Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Duck to Water


It's so weird for me to be writing this from my room at Hope! After wanting to come here for so long, for me to be sat in my room writing this seems like a dream! I can't believe that this time last year, I didn't even have this blog, yet here I am now at uni - and loving every minute so far! My hall mates and course mates are all lovely and my lecturers are warm and welcoming. I just can't believe I've been here for over a week now: Time has flown by but at the same time I feel like I've been here forever!
So with Freshers'/Welcome Week now over, I thought I'd take this opportunity to reflect on the past week and all the good times I've had!

24/09 - Moving In Day

Before I moved in, I was so nervous it was crazy. Not about the course, the uni or even the move to a bigger city. I knew these things would sort themselves. But I was so apprehensive about meeting so many new people. However, I need not to have been worried! Before I even walked into my halls, I recognised and was able to talk to several of the people from the many Hope online group chats. This immediately made me feel more relaxed, even in the chaos of unpacking the car, registering with a GP and getting my student ID card. When I went into my hall, several people were already unpacking and we were able to chat to each other as we unpacked and sorted our rooms. My parents stayed with me for a while before they said their goodbyes and headed home. After that, I was able to really start getting to know the girls on my corridor. It was so lovely to discover almost immediately that we have plenty of things in common and we all have similar senses of humour. That night, we headed to Liverpool Concert Square for our first night out together which was so much fun! I couldn't have wished for a better first day at Hope!

Car all packed and ready to go!

The beautiful view from my bedroom window

25/09 - My 19th Birthday

Nothing is weirder than having your birthday on your first full day at uni - and your first full day living away from your family. I was so nervous about this (yes, I was nervous a lot at the start of Freshers'!!) and so my family came over for the afternoon to celebrate with me. They brought me my cards and presents from family and friends at home (thank you all by the way!!) and we went out for tea to celebrate as well. When I got back to uni I suddenly felt all alone and was worried about how I would cope by myself. However, my friend Catherine and I went to Mass at the University Chapel and I was able to relax and hand my anxieties over to God. It was a lovely experience of Mass - only a few members of staff and students but it was a really beautiful celebration. I'm really looking forward to being part of the Catholic Society and community at Hope over these next three years.

After Mass and more food at the Chaplaincy, I returned to my halls and got ready for our second night out. The Chuckle Brothers were doing a guest performance at one of the clubs and so we were all varying degrees of excited about seeing them! However, before we went out, some of the girls from the other floors in the hall called me downstairs and everyone was gathered in the foyer area singing "happy birthday" to me. As much as I was embarrassed at the fuss, it made me feel so special that these people who had only just met me were wanting me to feel special and cared about on my birthday.

Birthday Night Out

Birthday Meal with my family

26/09 - First Day

After all the fun and excitement of the first two days, on Monday we had to get down to business with an Introductory lecture, Faculty Welcome and Commencement Ceremony. While the first two were pretty self explanatory, I was unsure about what the Commencement Ceremony would entail. This was an official ceremony where we were properly welcomed into the community at Hope and introduced to all the Faculty and Department Heads, as well as other important figures in the University.
Later that evening, we decided to have a girly night in and so some of us headed down to the common room to relax and watch Cold Feet.
This was also first night that I made a proper homemade meal for my tea, so I was very happy that I could make a tasty meal by myself without needing my Mum's help!!

27/09 - A Busy Day

Before I moved to uni, I knew that I had post that I needed to collect during my first few days however it took me until Tuesday to finally work out how to collect it! It was so lovely to be able to collect my cards from family and friends which had arrived in the previous few days. As I only had a couple of departmental welcome meetings in the morning and was free for the rest of the day, I took Tuesday as my opportunity to decorate my bedroom and arrange it how I like it. I think I'll do my next blog post about how to make your uni room feel like a home away from home, so I'll talk in more detail about that next time. Tuesday was also Freshers' Fair and as it was at the other side of campus, it was a great opportunity to explore over there and see what it's like! I also enjoyed being able to see all the clubs and societies that were advertised - I've just signed up for Badminton and Catholic Societies as I unfortunately couldn't find a stand for the English one! I'm hoping that I might be able to sign up for it online or in a lecture or something.

The new building for Sports Science
The beautiful view from the top floor of the library

The campus is so beautiful even with the grey skies and rain!

On Tuesday, some of us again decided to have a girly night in. So nine of us packed into my room and huddled round my laptop to catch up on the X Factor we'd missed over the weekend. I really enjoyed this as it was a great opportunity to get to know some of the girls better and to bond over similar likes and dislikes of contestants on the show!!

