A Student’s Christmas

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! I hope you all have (or have had) a wonderful day. I spent mine planning to work (but not actually working), eating lots and thinking about Christmases past.

I didn’t go home for Christmas this year. In the beginning, I didn’t expect it to be much, but it turned out much better than I could have hoped for. It made me realise that even if you’re away from home around this time of year, you can bring the festivities to yourself.

1. Christmas at home: small tree

Tree
The tree my mum and I decorated every year

 

Christmas at uni: smaller tree

If you don’t have the money or space for a normal sized tree, you can always get a miniature version! It’s all about making your space a bit more festive.

Unitree
The tree my flatmates and I bought and decorated last year

 

Unitree2
My tree this year. It’s sparkly (i.e. awesome)

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Fresher Fears

I wish my university started on September 1st. Then I could at least pretend that I go to Hogwarts…

Look at all that food…

(Source)

This time last year, I was about to start my first year at university. I was excited but also nervous. Some of my fears were silly, others were realistic. At some point, I made a list of all of them, deciding to return to them in a year to see if they had been realised.

Right now, I know that another group of students is waiting to start their university careers. A lot of guides and articles tell you not to be nervous but people don’t always identify exactly what scared them, and how they dealt with it. If you’re about to go to university and you’re feeling anxious, I hope this helps you realise that most if not all anxieties are unnecessary. It’s true that people’s experiences differ, but some of what I felt as a fresher may resonate with you.

So, one year later, here are my findings.

Fear: I will not make any friends.
Realised: NO

There’s so much to do in university that this just isn’t possible. You will meet many people at events, at lectures, in your accommodation, in societies… Some you may never see again, but familiar faces will keep popping up (as well as new ones, of course), giving you plenty of opportunities to forge friendships.

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13 Things I Learnt in my First Week at University

I only started university last week, but already, I have learnt a lot. Here are some things I picked up during my first week…

  1. The first thing people ask you is not your name; it’s your course.
  2. Therefore, you will say the name of your course at least five times a day for at least the first week.
  3. When you meet people with whom you have neither your course nor accommodation in common, you may say “See you later,” but never spot them again.
  4. No matter how much you plan ahead, you will probably end up going to the grocery store at least two days in a row.
  5. And that loaf of bread you buy may end up being too big, and you may have to eat sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  6. A campus map, no matter how much it makes you feel like a tourist, is important. And you may end up walking around with your nose buried in it.
  7. And if you stay on a big campus, you may walk more than you ever have before (ow, my legs…).
  8. Getting laundry done right the first time feels like winning the lottery.
  9. Same with making an edible meal without setting the fire alarm off.
  10. Your email inbox will flood in the first few weeks. Societies, phone companies, accommodation, societies, departmental emails, bank accounts… and did I mention societies?
  11. On any given day, you may have a lecture and a meeting. And the next day, you have five meetings at the same time.
  12. And speaking of meetings, no one reminds you of anything. It’s like the first few weeks of university come with a side of paranoia, free! (Or that may just be me…)
  13. And finally… you have to do everything yourself, which allows you to understand the value of a home-cooked meal.