How to Make Your Room at Uni Feel Like Home

When you move in to your accommodation, your room might feel a bit plain, boring and uninteresting. However, by making a few small adjustments you can easily personalise your room into your own little home away from home. Here’s what I did when I lived in Bertrand Russell Tower last year to make my room look more exciting!

Towers

Before you get started…

Before you put anything on your walls, check what your landlord’s policy is. They probably won’t let you make any permanent changes to your room e.g. drill any holes into the wall. They may also be fussy about you using blue tack so be careful and read your tenancy agreement before you start doing anything.  If you are staying in University accommodation, speak to your Resident’s Assistant and check inventory policies online.

Put some pictures up on your walls

Pictures of your family and friends instantly make your room all about you. Especially when you’re feeling down or homesick, it can be quite comforting to have a pictures of your pets, siblings and friends from home to bring you back to normal again. They can also be a really nice reminder of some of your best moments at University.

You can get your pictures really quickly for a few quid off of websites such as Snapfish and Photobox.

Room Photos

And whilst you’re at it, put up some posters as well!

Posters can make your room a lot more interesting and much nicer to look at! You can either bring some along with you when you move in or there is a poster sale on during Welcome Week where you can pick up a few. If not, Waterstones on campus sell posters all year round.

Posters at Uni

Postcards, old tickets and souvenirs are good too

These can complement your pictures and posters really well! You can get some really cool postcards from Paperchase which make you room a bit more quirky and different. Whereas tickets and souvenirs look really cool when you put them with pictures of where they are from to create a reminder of some of your best memories.

Get some fairy lights!

This may sound a bit funny but, in Towers especially, you can’t control your lighting very much; either you have your room light on or off. Therefore, it can be a really good idea to get some fairy lights as they can create a bit of an ambience when you want to chill out and relax after a long day.

Fairy Lights

How to Survive Welcome Week

After months of waiting, Welcome Week is finally here!  As a first year student this can be quite a whirlwind of emotions – it’s exciting but slightly nerve wrecking at the same time.

DON’T PANIC it will all be OK!

I’ve put together a few tips on how to “survive” Welcome Week from my own experiences.

Don’t try and do too much 

Prior to coming to university I wanted to do EVERYTHING, however the reality is: there really isn’t enough time in the day and you will quickly wear yourself out.  The University puts on a great range of activities to try and suit everyone’s tastes so I’d recommend only attending events that you’d really like to go to (and of course all compulsory events).

Freshers Fair

Budget

It can be very easy to spend a lot of money during these first few weeks, especially for students receiving a substantial student loan/scholarship/bursary – so just be careful and set aside a small amount of money for Welcome Week.

Also, I’ve found that buying a weekly online shop instead of going to the corner shop for individual items has saved me a lot of money (and time). Check out our latest posts for more budget tips! 

Piggy Bank

Take care of yourself 

It may seem like an obvious one, but for many students this is their first time away from home and it can be easy to forget about the simple things – like laundry and cooking substantial meals.  As fun as it may seem to eat pizza everyday – it’s not good for you and it could make you more likely to get ill with the dreaded “freshers flu”.  Just add a few fruit and vegetables into your diet and this will help prevent getting ill (no, vegetarian pizza doesn’t count).

Heart Shapes Pizza

And finally… Relax 

University is great, just relax and enjoy it!  Welcome Week is all about settling in to your new home and having fun whilst your at it.  There are plenty of great things to get involved in and you will no doubt have the time of your life!  Don’t forget there’s lots of support available on campus if you need it.  We look forward to seeing you soon 🙂

Shannon x

Handy Info for New Campus Residents

It’s very nearly time for the Colchester campus arrivals day!

One of the biggest steps about moving to University, for many students, is living in halls of residence.  It’s quite a daunting process but I can assure you it is really fun.  I’ve put together a list of information that’s just “good to know” (it may also put some worried parents’ minds at ease!).