Q) How many people can you cram into Anna's room?
A) Nine (at least!!)
28/09 - Meeting Tutors and Bake Off Bonding

After all the introductory lectures and welcomes on Monday and Tuesday, by Wednesday it was time to meet my personal tutors for both English Lit and Creative Writing. One of the many things which drew me to Hope was the fact that is a small and personable uni - everyone knows each other and that creates a really vibrant and friendly atmosphere. The tutors that we have for tutorials are also our personal tutors and so they are the first person we can turn to if we have any issues while at Hope - whether academic or personal. I really enjoyed being able to meet my tutors, who are both so warm and friendly and I instantly felt at ease with them. It was also great to finally meet people who will be in my lectures and tutorials for the next year at least and to see that there are many people who I have much in common with. I'm a massive fan of different accents and so I'm in pure heaven - with people from as vast areas as Derry, London, South Africa and of course Liverpool to name just a few; just hearing other people speak is great!!!

Also on Wednesday, The Great British Bake Off was on and so, of course, we just had to watch it before we went out for the night!! I absolutely love watching Bake Off and it was so much fun to watch it with some of my new friends! Later on, we headed out to town for the night and had a really great time having a laugh and a dance before heading back to halls for some sleep before another busy day on Thursday!

29-30/09 - Girly Film Night and Exploring the SU

Thursday and Friday again consisted of more induction lectures and tutorials where we were told more details about the course content as well as doing plenty of icebreakers to get to know other people in the group. Although we all moan about doing so many icebreaking activities, just the fact that no one enjoys them helps us all to relax and start talking!! While Thursday and Friday were pretty similar during the day, the evenings were very different! On Thursday, nine of us crammed into my friend's room and we all watched The Fault in Our Stars. Such a good girly film and it was lovely to just relax and have a pyjama night after being out the night before. On Friday, my two closest uni friends and I decided that we would go and check out the weekly student night which Hope Student Union puts on. And we were not disappointed - it was a really chilled pub-like atmosphere with great music from the uni's Irish indie band, The Left Backs. It was nice to end the week of lectures etc on something so chilled and lovely.

01/10 - First Shopping Trip

Unfortunately, this is nowhere near as exciting as it sounds! Some of the girls and I had pretty much run out of food (a key error as a student I have to say!) and so we decided it was probably time to head to the supermarket! I have to say, it was quite an experience!! It was pouring down with rain and we ended up waiting at the bus stop for around 40 minutes before two buses turned up at once - so typical!! We eventually found the supermarket and we were all confused when we walked in because the store begins with the frozen and bakery sections which was very different than what I'm used to at home! However, other than that it was a very successful trip! We managed to stick to our shopping lists and more importantly, our budgets!
We again stayed in on Saturday night and watched X Factor together and had an early night - we all knew that Sunday would be a late night!!

Feeling very grown up after our shopping trip together!

02/10 - Roast Dinner and Student Fest
After such a busy week, we tried to have a lie in on Sunday morning- especially because we knew that the hard work began on Monday!! We didn't do a lot during the day really, mainly just trying to get on top of the course reading we needed to do and other little jobs like washing and tidying. However, in the afternoon, some of my friends and I made our first roast dinner together! To think that we were virtual strangers a week ago, it was so lovely to be able to share a meal with the lovely girls who are now my friends!

Couldn't resist sharing a picture of our amazing roast chicken dinner!!!
On Sunday night, it was time for Student Fest - the concluding Freshers' event and the one event which was for all four Liverpool unis. And it did not disappoint! We were all in uni teams and our t-shirts were our tickets into six different venues. The best part about this was that we could see what different places were like without having to pay! The atmosphere was amazing with all the freshers out from all the unis and we had such a good time! I would say it was definitely the best night out we had during Freshers' Week - if you're a student in Liverpool next year I would definitely recommend it!

My favourite Austin Hall girls :)

Being a triplet with my uni best mates!
So that, ladies and gentleman, is my Freshers' Week! I had the most amazing time and I've met some amazing people already. I'm so excited to see what other exciting experiences are in store for me over my next three years at Hope. I can't wait to begin my lectures, seminars and tutorials and get properly started on my course! I feel so blessed to have made really good friends already and I'm so glad that I've got friends! As the title of this post suggests, I have taken to uni life like a duck to water and I look forward to sharing my adventures with you all!

I'll be back soon, but until then, if you'd like to vote for me as UCAS Blogger of the Month, you can do that here. Thank you! 

Until next time,
Anna x