10 memes all university students will relate to

Student life memes are constantly circulating on social media. I am constantly tagging my university friends in memes that totally relate to us as students. Here are some of the memes that us a university student you will relate to!

1. Chandler from friends meme

University can be pretty overwhelming, with everything you feel like you should be doing, when all you really want to do is stay in bed and watch Netflix. Not only do you feel like you should go to all your lectures and finish your assignments, you also need to consider getting a job to earn money/experience and look at enhancing your employability skills! Chandler from friends perfectly sums up have every uni student feels at some point.

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2. Treat yo self

So you’ve finally decided to start the revision for that all important exam. After all that hard work opening your laptop, finding the lecture slides and getting all your notes together, surely you deserve a little treat?!

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3. Why you always lying? guy meme

If you don’t know who this famous face off all memes is… this is the guy that sings a song called ‘why you always lying?’ I’m sure you can connect the dots and see why you totally relate to him. I can hear him singing as soon as I see that smiling face.

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4.Wake up meme

Your alarm goes off for your 9am lecture, you snooze it. And this goes on for the next 20 minutes. Then you start to wonder if these early starts are really worth the degree. In hind sight probably are…maybe.meme3

5. When you’re not sure what your doing for your assignment

You start an assignment but you soon realise you’re out of the depth and have no idea what was going on. You start writing in the hope that you come out with something half decent.

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6. ‘Sorry I can’t go out this weekend’ starter pack

It’s been a long week of snoozing your alarm and trying to writing your essays. All your flatmates are on about a big night out this weekend. But you say ‘sorry I can’t go out this weekend I have too much work to do’ when in reality you will just laze around in bed and watch Netflix.

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7. Cancelled lecture emails

You will learn that getting a cancelled lecture email is so much better than a good morning text. However when you get the email when you’re already in the lecture hall 3 minutes before it is about to start… not so good!

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8. ‘University is a walk in the park’ meme

Did anyone else get told ‘University is a lot easier than A levels because you are only doing one subject’. Well it definitely doesn’t feel like it. When you have 4 different modules, it feels like your back in that A level classroom trying to juggle all them lessons! However you do have a lot more free time to make up for it!

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9. Philip Schofe meme

Philip Schofe snapchat story totally sums up at least 1 day of your week. You have 1 lecture or class early in the morning and once that is over, you’ve done enough for the day and you can go home after that ‘long day’ of being a studentmeme8

10. Salt guy meme

This salt guy is thought to be the ‘meme of January’. It totally sums up the feeling of using one of these eight words in an essay. ‘I’ll just sprinkle a bit of thus here and furthermore there’.

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I hope this gave you a bit of a laugh in your haze of revision and essay writing 🙂

Our diversity celebrated: One World Essex

One World Essex, the week filled with our appreciation towards our varied student body and their culture. So what was it all about?

Our colourful “One World Essex” week kicked off on Monday the 27th of February, where, as most of you know, we had an amazing Parade of Flags and Carnival on Square 3 and 4 – and not just that! The Squares were filled with music and students dancing and talking and representing their nations. It was literally impossible to miss because when you heard all the music and laughter, you just had to join!

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The even-better stuff came on Tuesday, though. The International Food Festival. Let me repeat that. INTERNATIONAL. FOOD. FESTIVAL. There was food everywhere on Square 3! You didn’t even need to know that it was on Square 3, you could just navigate yourself to the food by the amazing aromas filling campus! Stepping into the Square, you could see nothing else but loads of different stalls, each of them showcasing a different type of food, culture and nation. Just walking even close to the Square made our mouths water and bellies grumble! You probably guessed by now that we visited every stall and ate until we couldn’t even stand anymore.

After the amazing food from the Festival, we needed some music of course. And that’s exactly what we got on Wednesday at the International Concert. Our wonderful ISA brought us music from around the world. It was a night filled with music and dances brought to us by none other than our amazing international students.

