RAMSOC in reality

by Joanna van Zeller

Think you can only use your walking skills in the Peak District? Think again, as I teach you how I’ve learned to conquer the struggles of city living with everything I’ve learned in Ramsoc. 

Sometimes, after the long coach rides and the arguments that don’t seem to resemble English (was that a tor or a fell? A beck or a brook?), rambling and hillwalking can become rather other-worldly. Sundays seem to be on a separate calendar, which is especially true when you see everyone out of their fleeces and in Real Normal People’s Clothes at a Wednesday social. And everything you’ve learned on a walk or weekend away, like how to read a map or take a bearing, can seem completely irrelevant during a 9am on a Monday. But it doesn’t have to be that way! By following these top tips, every day can be a Sunday, and can even make those chores that little bit easier…

Find your way out of Ocean!

Our Treasurer David Dewar is grateful for this tip - he's been stuck in Bodega for weeks!

Did you get lost in the beauty of Baywatch and suddenly realise that you have no idea how to leave? No worries, I’m sure you all know how to make a compass using a magnetised hairpin in a glass of water – simply replace the water with your vodka-lemonade and magnetise the hairpin with your H&M dress and you’re good to go. A few bearings and a peek at your OS map that I’m sure you’ve smuggled in, and you’ll be home in no time. Unfortunately this does not work for the Victoria Centre – once you’ve entered there, you’re in for good.

Defeat Portland Hill

Sometimes I am so exhausted from my eight hours per week of lectures (ah, humanities) that I think about catching the Jubilee hopper bus from its stop at George Green Library to the top of Portland Hill. The journey, on a busy day, takes maybe 30 seconds on foot, but there is something about that hill that beats me every time. Maybe it’s the fact that joyless Hallward waits for me at the top… Anyway, I now have a little voice that accompanies me up that hill, which shouts “You made it up Place Fell, you made it up Lose Hill and one day, by Jove, you’ll make it up Win Hill. So you can definitely get up this lousy one too!” (My inner voice sounds like a 1940s pilot.) And with that, I march up faster than any other hungover student. Ramsoc has made me King of the campus, King of Derby Road, and even King of the Castle (or the road leading up to it, at least!)

Save your housemate’s life

Let’s face it, we all have that one housemate who we are surprised is still alive. Whether this is from drunken dares or the lack of basic culinary skills, we wake up each day and hand them plasters because we know they’ll need them for something. But worry no more fellow ramblers! By taking Ramsoc’s First Aid course and becoming a trained First Aider, you can give them a fireman’s lift from Crisis, and bandage wounds on any body part (apologies in advance for the awkward outcomes this can lead to).

Befriending local wildlife

I don’t mean to brag, but as a result of Ramsoc, I’ve become quite the matador. Every Sunday I risk my life parading past cows with my cape, an old red anorak, and they daren’t come near me. The same can be said for the particularly vicious breeds of Peak District sheep. And you too can learn and bring your new-fangled Doctor Doolittle charms to the big city! I’ll admit that the Nottingham wildlife is (mostly) tamer, but now that you know their wilder friends, the cats and pigeons will be begging to roll over for belly rubs, especially my BFF Bertie the Hallward Cat. You might even be able to snap a selfie with a deer!

And this is just the start of the ways that Ramsoc will enrich your everyday experience. Ramsoc has taught me that I can survive huge lengths of time on just Haribo and Jelly Babies, which is very useful during exam time. Once you’ve taken the minibus test and driven us through the Lake District, you can then pull off daredevil Top Gear-style driving whilst trying to park in Lenton. And now I’ve learned how to fold an OS map, I can do the most complex origami effortlessly. So try these out next time you’re stuck in Ocean or facing an aggressive snail, and let me know in the comments what everyday skills Ramsoc has taught you!


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