How to love “Rustur”
…Or at least make the most of it.
Hi new bachelor students, welcome to CBS!
I’d imagine that you’ve had lots of exciting information and news about starting your studies at CBS thrown at you over the past few weeks. Among those, I’m sure you’ve been informed about your upcoming “rustur” or cabin trip, together with your new class as part of your introduction days.
Depending on what you’ve heard (or read in the papers – let’s be honest, CBS hasn’t exactly had the best press regarding rustur in the recent years), you’re either incredibly excited, nervous or perhaps even a mix of the two.
I loved my experience at the rustur at the start of my bachelor’s degree and I could spend this time telling you thousands of things that I thought were AMAZING about rustur. However, I know that many others don’t exactly share my experience and sentiments.
In the previous few years, claims of peer pressure drinking and involuntary acts of a sexual nature on these trips threw CBS into a bad light in the press, which consequently forced CBS’ administration to take a strict stance and heavily cut down on some of the essential elements of a “traditional” rustur (ie. all-day-drinking).
This caused some controversy amongst students, with some who felt that this was the right decision while others found it unfair that one person’s unfortunate experience would have to result in compromising some of the main and debatably most fun, parts of going on rustur.
As it is still to some extent a bit of a touchy subject, with many opposing viewpoints, I decided to enlist the help of my friend Emilie, who had a drastically different experience of rustur to me, to give you my best shot at how to make the most of your rustur. I asked her to name five things that she hated about rustur, and I would do my best to advise on how you could approach similar situations, based on my experience.
Here’s what she had to say…
1. The terrible feeling in your stomach during the days leading up to the rustur
A cabin trip away with a bunch of other strangers isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it shouldn’t be treated that way. The intro-days organizers hyped up the cabin trip so much that it was basically a sin to not be overly excited about it.
It’s fine if you’re an outgoing social butterfly, but what about their shyer counterparts, the introverts? We’re just suddenly conveniently overlooked and just have to smile and look excited at the mention of the rustur for fear of being humiliated for not thinking it’s the best thing ever.
I think almost everyone has nerves before the rustur, regardless of whether you consider yourself as an out-going person or not. I definitely did. A million worries were going through my mind – would I be able to gel well with the others? What if I didn’t, three or more days is a long time to spend with people you don’t get along with? Would I get to shower?
How could I possibly be calm when MY WHOLE REPUTATION FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS DEPENDED ON THIS ONE TRIP?! And that’s when I realized that worrying wasn’t doing anything but making me more apprehensive.
If you go into the trip thinking the worst of it, chances are you’re not going to even let yourself have fun, because you’re expecting it to be a bad experience. My advice – hope for the best, expect the worst and have an open mind, that way you can only be pleasantly surprised.
2. The saturated socializing.
How on earth am I supposed to remember 50 different names? And on top of that recite them in front of the whole class as part of the supposedly fun name-games which is nothing but a wheel of stomach-wrenching pressure, having to remember everyone’s names for fear of having people either laugh at you for failing such a banal task as remembering a name or offending someone for not remembering their name!
Not to mention the bland conversations that you will have over and over again with these said 50 names. Nobody knows anything about anyone, so the full few days are spent introducing yourself over and over again to different people.
The socializing aspect of the rustur is pretty intense, that’s no lie, but isn’t that the point of rustur? To socialize with as many people as possible, to find out who you want as your friends, and who to support throughout the next three years? Yes, you will learn many names and forget twice as many – one of my friends mentioned that she was trying to remember everyone’s name so hard that she at one point even forgot her own!
That’s really what it’s about, trying your best to remember the names and engaging in conversations to scout like-minded people who you could see yourself becoming friends with. Try asking to join in on a game of football or beer pong if you’re not exactly one for walking up to a stranger and starting a conversation, that way you’ll have at least the activity as an ice-breaker.
Pretty much everyone’s going through the same struggles as you, so try to breathe and give a friendly smile, you’ll be perfectly fine.
3. The drinking
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I am not a fan of all-day drinking. It’s not something I enjoy in the slightest, and by noon people are falling over each other, spluttering out words incoherently and blacking out. How that’s fun, or even considered normal, I just don’t see it.
The drinking aspect of the rustur is one that’s been criticized by many and is also the aspect, which the CBS administration has put strict regulations on in recent years. To my knowledge, in many of the cabin trips for various study programs, drinking is not allowed to commence until 4 pm. So yes, there is a lot of drinking – probably more than what is healthy – but it’s important to remember that nobody is forcing you to drink.
If it’s not something you enjoy or choose not to do for religious or health reasons, then don’t drink. While the whole purpose of the trip is not allocated to alcohol consumption, it is still a part of the trip. It’s even in the name! The Danish word “Rustur” combines the word “Rus” which either means a first-year student or intoxication while “Tur” which means trip.
Drinking is a big part of the Danish youth culture. It’s a way to let down your inhibitions, so I think it’s fair to use it as a way of bonding with your future classmates. Just know your limits! (Also, there are actually other activities besides drinking that are organized by the intro guides for you to get to know each other).
4. Why are the cabin trips so far away?
Not only does this mean that I have little to no chance of escaping if things don’t really work out, it also means that the cabin trip becomes that much more expensive because suddenly we have to pay for a bus to drive us out to the middle of nowhere!
It’s all part of the charm! The idea behind the rustur is that you should get away from your everyday life and live with each other in a totally new surrounding, with no other options than to socialize with your future study mates. It’s an interesting way to go about it, but it usually works out well.
5. The CHAOS
The rustur is just days and days of constant chaos, from the moment you wake up with a huge headache and shuffle into the line for breakfast to when you stumble into bed after a few too many shots. Everything is chaotic. It’s overwhelming!
By the end of the trip, the chaos will soon become the norm, and you’ll start to embrace it. And speaking from experience, the best part is the chaotic environment that you and your friends will fondly look back on three years later as you reminisce about your very first impressions of each other.
So there you have it – my solid attempt at preparing you for your upcoming rustur. Hopefully, I have calmed more nerves than I have created! Remember, breathe, smile and have an open mind – you’ll be just fine.