Colchester campus has it’s own security team

They patrol the campus 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (except leap year…then it’s 366).  This service is absolutely amazing and we are very lucky to have it.  You can call them by dialing 2222 from any phone on campus or calling 01206 872222 from any other phone (i.e. your mobile).  

It’s also really important to know that when you require the emergency services and you are on campus you MUST call security instead – this is because the roads have barriers that need to be opened by security and if you inform them first they can make the call on your behalf and make sure the barriers are opened immediately – they may also be able to assist you as they are first aid trained!

Security

Residents’ Assistants

Also known as ‘RA’s’, Residents’ Assistants are students that live within accommodation to help you to settle into university and your new home.  There will be an RA in every accommodation block and they will organise events for students to get to know each other, help resolve any disagreements within flats and help create a flat agreement (to help everyone get along and prevent arguments) as well as various other things!  You will get to meet your RA during your first week and you should have a picture of them on your kitchen notice board as well as where they are living, just in case you need to contact them.

residence life

Save Parties for the Squares

Parties in student accommodation are not allowed – unfortunately, this is a rule and it’s there for fair reasons, like respecting flatmates that want to rest some evenings and not have to wake up to a party aftermath.  Although it doesn’t stop some parties from happening, it’s important to know that it can get you into trouble if you are caught. The best advice is go to the squares, which is central campus, there will be lots of other students there (yay new people!) and it tends to have a good atmosphere – but don’t forget to bring a coat as it can get quite chilly!

Nightline

One of our other amazing services on campus is Nightline.  Nightline is a confidential listening service provided by students for students and it’s open 10pm-8am every night of term and is located behind Keynes tower which is part of the North Towers, it’s the perfect place to go if you’d like someone to talk to, or maybe if you’re feeling unwell in the evening and don’t want to be alone.  

They also offer various other services such as camp bed hire (£1 for 2 nights) and free tea & toast.  Nightline is also a place where students can be directed to if they are too intoxicated or unwell – it also gives you a piece of mind that your friend is being looked after and are in safe hands should they need medical attention.

nightline

No Smoking, or candles!

Please be aware that smoking is not allowed in ANY of the University’s accommodation and students caught doing so may be fined!  Students also aren’t allowed to light candles in their rooms and it’s good to be aware that shower steam and aerosols may set off fire alarms – so avoid spraying near to the smoke detector in your room.  All doors are fire doors so keep them closed when no one is in the room.  It’s highly likely that at least one fire alarm will go off in the first two weeks of term – it’s really important to leave the building immediately (and don’t use the lift).

fire exit

Sorry that this post might have been a little boring but I think the information I’ve included is really good to know and it may help to keep you out of trouble whilst you’re at the University of Essex!

I hope you enjoy Welcome Week 🙂

Shannon

The Smart Way to Get Books For Your Course

Buying books better!

Reading books is an essential part of University which all students need to do in order to successfully complete their degree. Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to get a hold of these books eventually.

Whilst a lot of students buy all of their books new from a bookshop as soon as they can, this can be expensive though and ultimately wasteful if you don’t need them.

So, here’s a few tips for buying books better!

Don’t buy anything until you are told to!

Lecturers often change and adapt reading lists over time so don’t buy your complete reading list before you have your first lectures and your told specifically what to read and buy. You don’t want to waste your money on books you’re never going to need. Lecturers do sometimes on occasion send out an email with a reading list in advance of a module starting in which case you can get started on reading. But generally if you’re not sure, just contact your lecturer or wait until your course starts.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 17.05.41

You might be eligible for FREE books

If you’re a first year student then you may be eligible to receive the majority of your reading list for free as part of the 50th Anniversary scholarship.

There is a difference between primary and secondary reading lists!

A primary reading list is full of books which you need to read in order to gain a general understanding for your course.

