The fresher’s ultimate guide to Durham’s Facebook culture from a second year student

Is this what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind? I think not

An extremely important aspect of life as a Durham uni student in the 21st century is what takes place online, specifically on Facebook.

Even though in the real world Facebook is dying a death the 2000s could never have foreseen, within the Durham bubble it remains a steadfast pillar – whether that be those pesky exec group chats to the all-important North Face puffer left in the Jimmys smoking area.

Navigating the labyrinthine network of Durham Facebook groups can be a daunting task for some, but fear not. With two years of dedicated scrolling experience under my belt, I present to you the ultimate guide to Durham’s holy trinity: Durfess, Tindur and Overheard.


Quite a few unis have a Facebook confession page, e.g: Camfess, Edifess, Oxfess.

All posts are anonymous. You submit your confession, query or quandary to the elusive admins who cull the many submissions from the wannabe comedians.

Given how small Durham is, I am amazed these almost mythological students have managed to maintain their anonymity so well; they could be sitting right beside you in a lecture, unbeknownst – chills.

Durfess offers a real smorgasbord of content and is a chance to see the weird and wonderful of Durham. It is a place to laugh or to rant. A place to share opinions and feel less alone in facing the challenges of university life, realising “huh, we’re not all so different after all”. Most importantly, it is the perfect place to scroll and procrastinate during your library session.

Ah culture

Summative season means tensions are flaring





Durfess posts range from innocent enough queries to relationship conundrums with absolutely no context given and to honestly quite disturbing statements about uni shenanigans that, for peace of mind, I would like to believe are someone’s desperate attempts to be funny but I’m not always convinced. The anonymity counts for a lot here I would imagine.

No words

A common post on Durfess are opinion polls which seem to be the most efficient way of garnering the thoughts and feelings of the Durham student population. Most people are too shy to respond with a comment for all the world (well, all of Durham but sometimes it feels like the same thing) to see, so a simple emoji react only visible to your friends is the way to go.

Maybe best to just keep some things to yourself

Given the nature of the Durfess posts that actually do make the cut – from weird to eye-rollingly obvious questions to blatantly unfunny to a just downright shocking oversharing of information – I really wonder what is in the rejected pile.

The future of the UK

I cannot, of course, not mention the Durfess MVP Dr Sara L. Uckelman who has a real cult following. The philosophy lecturer frequently responds to Durfess enquiries about academic life (tldr: If in doubt, please just ask your academic advisor or someone who, you know, actually teaches your subject). She also seems to be a lovely person, responding with funny anecdotes and pet photos! Special mention to Dr Elizabeth Evans and Professor Gerald Moor too for showing us that university staff are actually just people too and were also students at one point.


No, that is not a typo (don’t get me started on the challenge of trying to explain to your home friends that you’re not just pronouncing Tinder in your weird new posh accent). I am of course talking about Durfess’s slightly less interesting younger sibling – Tindur.

Desperately trying to become part of the 70 per cent

Tindur is where students try to find those who caught their eye when out and about, or post anonymous declarations of love to that special person which they just couldn’t find the gall to do face to face.

Ooh la la

Most (but frustratingly not all) Tindurs are initialised and some even go as far as to reference a college which helps to ascertain that *surprise surprise* this is not about you. We have all experienced the intense excitement and, frankly, hope when the initials match – only for the rest of the post to make it exceedingly clear once again that I am not the object of anyone’s affection.

However, for those of us who love to believe we are leaving a trail of potential suitors in our wake as we go about our day: The vague Tindurs are the perfect place to feed into that delusion.

Yes, I was on level 3 of the Billy B that day; no, I do not have blonde hair and do not even own a purple cardigan BUT maybe if you just squint your eyes I could so I will surmise that that post was indeed about me.

Brown hair and stash? Helpfully narrowed down to the ENTIRE male student population

The most annoying Tindurs are the over-the-top soppy messages from people in happy relationships (this space is not for you) or Jane Austen-esque apologies to former lovers. As well-intentioned and crafted these may be, I do not believe the way to reignite with an old flame is through Tindur. Just talk to them in person please!!!!

Overheard at Durham Uni

Basically, just a virtual lost and found which, while maybe worth following for the occasional laugh, will do nothing but clog up your feed.

The anonymity makes this sound highly suspicious

People post their (sentimental, always sentimental) lost items after a night out, while others post found items but these just never quite manage to sync up.

At least the stain will set it apart?

Jewellery, campus cards, ear/head phones, banks cards, jumpers, coats – despite our academic performances, the Durham student population is not the best when it comes to looking after their possessions. Overheard is also the home of the iconic phrase “will pay in pints” to entice students to get hunting for their beloved lost item.

On the topic of that, has anyone ever found out what “pay in pints” actually means?

It really does not get more Durham than this

Another frequent Overheard post is students selling tickets either to uni events, concerts, or train tickets (railcard needed) after the ‘rents decided they actually would come and fetch you or, again Durham students not being the brightest, booking the wrong train – do you not know where you live?

Freshers’ Facebook groups

Once you have that all-important offer, it is time to join some Fresher specific Facebook groups for both your college and your course.

These can be excruciatingly awkward as everyone is very shy, but they can be helpful if you have any questions as chances are, other people are just as confused as you. They’re a great place to realise everyone is in the same boat as you: Full of doubts and questions.

On a personal note, as someone who bit the bullet and messaged someone from a freshers’ group chat and who, two years on, is still one of my best friends: I’d say never underestimate the power of the freshers’ group chat.

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