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We then had the Cultural Gala, on Friday the 3rd of March at the Hex. There I was able to meet our international student body and not only talked to them but also learnt a bit about their culture. And that should always come in handy, since Essex is one of the most international universities in the UK!

Last but definitely not least, our annual Essex Olympics took place! Keeping healthy is crucial and here, at our university, with all of our sports societies and Just Play sessions, you can do just that! We have a Sports Centre on campus where you can enjoy any sports you wish, and a new and improved one currently being built!

During One World Essex, we had a look at some of the most talented students that our uni has and it was amazing! It was fantastic to see our diverse, multi-cultural student body come together and celebrate each others’ heritage. Hope to see you there next year!

 

My Favourite Uni Memories to Date

I am now in my fourth and final year of university and I have had an amazing experience both at Essex and on my year abroad at RMIT university in Melbourne, Australia. In this blog I am going to share some of my memories and experiences with you in a mini photo album. Maybe you can get some ideas of what to do at university to make the most out of your experience. Enjoy!

1st year

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In my first year of uni I lived in south Courts with five other people. These are two of the girls I became closest with and we moved into a flat off campus together in our second year. It was so much fun living with my flat and I feel like moving away from home was definitely the best decision for me. This is us at Summer Ball in 2013, finishing off our year with a bang!

2nd year

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My second year at university is probably the one that I made the most of by using what the uni had to offer. I joined the Tennis club, where I was mostly a social member and took part in their social events every week. Here an example of an army social that we had before going to Sub Zero.

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I also joined the Cheerleading Club. Here, I was part of the Game Day team and went to training sessions every week. It was a great way to meet new people, have fun and keep fit!

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In April 2015, I went on tour to Salou with the Tennis Club. It was probably one of my favourite experiences at uni yet! We were all really close friends, so it was a great experience to go on holiday together and dress up as a different theme every night, this theme was Toga.

Tennis Awards

Towards the end of the year the Tennis Club held a BBQ and an awards evening. This was where the President and Vice-President of the club would come up with the awards and who they would be given to. I was luckily enough to win social member of the year awards, which I was very proud of!

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Finally, Summer Ball came at the end of the year in June. Here I said goodbye to a lot of my friends because I was going on a year abroad the following year and by the time I was back they would’ve graduated, however it was a great send off!

3rd year

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I have too many pictures to choose from from my year abroad, but here are a few! I studied in Melbourne, however I managed to travel quite a bit. This is me and two friends that I met whilst studying, in Sydney looking over the Opera House.

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I didn’t go home for the whole year and even spent Christmas in Australia! On Christmas Day we went to Coogee Beach in Sydney and had a BBQ. It was very hot and I managed to get sunburn on Christmas Day, which was a strange feeling!

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During the Christmas holidays when it was summer in Australia, we went on an East Coast road trip. This was one of my most memorable experiences, skydiving!

4th year

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Now I am back at Essex and a lot of my friends have graduated, however I have been lucky enough to have some amazing flat mates! We are all students who have either returned from our year abroad or are currently on their year abroad, so are international. Here is a picture of us when we all went on a trip together to Milan.

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Here is another picture of my flat having our Christmas dinner before we all went home for the Christmas holidays.

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Once again, here is another picture of me and my flat on Derby Day. We really enjoyed the atmosphere and even though Essex unfortunately lost, we had a great day!

I could share lots more pictures with you, but I hope this gives you some ideas of what the uni has to offer and how you can make the most out of your time here at Essex! I for one have loved it!

Opportunities Knock: An example of the possibilities open to you at university

Never let it be said that university is purely for studying. Yes, it does make up a significant proportion of it, but it is only part of the entire university experience. Previous blogs have commented on how it gets you to become more independent, to meet new and wonderful people and additionally for the vast number of opportunities that it opens for you.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that during my time at university I would meet authors and royalty or dress as a cow during welcome week complete with a rubber glove udder (thankfully no pictures survive of this particular choice of outfit!).

University is a place of opportunities that you should take up because you never know where they could lead you.