Whereas a secondary reading list features books which are really useful for research and reference which you should read if you need a bit more depth on a subject. The books on this list are normally way more expensive and you will often only use them when writing essays. Therefore to begin with just get your primary reading lists and then you can see if you need to get any books from your secondary lists.

Think: Do you really need to buy it?

So now you have your reading lists the first thought you have is that you want to just get it all out of the way out and buy every single book on the lists you’ve been given. Whilst most of your books will be essential to get, there will be a few books that will be useful for a bit of research once where borrowing may be more suitable. This nicely leads up to the next tip!

Use the Library

The library usually stock several copies of popular books that students need so it’s a good place to start if you need to borrow a book for a few days to make notes before returning it. Now the extension to the library is finished, there’s now over 1 million books in there so the chances are, the books that you need are probably in there!

Online the library also provides loads of e-books and online resources which can be pretty useful. Although if you need to use a book in a seminar or a class then an e-book might not be suitable as it’s really hard to quickly find the page you’re looking for amongst everyone else using a physical book.

Books

Always try to buy second hand!

New books are often really expensive so once you’ve decided which books you need to buy it’s often good to start looking for books second hand to see if you can get a better deal. Most of the time, second hand books are in next to new condition for a fraction of the price as other students have used them a few times and want to sell them quickly and cheap to help them buy new books fast.

Where to buy second hand books from?

  • Buying books off of students in the years above you is a great place to start. They often have the majority of the reading list that you need and will give you a deal for buying them all in one go.
  • The student’s union also run a book selling marketplace called www.handmybooks.com which allows students at the University to buy and sell books without any fees or charges.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.16.44

  • eBay often has the best range of second hand books. There are a wide range of sellers on the website which cover pretty much everything. A good seller I use a lot of the time is worldofbooks.com
  • If you have a bit of time to get them then www.abebooks.co.uk is a good option. The books on this website are really cheap but often take a long time to arrive.
  • Charity shops are the best in terms of price but it often takes a long time to discover the books you are looking for.

Oxfam Book Shop

There are still options if you need to buy last minute

If you suddenly realise you need to buy a book urgently for the next day or later in the week, then it’s still possible to get hold of them!

  • Waterstones on campus stocks all every reading list for every course at the University so if you need it, it should be there.
  • Amazon Prime offers next day delivery on a range of products which is perfect for last minute essentials including books. The service is free for the first 6 months for students and then after that it’s £35 a year which also includes Amazon Prime video. Ideal to watch after you’ve finished reading your books!

Getting books which are hard to find

Some books which you have to get can sometimes seem hard to find. Especially if the book has gone out of print or is not widely available. Although your lecturers won’t expect you to travel the world to look for one book, they will expect you to use your common sense. Speak to your friends, department and lecturers and ask if you can borrow a copy for a few nights.

Your department may also be able to provide you with photocopies of sections you need for a small charge.

So whilst books are essential for successfully completing your degree, make sure that you…

  • Definitely need them!
  • Shop around for a good deal!
  • Ask around if you need any help!

Perry

Why I Chose to Study Abroad

When studying abroad, you not only continue to learn from your uni studies, but you also learn about different cultures and languages from around the world through making friends and through experiencing a different way of life in a different country. I personally have made friends with people from America, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and even Australia!

Not only this, but you also have the opportunity to travel in your holidays. I have just come back from Bali in Indonesia which is relatively close to Australia, however the culture is completely different. I loved my experience there and learnt a lot just from spending 11 days in the country. I would definitely like to travel more of Asia in the future.

I also had the opportunity to take a module called Introduction to Australian Society at my university in Melbourne; this consisted of learning about Australian history as well as their culture today and where it came from. This was particularly special, because I would have not had the opportunity to take a module like this at home whilst experiencing and seeing it for myself in the country, which therefore gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on something that is interesting to me.

Although it is important, it needs to be remembered that studying abroad is not all about learning new things at your new university, but also from the people you experience it with and your surroundings!

