I arrived to campus on my first day to see a flood of banners urging us to ‘Honk if you’re from Lonsdale!’ The Reps cheered when I leant over to pip the horn, which was when I realised that I definitely chose the right university to go to!
I was immediately made welcome when my House Rep came right up to the car to take me to the Porters’ Lodge, this was a welcoming feeling that continued throughout Freshers’ Week and still exists today. Arriving in my accommodation was just as I imagined it – quiet, nervous faces saying ‘Hi’. We broke the ice at the table over a cup of tea, discussing what we were going to do with the 32 plates we had between us. I immediately got on with all my housemates, despite early concerns that I was living with two Manchester United fans. Fortunately, these concerns soon disappeared with the presentation of a bottle of Jim Bean whiskey and a Budweiser mini-fridge in the kitchen.
Freshers’ Week was brilliant and our Kitchen/House Reps were so important in showing us the campus, the town and more importantly, the bars! We all still keep in touch with them and they’ve become great mates.
The biggest change I realised was that getting up for a nine o’clock lecture was the worst thing ever! I clearly forgot that I got up at 7:00 everyday for the last seven years for school and sixth form. Waking up an hour and half later than this, at 8:30, required a coffee, red bull and many a Pro Plus. The other thing that struck me was the closeness of everyone in different years – there was no difference! At college, year 12 and year 13 would sit on different sides of the common room and anyone two or three years above would hardly ever talk to you. Compared to our first night, when four third year students came and sat in our kitchen to eat their jacket potatoes because it was cold outside, I could tell the college life meant we were a big family and friendly community.
To summarise this first year: mornings don’t exist, our livers are troopers, our wallets are generally empty and lectures are a great place to catch up on sleep (erm I mean learn things). You seem to become more proud of where you come from because of the diversity of people here and appreciate home and the food/laundry/money/transport privileges you have there. But we wouldn’t change this first year for the world!