Last year I was pleased to hear that one of my friends had submitted a proposal to put on a play at the on-campus Lakeside Theatre through an open submission that the theatre regularly holds. Her proposal was accepted and so began the several months of planning and rehearsing.

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The play in question was Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter”- not the easiest of plays especially for a student director and current drama students playing the only two characters in the show. Everything about this play had to be based around their studies, their weekly readings and essays!

The Dumb Waiter is a one act play and is certainly a difficult task as the only two characters in the show are, for the most part, constantly on stage. The fact that Finn Todd (Gus) and Lloyd Shankley (Ben) were able to hold the audience’s attention for nearly an hour is a testament to their acting abilities. The physicality of their performance along with Ellen Pascoe’s skilful directing meant that the show was engaging and visually stunning- who would have thought that the opening few minutes of Gus tying and re-tying his shoes  could prove so funny and watchable?

The story of two hitmen waiting in a basement for their next assignment has a great air of menace about it, with Gus questioning their work and their abilities while Ben follows orders from “above” obediently and without hesitation.

The smaller studio space at the Lakeside Theatre worked incredibly well for this performance. The intimate, black walled room made the audience feel closer to the action and easily replicated the basement room in which the play is set. Better still was the fact that the performance began the minute the audience started to enter room, with the audience having to walk across the stage and past the actors idling on their beds in order to take their seats.

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L-R: Finn Todd (Gus) and Lloyd Shankley (Ben) in The Dumb Waiter. [Photo courtesy of Rhianna Hughes]

The testament of this great show is demonstrated by the fact that the two initial performances sold out, with demand being so high that a third performance was added at short notice.

Like many things this opportunity was a risk both for my friend Ellen in proposing and directing it and also for the Lakeside Theatre for providing the venue, resources and time for the show. But it paid off spectacularly becoming a resounding success and one of the most popular student show of the year.

I started this blog by talking about the importance of taking risks and the different opportunities that are possible at university, therefore I hope that I have done The Dumb Waiter some justice whilst encouraging you to take hold of all those possibilities open to you.

Why Essex was my first choice

If you’re familiar to the Harry Potter film series, then I liken finding the right University to finding the right wand for yourself. You may think that you know what you want but ultimately “the wand chooses the wizard”.

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I’ve got to be honest, Essex was not initially my first choice when I was looking at Universities. In fact, it was not even on my radar as somewhere where I wanted to study. It was too close to home and I was dead set on studying Drama somewhere like London, where there are countless theatres and loads of things to do.

However, I went on a day trip with my Sixth Form to the Colchester campus and it was surprisingly good. Me and my mates had a really cool day looking around the place, seeing what University life had to offer.

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So, when it came to organising Open Days, I just put Essex on the to visit list on a whim. It was quite a cool campus and I thought that it would be a decent benchmark to compare other universities to.

It ended up not only setting the benchmark for me but actually setting it so damn high that I couldn’t top it. No matter how hard I tried to find faults in the University….

However, despite my reluctance, my little brother always knew where I should go. He always loves coming to visit me at Uni because he got given a free bag of popcorn from the SU on the open day. I often remind him that it was only for the open day and we don’t get free popcorn all the time at Uni!

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Little by little, as I came for my interview for Essex, my dream of studying in London started to crumble as I fell in love with the idea of campus life at Essex. Suddenly, it’s distance from home and the fact that it was a train ride to London didn’t matter anymore.

Essex had the right course for me, good theatres on its doorstep and an irresistibly good feel to the place. In better words, it felt like somewhere where I could actually imagine spending the next few years of my life.

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While Essex may not be everybody’s first choice, there’s one thing which remains the same: choosing your first-choice University is always a big commitment and a big decision to make. It will most likely take a lot of time, thought and effort. But in the end, the choice will be obvious once you realise that your first choice is somewhere where you will be happy.

That’s when, like the wands, the “University chooses the student”.