My Arrivals Day – Perry

Arrivals Day will be one of the most exciting yet nerve racking days of your life. You’ve made it through A Levels, been accepted by the University of Essex and you’re all set to leave home.

Now all that’s left to do is to get settled in, meet everyone and enjoy yourself!

Everyone’s experience of Arrivals Day is different but here’s how mine panned out! (I’ve also included a few top tips for when you first arrive).

9:00 am
Before the big day I couldn’t sleep much at all because I was so excited to get started after a long summer! I made sure that my parents dropped me off at the University nice and early to make the most of my first day at Essex.

When I first arrived, I needed to head down to the LTB to get my room key.

*TOP TIP* Everything should be clearly signposted but if you can’t find anything then just ask someone and they will be happy to help if they aren’t already lost themselves!

*TOP TIP* Have all of the paperwork and ID that you need with you when you get your key. It makes the process so much quicker and easier.

Student Ambassadors on Hand

9:15 am
Once I collected my key, my parents to help me transfer all of my stuff up to my room in South Towers. On the way to my new room I met a current student who was working for the Student’s Union to be on hand for new arrivals, making sure everything was OK. They lead us up to my new flat and showed us to my new room.

I was so grateful that he was there at that time as when I attempted to open my room’s door, it wouldn’t open. He was really helpful in sorting it out and making sure I was put at ease. I really don’t know what I would’ve done if he wasn’t there at the time!

*TOP TIP* Things might not always go to plan or the way you want them to all the time, so be ready to take things as they happen and relax.

Car Park Trolleys

10:15 am
As my parents were helping me move in, I met a few of my new flatmates I would be living with over the next year.

*TOP TIP* A door stop is really useful for new flatmates to stick their heads in and say hello.

12 noon
Once everything had been moved in I had lunch with my parents before they left me to it. Only when I stepped in the lift, after they left, did it sink in that I was about to embark on a new chapter of my life at University.

*TOP TIP* When your parents have left, keep them updated if they want to know about what’s going on but make sure you’re still embracing and getting used to University life as much as possible in the first few days and weeks. A text or a call to Mum and Dad every few days will be fine!

As I had arrived so early, when I got back to my flat I was able to keep some of my new flatmates company as they unpacked. It was right there and then that we began to discover common interests and experiences. I remember my neighbour and I bonding over the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune in just the first few hours!

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

2 pm
After I met some of my other flatmates, a few of us decided to look around the Welcome Fair that was happening on the squares. It was there where we all received an SU heirloom, which was quite cool. The video below explains the scheme really well!

5 pm
In the evening, we were invited by our Residence Assistant to go to a BBQ with new arrivals in the flats near ours. Several of us ended up becoming really good friends with people who lived in the flat below us. Afterwards we arranged to all meet up in our flat that evening.

7 pm
We hung out in the kitchen getting as we began to get to know one another. A few of us then proceeded to got to Sub Zero nightclub on campus for the “hashtag arrivals party” where we all met lots more newcomers.

Sub Zero Night Club

*TOP TIP* Even if you aren’t that keen on socialising, just being in the kitchen is the best place to meet people in University accommodation. These often turn into a big meeting place for everyone to get to know each other and hang out. Everyone at the start is in the same boat; no one knows anyone and is probably as nervous as you are!

*TOP TIP* If you can, bring a good set of speakers with you and a good playlist to match. Some nice background music can make those initial awkward silences a little more bearable. But, be careful not to be anti-social with this: some people might not like your taste in music and keep it at a volume level where people can still hear each other!

Hopefully this has helped a few of you who are anxious about starting at the University soon! Welcome Week is one of the best times at University, which most people look back on with happiness.

Just make the most of it ☺

Perry

A Student’s Guide to Budgeting

When I first arrived at university, the prospect of having to figure out how I was going to afford my rent, my food and course supplies, whilst still having a little money spare to enjoy my time socially was very confusing and daunting!

