university

Here’s looking at you, fresher…

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Going to university was like going to war. Or at least, that is how I treated it. I meticulously prepared every last detail and made sure everyone around me was in check to ensure nothing went wrong. I even had contingency plans in place for when I or others inevitably messed up. I was NOT leaving my first year fate to chance and lived my life from one to-do list to the next. This made for a very prepared fresher, albeit not a very likable one.
Among all my craziness, the one sound judgment I made was starting a journal to account for my first few days of university. Anyone who I met in the first week, I probably wrote about you and it is in it’s rawest and truest form so boy, does that make for a good read. In this post I’ll try and write about my fresher experience and share a few of the extracts of said journal. This is not an incoming freshers’ advice post, just my experience. I will substitute names (I’m a Law student, okay? I do not want a law suit against me for defamatory statements). But you all know who you are, so have fun guessing…
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My university diary

Moving in day

“Today has gone amazingly well. No drama. No stress. Perfect.”

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First day of uni

That was the first line of my uni journal. And it was, it was such a good day and I owe a lot of that to my parents for enabling that. But one thing I don’t think I managed to articulate in my journal was how sad I was when my parents and sister left me. It was like a scene straight out of a movie. I had to walk away from them and watching their car slowly fade into the distance, I realised I was alone. For me, that sense of aloneness has never left. I am constantly surrounded by amazing people so I never feel lonely but I am always aware that I am alone. Not sure if that makes sense? That’s something I never expected would result from leaving home…

“Met 2 of the mystery flatmates. They both seem relatively nice. It’s kinda hard to tell at this stage. They’re both quite good looking. Don’t think John likes me yet? It’s early days but I just get a slightly judgmental vibe and Mary seems quite posh. Everyone here is so far to a degree but she just seems more so. We haven’t instantly bonded but there is scope to to become good friends. David and Chloe are here too. We just await Hannah and Matt and mystery guest number 8. David is a little unpredictable at the moment but I won’t make any firm judgments yet. We are now waiting to go to the the freshers welcome party. David has gone ahead to avoid a queue and John is off with some of his old school friends. I get the the impression he doesn’t think we are cool enough? Chloe and I are off with Mary and some of her old friends. Everyone seems to be concerned with hanging out with their friends from home. I have Sarah here which is great, but we agreed to make our own friends first. Upwards and onwards, eh?”

Sharing from my journal actually made me physically cringe. On the 27th of September 2014 at approximately 8pm, those were my exact words. It is so weird to look at my flatmates who I now love so much and think this must have been how I had felt at the start. Looking back I actually hated freshers’ fortnight. I spent about three hours refreshing the SU page trying to get the elusive ‘freshers passport’ prior to getting to uni, was so happy when I got one and getting here it was the worst thing ever.

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“Day 1: already had three meetings and have two lectures later and have been set my first assignment. This bodes well…”

Of course, I do have great memories but I also had a lot of lectures, meetings and deadlines during this so called freshers. I’m not sure if this is just a Warwick uni thing but I really found it hard balancing being dropped right into a degree in the first week, trying to adjust to campus life and making friends. Looking at the principle of freshers’ fortnight objectively it actually seems like a strange concept. As I wrote in my Day 2 journal:

“I am just sick of all these pleasantries when in the real world this wouldn’t happen and we’re being put into this strange and new environment being forced to get on. And I am just soo tired.”

I think it is so easy to romanticise the past because of where I am now, but think it’s also important to acknowledge that I was very disappointed with uni in the first few days. And speaking to a lot of people over the year, many felt the same way. Nevertheless, after that I made so many amazing and funny memories in those two weeks. A lot of which for pride’s sake I will not be sharing on a public forum. However, I will leave you with this one photo from freshers that I feel effectively demonstrates it all:

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Loving life a bit too much…

I LOVE UNI

Anyone who knows me might be surprised reading the intro because I am a self-proclaimed uni lover. It has been without doubt the best year of my life, I have met the best people and I am just in such a happy place. So what changed? Quite simply I stopped the militaristic way I was living my life and just let things happen. I think that I so desperately wanted uni to be great, to have fun and to make friends that I subconsciously sabotaged myself.  In your first week at uni, meeting flatmates for the first time WILL be awkward but that’s okay. It is really not healthy to be analysing peoples every action and there is a massive difference between making a judgment and judging people. And I just don’t feel the latter is very good. So after the first three days, my journal does get a lot happier and here are some of my favourite extracts:

“Chloe is kinda touchy feely, she keeps touching my bum, I think she fancies me”

I love this quote so much because Chloe is now without doubt one of my best friends at uni and I cannot imagine life without her. And it’s so funny how you can interpret people’s actions so differently to their intention. I think this is something I will take forward with me.

“Hannah is the nicest person I have ever met. She is just a good soul and just so so nice. “Nice” really is an awful adjective especially to describe a person but it is so true. We will be friends.”

There are very few people in the world who are fundamentally good people and I met one of them. But what I love about this extract is I say, “we will be friends” as though friendship is not a two-way street. Regardless, Hannah is now one of my favourite people and closest friends so I definitely judged that one well.

“Got 3 boxes of Dominos personal size pizza for £7.50. They were standing outside the SU and I just can’t resist a bargain. Genuinely the highlight of my day apart from when this girl put her hand up in the middle of a full busy Law lecture to ask to go to the toilet. SO funny. Day made.”

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This pizza guy was the best….

This pizza guy was genuinely amazing. I think this moment set the precedent for the rest of the year and my take-away escapades.  Well, at least I am consistent? And that girl in my first lecture was one of the funniest things ever. I think it was one of those ‘you had to have been there’ moments but every time I think about the way the lecturer said, “you realise you don’t have to do that here”, I can’t help but chuckle a little.


Highlight of first year

SQUAD: I have quite simply made the best friends. Without them first year would not have been the same and I am genuinely so sad to have to say goodbye to them.

SOCIETIES: I am so proud to be at a uni that is so great for societies. I joined at least twenty and the few I then consistently taken part in have really shaped my uni life. Who would have thought I would be leaving first year as President of a society and a Trustee of the Student Union?

HUNGRYHOUSE:  okay, so I am not so proud of this but genuinely my favourite memories are those nights in where we have ordered food, are watching movies and just chatting. However, now that I am known personally by pizza delivery guy, I think it’s time to change my ways…


I am sorry for this super long post  but if you got through this, thank you and I hope you found it interesting! I couldn’t put that much of my journal in, any anecdotes or mention even a handful of the people that have made my first year great for length reasons but you all know who you are, and those memories will stay with me forever.

It’s just me, Dammy, where did first year go?

xxx

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5 thoughts on “Here’s looking at you, fresher…”

  1. Pingback: Uni: Round 2 |
  2. Pingback: Dear Fresher… |

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