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Campus Boredom Busters

Every so often we all get a little bit bored. Maybe it’s the weekend, you actually have no work to do for once and you’ve watched enough Netflix to last you at least a week. Or maybe you are just plain old bored. It happens to everyone. But with a campus like Essex where there’s always something going on, that doesn’t have to be the way. Take at look at this list of six boredom busters on campus.

1. Play some disc golf

basket-871276857848l3st Ever wondered what this is?

You’ve probably seen those strange metal basket things dotted around campus and absentmindedly wondered what they were. They’re actually holes on the frisbee golf course at Essex. You can get a disc and a score sheet from the reception desk at the gym, it’s only 50p. I can tell you from experience that it’s not exactly easy but it is very fun!

2. Go and see a Cine10 film

Going all the way to the cinema in town can be expensive and a bit of a trek, especially considering we have one right on campus. Cine10 movies are shown in the lecture theatre building and are a great chance to see the latest films without paying top dollar. Recent films include La La Land, T2 Trainspotting and The Lego Batman Movie.

3. Discover a new sport through Just Play

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Just Play is a great chance to try out a new sport or play one just for fun. There are loads of sports you can do for free or a small fee including swimming, ice skating and baseball and more. Just play is how I got into playing hockey and went on to play in BUCS games. It’s also great to go to with friends to see how competitive you can get! Have a look at the timetable here.

4. Visit ESCALA

You are probably wondering what on earth ESCALA is. It stands for Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. The majority of the artwork is housed in a special space in the Constable Building up by Wivenhoe House and you can go and visit it when there are exhibitions and events on. At other times though the art that is in the Silberrad Student Centre is part of ESCALA.

5. Go for afternoon tea at Wivenhoe House

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If you’re feeling fancy, head over to Wivenhoe House for some afternoon tea. Be quintessentially British and treat yourself some scones, finger sandwiches and some pastries. And, of course, they also have a huge variety of tea. If you fancy anything else they’ve also got you covered for dinner!

6. Take a fitness class

I really am not a fan of the gym but I do really enjoy going to fitness classes. Essex has loads of them at the gym. If you’re a member of the gym then they’re free but for all other students they’re £3.50. My favourite has to be yoga but there are loads more like zumba, insanity and dance classes.

So if you’re ever bored on campus or just itching for something new to try why not give this list a go!

How my life has changed from college to university

I am sure I’m not the only one that is utterly shocked at the speed this academic years has flown by. Despite this being my second year here, it still doesn’t seem that long ago since I was back in college, studying a handful of A-levels and wondering what direction I wanted my life to go in! The step up to uni is one of the biggest transitions we’ve all had to make, and there were a lot of differences to college life that I certainly didn’t expect.

My constant need for extra sleep

During my A-level years, I could get up at 7 am, do a morning paper round, before completing a full 9 am to 3 pm day of classes, and still have the energy to hang out with my friends all evening. Oh, how things have changed! I have now reached a point where one to two hours of lectures leaves me yearning for my bed and a chance to recover. With the regular availability of alcohol combined with the deadlines constantly looming over your head, spending the early hours of your day productively has become more of a pipe dream!

Independent Working

No matter what A-levels you took, the style of learning and working will feel very different after experiencing those first few lectures or seminars. I realised that much of my subject knowledge was no longer understood in a classroom-style environment, but instead in my hours outside of the lecture theatres. Whether your course is mainly exam-based or filled with regular assignments, your time management and organisational skills will, eventually, reach a whole new level of ‘On Point’, even if that means occasionally working until 3 am bashing out a 2000 word essay the night before it’s due (not that I would know about that….).

Difference in Lifestyle

A big change many of us were probably preparing ourselves for well in advance was living away from home, whether it be on or off campus. I imagine many students, myself included, thought that having 3 well-balanced meals a day would be a simple part of uni life on top of the workload. And yet, I write this while planning my typical dinner of a piece of chicken with some plain rice, so clearly, I was mistaken! Add to this the need to do washing and clean up after yourself, and at times it just seems all too much! But despite it all, living with people that are going through the exact same struggles just makes it that bit more tolerable, and we find a way to survive.