Before university, I learnt to manage my money whilst I had a part time job during Sixth Form, but never on as scale as huge as this. It may seem that you only have a small amount of money coming in, with a huge amount of money needing to go out to different places, but hopefully this little guide will put your mind at ease and make managing your finances a little bit easier.

counting pennies

Tuition Fees

First and foremost, make sure you know exactly how much your tuition fees are costing; and whether you are funding these privately or through Student Finance. Ensure that you have this sorted otherwise the rest of this post will be irrelevant!

If you are funding your tuition fees through Student Finance, as long as your application is all up to date, the process of paying tuition fees to the university will be handled by Student Finance so you won’t need to panic!

If you are paying for your tuition fees privately, make sure you know the payment details and deadlines. All of this can be found on the University’s website.

Accommodation

(This will mostly applies to those student’s who are living in University or private accommodation and not commuting from your parent’s home.)

Whether you are staying in University provided accommodation, or privately rented accommodation, paying your rent will become one of your biggest priorities where budgeting and money is concerned; and as upsetting as it might feel, most people need to allocate a large proportion of their budget here.

I found it easier to pay my rent at the start of each term, as soon as my student loan came in. Although it takes away a huge chunk of the lovely sum of money that has just landed in your account, it also means you won’t be scrimping around for your rent the day before it is due. With it all paid off at the beginning, the money won’t be sitting in your account and you won’t be tempted to blow it all!

the meadows accommodation

Course supplies

Depending on your course, the cost of text books and course books can amount to quite a hefty price! Make sure you put aside some money to allow for this. You can find all of your module reading lists either on Moodle or via the University’s Albert Sloman Library website.

My top tip; check out pre-owned and secondhand books before you buy the shiny new expensive copies! You will typically find that there are many students who have just finished studying the module you are about to start who are selling off the books that they no longer need. Most of these will still be in good condition and it will probably save you quite a bit of money. Make sure you check your course Facebook groups and the Facebook Freshers group before you buy brand new. You will also find secondhand books on Amazon and our University of Essex book selling site.

buy student books

Living expenses (travel, food etc)

Your living expenses will cover everything from food and travel, to clothes and laundry. These things may seem menial compared to the other things taking up huge amounts of your budget, but you’ll soon realise that you can’t live on Tesco Everyday Value Instant Noodles for the whole term! When it comes to food, write a meal plan for each week and do a weekly shop; this way, you won’t end up buying unnecessary items and you won’t find yourself taking 5 separate trips to Tesco every week.

campus street market

Socialising

This last section may fall into your budget for your living expenses, but I found it easier to keep this separate to all of the other essential things I needed to budget for. Although your social life isn’t mandatory or something you need to allow money for, for me personally, the social experience of university is just as important, so finding money to enjoy the odd night out on campus was vital!

Although, I do advise… make sure you have enough funds to pay for all of the above before you go and blow all of your weeks food budget on a night out… you will regret it!

Here is a little idea of how I budgeted for my first term at university:

jess's budget planner

Total money from Student Finance: £2379 per term

Accommodation: £1218 per term (51.2%)

Course Supplies: £50 per term (2%)

Living Expenses (Food/Necessities): £25 per week (10.5%)

Living Expenses (Travel): £125 per term (5.3%)

Living Expenses (Laundry): £3 per week (1.3%)

Socialising: £25 per week (10.5%)

Other: £456 (19.2%)

This is just a rough outline of how I tried to split my budget each term at Essex. It was pretty hard to stick to this exact budget every week but I tried my best and having it all planned out did help me out a lot!

Other Resources

Sometimes your budget won’t go exactly to plan, and some of you will find that your student loan just about covers your rent, let alone any other expenses. So before you panic and go into complete meltdown, remember that these options are also out there…

  • Getting yourself a part time job is always a viable option. I managed to budget well in my first year without a job, but by the time second year came around, I had to get a job to manage my finances. However, having a job isn’t all bad, not only does it give you that extra bit of money you need, you’ll also be gaining skills and experience that others might not have! The Student’s Union is a great place start when hunting for part-time jobs.

working for the students' union

  • Many banks will provide help with a student account. These are aimed specifically at students and many of them offer perks such as Student Discount cards and Railcards. Most of them will also offer you the chance to open up a student overdraft with 0% interest. Use this as a last resort but it is always an option if you find yourself really struggling!

