'So how much do your parents earn?' The honest questions to ask in freshers' week

THE intrigue of whether Josh from Hebden Bridge studies geography or natural sciences has its limits. Hit your fellow freshers with the real questions: 

‘What’s your flat infested with?’ 

An opening gambit to a daring game of one-upmanship. They may have scabies from a 25-year-old mattress, but did they find a rat in the kitchen eating Cookie Crisp? No? You win. And do they fancy coming back to your place?

‘How much do your parents earn?’ 

Can be more subtly phrased as ‘So, your house has a name?’ or ‘That’s a fee-paying school?’ but weeds out those who won’t be able to provide a flat on the Riviera to their bit-of-rough plus one. Or at the very least lifts in her Mini and an occasional line.

‘Did you apply here?’ 

Works best at universities which are no one’s first choice. The wince of regret and blush of shame lets you know who missed their place by the most grades, who still can’t accept they’re not at Oxford, and those pitiable individuals whose lifelong dream was to take their degree at this shithole.

‘Is that a vanity degree?’ 

One for the rahs. Usually studying Philosophy or History of Art or simply Classics because it doesn’t matter in the least, or a rung down there are the Economics twats who at least need to secure themselves a City job. These people are turds waiting to be polished, so don’t confuse them by imagining they care what their degree is in.

‘When will you be dropping out?’ 

It made sense when there were student grants, but paying nine grand in tuition to loiter on campus and get cheap beer? To miss every possible academic commitment to smoke weed? To go home every weekend to the point you’re only here on Wednesdays? If you can tell me when you’ve jacking it in I’ll have your room.

‘What are your A-levels? Please, I must know, tell me what are your A-levels?’ 

The one thing no fresher will reveal is what A-levels they got and what their grades were, because they know it holds the key to their entire personality. Consequently 18-year-olds will hold this information close and certainly won’t volunteer it constantly, nervous because they’re not usually at school with girls.

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Seven former child actors you still feel a bit dubious about

FOR every child actor that ruins a film, there’s another who gave you feelings in your own childhood and it’s all a bit awkward now: 

Jenny Agutter

The Railway Children is a classic tale, and very wholesome. The shower sex scene in An American Werewolf in London is unwholesome and a classic in your wank bank. Does that make you a retroactive paedo? Yes. Call 101 and demand to be arrested while cuing up Logan’s Run to savour while you wait.

Macaulay Culkin

He’s 43. It’s fine to fancy him now, except for brief My Girl flashbacks. You won’t, however. Really after Home Alone he should be the final villain of the Saw franchise, explaining how his addiction to filling houses with gory traps that reduce intruders’ faces to a bloody pulp of bone, mucus and brain tissue got out of hand.

Lindsay Lohan

A star known for being ‘troubled’, or mad for blow. Point out her oft-forgotten acting talents and realise she was 12 in The Parent Trap and 17 and 18 in Freaky Friday and Mean Girls respectively. Her next major ongoing project was rehab. Discussing her career marks you as a nonce as surely as your all-time favourite film being St Trinian’s.

Ariana Grande

A former star of tween sitcoms, the Grande issue is you fancied her when you were 12 and you still fancy her now but she looks exactly the same and that’s weird. She could take her old role in that tween sitcom tomorrow and it was set in high school.

Chloë Grace Moretz

Hit Girl in Kick-Ass stabbed, shot, maimed and said the C-word, all of which are shocking behaviour for a 12-year-old if you’ve never been in a school playground. She’s 26 now, it’s fine, she’s dated Brooklyn Beckham and done proper films. Pretend you’re encountering her for the first time and nobody will know.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster

The kid from Love Actually is 33. If he was your nephew, you’d advise him he needs to stop pissing about and settle down if he ever wants a mortgage. That cute big-eyed boy whose name you wrote on your primary school pencil case is gone. He looks sort of funny now.

Miley Cyrus

The Hannah Montana star is the consummate Disney entertainment android: singer, dancer or actor, performing all three roles with 100 per cent consistency, needing only occasional maintenance of her hydraulics. And after the grimly unerotic video for Wrecking Ball, there’s no way anyone will think your interest is inappropriate.