the University of York

Climbing Library Hill

Sure, there are a set of stairs leading up to the library. But who needs stairs when you can climb Library Hill the way nature intended: by braving the long grass and steep gradient like an absolute badass. 

Cursory glances from passing drivers and sudents waiting at the bus stop will establish you as an individual not to be trifled with. 

Arriving fashionably late

Arriving a shocking 40 minutes late to a lecture is a surefire way to cause a stir. Just ignore the sniggers from your peers and the dirty looks from your lecturer. YUSU Manifesto Captioned

Asserting dominance publicly

Purchase a meal deal from either Nisa or YUSU shop and then buy supplements from the competeting store. 

The store clerk will gesture to your already purchased meal deal for scanning, allowing you to authoritatively look them in the eye and explain why it's unnecessary. Those in the queue will be quivering in recognition of your alpha status. 

Writing an edgy column

If all else fails, this is a guaranteed method to demonstrate your edginess. Think twice before going down this road however – it comes at the expense of your self respect. 

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