In anticipation of the academic rentrée The Sundial Press is publishing articles to acclimate new students to life at Sciences Po Campus of Reims. While this piece is inspired by real places and facets of student life in Reims it is not necessarily based on specific events that have actually transpired.
Dear incoming 1As, returning 2As, and nostalgic Reims campus alums: Welcome (back) to Sciences Po!
You have a great and promising year ahead, as long as you avoid a few rookie mistakes and keep a balanced schedule! This “Choose Your Own Adventure: Reims Edition” can serve as a little practice before you hit the City of Kings in real life. Your goals are to pass the year’s classes—with above an average of 10, maintain a solid social life, and not fall into debt. Can you make it through? (Don’t worry; even the most seasoned 3As can’t always make it past exams in this game…)
To begin your adventure, scroll to 1.
- In your first class, the prof tells you to buy their reader from Burotype…it’s a little walk from campus and will cost you nearly 20 euros. If you buy the reader, go to 25. If you hope you can get by without it, go to 15.
- It’s a minor hit to your ego, having to see everyone from class shopping for cheap rosé while you work, but you make enough cash and manage to chat with enough fellow students during your shift to get you through the year both financially and socially! Proceed to 20!
- You fool! Reims Pizza Kebab is infested with rats and you get terrible food poisoning, and because of the fascist absence policy at Sciences Po, you miss 3 classes and fail. You fall below a 10/20 average. Game over.
- As you slouch into lecture, half asleep, you are taken by surprise! In the back corner where you normally sulk sits an attractive classmate with an exotic but cute accent. Do you say hi or blush and look the other way? If you say hi, go to 10. If you blush, go to 24.
- You’re doing great in classes now, but need to make some friends. You’re invited to two different parties on the weekend and have to choose which one to attend: a chill, laid back jam session at the Châlet (BYOB), or a fancy soirée held at Palais du Tau (Champagne provided). If you choose the Chal, go to 13. If you pick the Palais, proceed to 21.
- You get into a rough scrum with the Italians, but everyone is too baked to do any real harm. You head home and get some rest. The next morning you wake up before 9am—well done!—and you’re faced with a choice: attend the Micro lecture so maybe you can scrape an 11 on the midterm? Or hit the snooze button and try again next time. If you attend lecture, go to 4. If not, go to 14.
- You liberal sucker! You think the government is competent enough to help you? You wasted your time and now have a lot of work to do to pass exams. You have no choice but to attend every lecture, even the 8am ones. Go to 4.
- The police show up at STDs and kick everyone out after a noise complaint. Do you head home to get some sleep before your 8am class or do you get kebab with the guys? Go home, proceed to 12. Kebab, go to 11.
- You took the risk and ran for student rep….and you won! Amazing job! But now as the semester draws to a close and exam dates are finally set by the admin you begin to panic! You can’t seem to find a way to balance your time between studying and lobbying with the campus director for more microwaves in the student lounge! You fail your exams and have a miserable Christmas. Game over.
- Hey well done, they say hi back to you! As you start a whispered conversation in lecture you find out he/she has attended all the classes so far and has an extremely comprehensive set of notes complete with a table of contents and page numbers. Not only have you made a new friend, you’ve got the study notes to get a 15 in exams! Proceed to 20!
- You now have a choice between Kebab joints: do you take the short walk to Reims Pizza Kebab for a bite, or do you trek towards Place d’Erlon and try out L’Istanbul? Reims Pizza Kebab go to 3, L’Istanbul go to 19.
- You go home from the party alone to get some rest, but the streets of Reims are not so pleasant at night…go to 18…
- The Chal crowd is great, and you make many good friends and get a lot of free weed. Then at around 2am some bearded Italians approach you, and after talking a little Marx, ask you if you want to join their association plotting the next great socialist revolution. Do you accept? If yes, proceed to 17. If you laugh and call them commie scum, go to 6.
- You got your beauty sleep but you can’t even give a proper definition for democracy, and your problématique is lacking textual evidence in your final exam. You’ve failed 1A. Game over.
- You didn’t buy the reader, so you spend less time reading and a little time before class on Spark Notes, and thanks to all the time and money you saved, you are able to go to some bumping parties at STDs. Your social life is great! Proceed to 8.
- You didn’t run for Rep but that’s ok! You’ve had time to evenly balance your social life and grades—but wait! What other balance should you be working on? Your bank balance. Do you wade through the paperwork and battle the bureaucracy to get the CAF allowance or do you save your sanity and take the financial hit? Get CAF, go to 7. Pass, go to 23.
- Revolution is afoot. You meet up with the group often and plot your next moves, but the time commitments get more and more demanding. Before you know it you’ve stopped even skimming the lecture slides—let alone going to lecture—and sadly your grades have dropped below a 10. Game over, but for the greater good.
- At 3 am around the sketchy laundromat on rue Gambetta you are mugged! You loose all your money and are broke. Game over.
- Well chosen! You and your friends have a great time and you are the life of the party. Your social status is so great now that you consider running for Student Rep. Do you put your name into the running or not? If you decide to run go to 9. If you pass go to 16.
- Congratulations, félicitations!! You’ve made it through the year with a decent to surprisingly good average—might even make Cum Laude!!—, your social life is blooming, and you have a positive balance in your bank account, even without the help of the CAF housing subsidy. Great work making it through the year, but don’t get too optimistic…you’ve still got all of your second year to screw up again.
- Everyone at Palais du Tau is either French nobility or their parents work at the EU—a good networking opportunity, but you don’t make any real close friends. By the end of the night everyone is taking expensive cabs home but to save money, you walk alone down Gambetta…..proceed to 18…
- The Sherlock is a really great bar to be at…if you’re on the other side of the counter. As a bartender you end up giving way to many free drinks to your wasted friends. Everyone wants to be your friend, but your boss takes the cost of the drinks out of your own salary. Even being popular can’t pay off your debts. You lose your already-tiny and cramped apartment in Residium and have no choice but to move back home. Game over.
- You didn’t apply for CAF, but who cares, hardly anyone gets money from it anyways. But you still need to figure something out financially, so you decide to apply for a job. Do you work at Carrefour by day or bartend at the Sherlock by night? If you choose to work at Carrefour go to 2. Sherlock, 22.
- You were too shy to take a golden opportunity. The girl/guy from lecture was the person of your dreams, and not two weeks later they start dating the captain of the rugby team. Your social life falls apart as you pine after them to no avail. Game over.
- You bought the reader, and the teacher is impressed with your astute comparisons between Hobbes and Locke in your first poli theory presentation. You receive a 16.5, great work! Proceed to 5.
Eden Luymes is a third year student in the Dual BA Program Between Sciences Po and the University of British Columbia. She currently studies at UBC’s campus in Vancouver, Canada.