I hope this will help you to make a start on budgeting for your own time here at the University of Essex!

How to make the most of university…in my opinion

As a third year student I feel like I’ve got this whole “university life” thing sussed out.  That’s why I’ve decided to put together a list of just 5 different ways you can make the most of your time here at the University of Essex, because unfortunately you won’t be a student forever 😦

  1. Join a sports club or society. Even if it’s something you’ve never done before, just go along and try it out!  The best way to find out what we have to offer (and get lots of free stuff) is to go along to the fresher’s fair which is the first Saturday of term (3rd October in 2015).  A lot of clubs offer ‘come and try’ sessions where students are able to go along and trial being a member without any cost (with that said all of our sports club memberships are now free of charge) it also gives you the option to try lots of different things before seeing which one suits you best.

Essex Flames Cheerleading Squad

  1. Find some work experience or a job. At the end of the day, we are all at university to have better job prospects for when we finish our degree – so why not make the most of your years here by getting some all-important work experience in whatever field it is you’re interested in? As well as external work experience, you can get paid experience working for your department or the students union by completing a frontrunner placement for one term (or more).  With all of that said, any experience is good experience and most jobs will provide you with a set of transferable skills suitable for any workplace.

P.S. visit our careers website https://careerhub.essex.ac.uk – where you can find paid and voluntary work on campus, around Colchester and around the UK!

career hub

  1. Volunteer or raise money for charity! A great way to get experience and improve your CV is to take part in voluntary work.  Our students union has its own volunteering scheme called vTeam, who run a variety of weekly projects as well as one off projects.  Not only is it a fun experience, you will also get to meet lots of new people along the way!  Lots of societies and sports clubs also run their own volunteering events which students can get involved in.

Essex Tower Abseil

  1. Study a language for a year (for free!). Here at the University of Essex we have a fantastic scheme called ‘Languages for All’ which allows students to study a language, at either beginner or advanced level, alongside their course…for free!  Better still, if you pass the course it will be printed on your transcript (it’s like your results sheet) which employers will get to see!

 

  1. Take part in the Big Essex Award. This is a unique award that essentially recognises all hard work and any volunteering you may have done over the course of the year.  Also this is another qualification that will appear on your transcript, so it’s definitely worth your time!

the Big Essex Award

So, there you have some of my top university tips, which will help you to settle into university life quickly as well as making a bunch of new friends.  I’ve found that I’ve developed a lot since coming to university – particularly with my confidence as I have pushed myself to the maximum and have achieved a lot.  I hope that you will enjoy your time at Essex as much as I have. 🙂

Shannon x

Sport at Essex; It’s Free!

Essex Blades Sports Banner

Did you know that sport here at Essex is completely free?

Well, it is! We have tonnes of sports clubs that you can “buy” a membership for and it will cost you absolutely nothing. Essex is one of few universities that provide and promote free sport for all and it’s all part of the University’s mission to get students involved in keeping fit, having fun and meeting new people, with the motto: “Free the Blades”!

The Essex Blades have sports teams ranging from your typical Football, Rugby and Netball, to more unique sports such as Pole Dancing, Brazillian Ju Jitsu and Trampolining. There really is something for everyone.

Joining a sports team is a great way to try something new, continue a passion you already have and to socialise and meet lots of new people.

BUCS Leagues

Many of our sports club compete in BUCS League matches every Wednesday, as Wednesday’s are dedicated to sport here at Essex. This means that you’ll get the chance to travel to lots of other universities and compete in both away and home games to get to the top of your league!