Although this is just scraping the barrel when it comes to the reality of university life, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Having the opportunity to study something I love and feel the freedom that independence comes with is an experience like no other. Far gone are the monotonous days of college classes, and I’ve never been happier about it! Many of you will agree it is certainly a rollercoaster, but despite the ups and downs, you often feel like you never want it to end.

How to prepare for the independence of university months before you go!

University isn’t just about the studying and getting a degree. It is also about learning life lessons and most importantly gaining independence. But this is a big step. One day you go from mums home cooked dinner, cleaning (and lets face it she probably packed half your stuff!) to staring at the hob with a saucepan in hand thinking “right how do I turn this thing on?” But this step might not be so big if you do some preparing now.

Step 1: Buy the university essentials

So the first step to preparing for your independence is buying the things you’ll need to cook, clean and survive at university! Things such as saucepans, frying pan, cutlery, iron, can opener etc. Don’t go over board, buying things that you’re not even sure how to use it! Buy the things you’ll think you need. Do you never peel potatoes? Then don’t worry with the peeler! Hate grated cheese? Then leave the cheese grater out! Save yourself some money (which you can then use for freshers!) Starting to buy stuff now eliminates the pressure of having to buy everything in one go and inevitably forgetting something!

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Step 2: Learn to cook your own meals

If you’re anything like me, before I started uni the extent to my cooking was putting pasta in a saucepan or putting bread in a toaster. I had no idea how to cook for myself. And I never needed to, so it was great that going to uni gave me this opportunity. And just a FYI there is no toaster in towers…so you can’t just live off toast like you might be planning on!

Learn how to cook simple and quick meals (as well as cheap!). There are some great blogs on the i am essex blog page to give you ideas on the type of meals you could try at uni. My suggestions would be spaghetti bolognese, stir fry, and sweet and sour chicken. These are all easy meals that involve just a frying pan and saucepan! (You don’t even need to learn how to turn the oven on!)

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Step 3: Learn how manage money

So you’re in the process of applying for your student loan, and soon you will know how much money you’ll have to live off at university. The good thing is you get your student loan in termly instalments so if you go a bit mad first term you have a chance to pull it back!

When you know how much you’ll have each term you can start to work out a budget. How much will I have left once I’ve paid for accommodation? How much can I save for freshers week? Will I need to get a job? If you start becoming aware of the money you’ll be living off you can start to manage it! Check out the i am essex page for blogs on budgeting.

You should also start thinking about student bank accounts. I went for Santander which offers a free railcard and a reasonable overdraft! So if you are worried your spending, you’ll always have that to fall back to!

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Step 4: Learn some basic household chores

Another learning step at uni is learning to clean up after yourself and do some chores! One of the most interesting experiences at uni was every 2 weeks (or as long as I could hold on without doing any washing!) I’d have to carry all my washing across campus to the laundry room and try and work out how to use the washing machine!

Before coming to university it is a good idea to learn how to do your washing and ironing. Don’t be that person that put the red sock in with whites and now the clothes are pink! I have to say I really tried to avoid ironing and I pretty much got away with it apart from that one dress that always creased! Learning to iron is a good skill and you’ll be everyone’s favourite!

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Step 5: Getting ready to become an independent university student

Making these steps will help you prepare to become independent! Next step is to put them to test on your university journey.

Accommodation stereotypes: What kind of person lives where!

The Towers

If I could describe our amazing Towers with one word, that would be social. The Towers, either South Towers or North Towers, are the most social type of accommodation at the university and also the most fun one! Having 16 to 13 people per flat, depending on which tower you live in, it is no surprise either.

Imagine having not only your flatmates as instant friends but the whole tower, since people tend to know each other from other flats and socialise a lot. Also, another plus would be the fact that you are bound to live with people from all around the world which means that you could get friends from all around the world, how cool is that?!

