University Life: Part 1!

Hey guys!
This is the first half of my two-part blog post titled:

 University Life!

So I'm sure by reading my blog that you know that I attend University where I am studying a BA (Hons) Degree in Photography. Now as this post is clearly labeled 'University Life' this is a chance for me to share my personal stories of my first year at uni!


Enjoy!

FRESHERS:

Now in Freshers (which is Freshers Week if you didn’t know) I didn’t actually go mad. In fact I went the complete opposite and kept as calm as ever. Freshers starts at the beginning of your first academic year at university, which includes a week of planned events intended to welcome the new first-year students. I thought that this would be my week to let loose and go out every night. Bearing in mind I did that – I just couldn’t hack every night though. I also stopped drinking alcohol. For that one week I somehow managed to put myself off social drinking and went sober 3 out of the 5 nights that I went out. Now I bet all first years are thinking ‘corr she didn’t do freshers right’ well no you’re wrong. You can have a great time without alcohol in your system and I proved that to be VERY true. Freshers Week was probably one of the best weeks that I’ve ever had. I was able to see up & close a few of the artists that performed & even the day activities were great. The one thing I hated about Freshers is that my course decided to start on that same week, so whilst enjoying freshers week I was HELLA TIRED from the night before. Apart from that Freshers was on point. Freebies are my favourite thing & also trying out new activities such as going to a HEADPHONE DISCO made my week. Nothing mad went down so thank goodness for that. My Freshers experience was basically my week to solely enjoy everything that went on, make new friends with the people in my course & to also get to know my flatmates considering that I will be living with them for the whole year.


MY FLATMATES:

Now where do I begin with these guys aye? I LOVE my flatmates. This isn't an understatement I really do love these guys. Who thought living with 10 other people would be such a great feeling. Out of the 10 people in the flat I had my lucky six winners.

Ade, Stella, Ghassan, Kishan, Rajan & Gaurav.


These people right here MADE my first year. I moved in on the Sunday of the move-in weekend and I was one of the last people to arrive. This was a small mistake as everyone already went out together the night before and started forming friendships. Plus this also meant I had to find kitchen & freezer space late which is a big no-no. When I moved in I was scared. I had spoke to some of the people who I was living with through Facebook so at least I knew some faces when I walked through the flat door. If anyone has lived in halls before then you know how weird it is to say goodbye to your family and to begin socialising with a bunch of strangers that you're stuck with until you move out. Now being alone wasn't what I was worried about, it was actually planning on LIKING these people. I wasn't looking to move flats cause the hassle with that is a joke. On the first night, of course I just had to ask 'so who's going out tonight?' and we all ended up going out apart from a few people. The theme of the night was a beach theme because we were going to a foam party in the Uni 'nightclub'. I'm happy that we all went together, it got us talking with each other and allowed us to see how we are around each other when we go on nights out. Now I really can't be bothered to list everything we've all done together cause that's TOO many stories to tell haha! I love how well we all bonded especially because we all study such different things. There's an Aerospace Engineer in this group and then there's a Nurse, a Musician/Song-Writer & even a Graphic Designer. Like who would have thought that you could put these people together and have such a FIRE group?! Compared to other flats, not everyone was as close friends with each other like we were. Everyone had like two close friends in their flat that they stuck with and although we had each other, we had our own small groups also. It wasn't a problem, we still spent a lot of time together & that's what mattered the most!

COOKING:

Believe it or not but I learnt to cook A LOT of things within my first year. Like it's actually so embarrassing to admit this but I didn't even know some of the basics when it comes to cooking. Don't get me wrong I knew how to look after myself when it came to washing, cleaning & cooking frozen foods; I just didn't know how to cook certain things. In my first year I learnt to cook Pasta, Spaghetti Bolognese, Omelettes & many more things I've just completely forgotten them all. I'm not ashamed of this because I knew so many people who were just living on take-aways or pot noodles - gross. I wasn't afraid of what my flatmates thought; instead they were able to help me learn new meals to cook. The one thing I loved the most about cooking in halls is sharing meals. Whenever Ghassan made fajitas for me always made my evening. I was so ecstatic cause I knew that a) I didn't need to cook a thing and b) he supplied all the ingredients. I'm happy with the new food skills that I can bring into the second year and hopefully I won't be struggling as bad as I did at the beginning of my first year.



FINANCE:

Money was a HUGE issue during my first year. It's really hard to be given such a huge lump sum of money when you start Uni. At first you feel like you are BALLIN' with like £2k-£3k from your first installment courtesy of Student Finance, but as soon as accommodation snatched that away from me I was left with like £400 to live off on from October - January. Now that sounds like a lot and it was so I'm grateful for what I had but as a Photography student it wasn't enough. As a Creative Arts student you don't get free printing paper or workbooks. These things cost a SH*TLOAD. I didn't realise the full struggle of this until I had a project that required me to buy film rolls & darkroom paper for the labs that we were working in. By the time I knew it we were just entering December and I probably had £100 to my name. Now that's still enough to live on if I was just buying food and doing my washing only, but sometimes my lectures would spring it on us with an email containing a list of things to buy for next lesson. These were still small items but they added up in the end. I mean I had to buy colour photo paper, which cost me £62. Luckily I split this with some people on my course, but I mean isn't that a lot of money for BLANK pieces of paper? The reason why it had cost so much is because the paper was photographic paper which couldn't be exposed to light otherwise we've ruined the paper. Funny thing is we didn't even use the entire box - this angers me. Apart from my photography payments, I also do cheerleading and the AU (Athletic Union) doesn't cover our expenses as much as they do for other sports so another lump sum of my money had to go to paying for a new uniform, training kit & cheer shoes. I'm glad that I learnt money management from a young age considering that I don't live off my Mum. I pay for everything myself & Uni began to challenge that but I was still able to succeed regardless of this issue. Money was a difficult challenge but once I knew how quickly it went I began to budget for when the next installment came through!


So that's the first half of University Life done - yassssss. If you're interested in reading more of my life, which will include things such as 'My Course, Nightlife & more... watch out for the next post!

(Click Here For Part 2)

"University should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning."

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