Just Play

Most sports also take part in a scheme called ‘Just Play’. This enables students to try out a particular sport in a more relaxed environment instead of set club training times. This is the perfect way to try a new sport that you might not be 100% sure about. It’s also a great way to get involved with a sport that you might not particularly be interested in getting involved with at competition level.

Just Play Sports

Social Life

Most sports clubs on campus also have a large social side to them, with teams holding a variety of alcoholic, and non-alcoholic, socials throughout the year. Every Wednesday night, our on-campus night club, Sub-Zero, hosts “Fed”, where every Essex Blade team attends (mostly in a different fancy dress theme each week) to celebrate or commiserate the days match scores. It’s a great night out on campus with a brilliant sportsmanship vibe!

Sports Team Social Night

Derby Day

Essex also holds an event called Derby Day every year, around Easter time, and it’s a sporting event that features Essex Blades versus UEA sports teams in every different sport. It is a day of competition where each Essex Blades team or sport will go head to head with UEA’s team for an overall winner. It’s a great day that is held on alternative campuses each year and it’s a brilliant event to get involved with.

2014 Derby Day

Here’s last years Students’ Union promotional video for Derby Day 14!

Executive Committee Members

Sports clubs here at Essex are primarily run by students and team members. This means that each year there is a chance for you to run for an executive position within your sports team. This is a great way to get even further involved with shaping the way your sports club is run, and it enables you to learn more skills that will transfer onto your career after graduating from Essex.

Sports Awards

The Sports awards is another event that is held every year and it honours those who have provided excellent service to a particular sport and sports clubs that have had a brilliant progressive year.

Sports Fed Ball

So, what are you waiting for? Check out every sports club Essex has to offer here: http://freshers.essexstudent.com/do-stuff#sports-clubs

There’s no doubt you’ll find something that will interest you!

My first day at the University of Essex

Hello!  My name is Shannon and I’m one of the student bloggers at the University of Essex – even though I’m a third year student, I can still remember my first day at university like it was yesterday!

9:00am – arrived at the university with mum and an overflowing car (seriously, I have no idea how we managed to fit everything in).

9:10am – walked over to collect my keys – well door card and key code – for Harwich court and managed to make a new friend in the que :).

9:30am – the madness began, aka unloading the car.

stuff to take to university

12:00pm – it took many trips (I think 4…or maybe 5) using one of the carts provided and a lot of muscle to get all of my stuff unloaded, but we finally sorted everything!  Who says women aren’t strong ;). Next I unpacked and made it look more homely.

Picture 2

2:00pm – my room looked much better by this point and I’d met two housemates, who were both really friendly.  Mum went off to tesco’s to buy some groceries to stock up my fridge and cupboards.

3:00pm – went for a little wander down to the main campus alone (wasn’t as scary as I thought) there were lots of stalls set up and I spoke to some members of the cheerleading team.  There were lots of people walking around and everyone was really friendly and helpful.

5:00pm – I said my goodbyes to Mum (who was slightly emotional) and then went off to the SU bar with one of my flatmates to meet her friends (she was a second year student).

6:00pm – I ordered a pizza in the bar and met one of my friends that I’d been talking to a on Facebook.  We got on really well and agreed to meet up later on to go to Sub Zero nightclub together.

8:00pm – By this point I started getting ready for the night ahead (and massively relieved that I’d brought a term pass because all of the tickets sold out!)

Shannon in rollers

9:00pm – I went over to my new friends flat (which was just next door) and we had a few drinks and met with some others – it ended up being a large group of us which was great because I got to meet lots more people!

11:30 – Went into the club and I remember thinking it’s a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It was buzzing full of students!

Shannon's first night out

All in all I was fortunate to have a great day and met lots of nice people along the way.

Moving in can seem quite stressful but it’s actually not that bad – just take regular breaks and don’t forget to breathe!

I hope you find my post helpful and good luck for your Arrivals Day!