The Towers are a place for a good hangout. There is no chance you can feel alone here. There is not one day that is the same when you live here and that is why Towers are so magical.


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The houses

The Houses are housing (get it?) the forever knowledge-hungry students They are located only a few minutes away from the Student Centre and the Library, so you’re only a quick step away from all the computers and materials that are available to us students. The Houses are kind of the opposite of The Towers, but that by no means equals boring! They are centrally located, which means you’re super close to campus and there are 4 to 6 people per flat – perfect for a close-knit group of friends!

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The Quays

The Quays are next to a river and beautiful greenery, but as they’re a bit of a walk away from campus you can expect everyone to be out all the time. You will see the usual sporty people running along the river, playing badminton, enjoying a bike ride, and also just people out and about, sunbathing or just out for a picnic! The Quays are also super close to the train station, so if you fancy an impromptu weekend away or just a day trip, there is a 150% chance that you will find a minimum of 10 people going with you. The Quays are definitely for the curious adventurers who are eager to explore and be out and about!

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South Courts

South Courts, being one of the most high-end type of accommodation we have, will definitely give you what you pay for. En-suite bathrooms in each room and only a three minutes’ walk away from Square 3, you definitely get the bang for your buck. It is an ideal choice for the sports fanatic, since it is located right next to the Sports Centre and Evolve Gym. It is also our largest accommodation area, so if you are thinking of moving to South Courts, be ready to see LOAAAADS of people. Housing 4 to 6 students per flat, and in some up to 12 students, it’s a perfect balance for your academic studies and social life.

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But this is not everything the uni offers in terms of accommodation! Have a look at their website for more info on the others or if simply you want to find out more about the ones I talked about here 🙂

The things I wished I’d know about university before starting: Busting the four big myths about university

If you have a strong, preconceived idea about what life will be like at university then this blog may ruin that. If however, you are happy to have those ideas challenged then continue reading. Essentially this is what I wished I’d known about university all the way back when I was a young and naive fresher.mythbusting-min

Myth: Students drink and party all the time

Truth: I would be lying if I said students didn’t drink, of course they do. As someone who doesn’t drink that often, I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in at university or that people would pressure me to drink. But that didn’t happen, in fact people have been very accepting. There are tons of people who don’t drink and there are tons of people who do, so there will always be people in the same position as you.

While I can’t speak for other universities, at Essex a great deal of effort goes into ensuring that there is a good mix between events that involve drinking and those that don’t. So there should be something for everyone.

Myth: You’ll meet you best friend on the first day

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Truth: Unfortunately there are no guarantees of this. University is a big place with thousands of people, so don’t be surprised if it takes a while to “click” with people. I met someone who I regard as one of my closest friends during the first week of term and the rest of my friendship group evolved over a number of months.

It has certainly been romanticised that you’ll move in or arrive on your first day and meet your new best friend. Having spoken to a number of people this isn’t always the case, but don’t be disheartened as you’ll make friends eventually.

Myth: Everyone will be smarter than me

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Truth: Don’t sell yourself short. Everyone will have come from different backgrounds and will have learnt different things. As an English Literature student I’ve found that the Literature I studied at school is different from the Literature that someone else studied- yet we both have an A-level in Literature.

There will be people who have extensive knowledge in certain areas, but then you might outwit them in another area. Remember one of the points of first year is to get everyone up to the same level of knowledge.

Myth: You have to buy everything before you arrive

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Truth: No! No! No! No! Ok, so you may think that you are a whizz in the kitchen but even Gordon Ramsey doesn’t need six toasters and three kettles!

Firstly, check what the university provides (normally listed on the accommodation pages). Secondly, check if your university allows you to contact your new house/ flat mates- this is something that you can do at Essex and is a great way to make initial introductions and arrange what to bring for communal use. Thirdly, don’t forget that shops exist! So you don’t need to bring a weeks worth of food, a years supply of clothes and all the bedding to last a lifetime. Quite simply you can save space in the car by thinking ahead for the less essential things and buying them at a later date – panic over!