Starting my second year
First of all, welcome to all of the new students!
It’s been really interesting to visit campus again after such a long break. Quite a lot has actually changed over the summer. The bookstore has moved to the back of the Student Union, the Arts Centre has opened a whole new part of the building, and there seems to be construction going on just about everywhere! It’s also a strange experience being on campus but not actually living there like in my first year.
I’ve just moved into my new off-campus accommodation and unpacked all of the boxes I had in storage for the summer into my new house and new room. I’m living in Coventry this year which, even though it’s just a 10 to 20 minutes bus ride away from university, is still a long way from Whitefields where I lived my first year, which was right at the centre of campus.
So far, I’ve just spent a lot of my time setting up my room, and shopping for extra things to make it more cosy. IKEA has been a bit of a life-saver for all of this last-minute shopping. I have a double bed this year, so a lot of the shopping was just buying lots of pillows now that I have more room to pile them up on my bed! If you’re just moving into campus accommodations, taking or buying your own duvet covers and pillowcases can really help your accommodation feel more cosy. I think that most of the accommodations on campus provide some already, but having your own can brighten up your room and make it feel more like your own.
My family also helped me with a massive Tesco haul to stock up my new kitchen. Navigating Tesco on arrivals weekend was quite an adventure, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who had to fight through the crowds of trolleys and people, found that a lot of products had simply run out (I was on the hunt for pasta and sponges), or queued for what seemed like hours at the tills! Still, at least now I have food in my kitchen, and I even managed to get a plant for my room. I had a cactus my first year (which died tragically over the winter break), so it was nice to finally have some greenery again! If you’re just settling into your accommodation, a plant or two can go a long way to make your room feel more comfortable. Tesco has lots of flowerpots and plants near the entrance if you’re interested. IKEA even has some pretty plastic flowers if you want a plant but don’t really want to take care of it. Last year, there was even a small flower stall set up on campus near the Student Union, so that could also be a good place to look as well.
I didn’t get to experience Week 0 my first year since it didn’t exist yet, so I’m really enjoying it this year! There are so many stalls set up all around university that allow you to discover all of the services and opportunities available on campus. I really loved the Wellbeing Support Services tent, where you could just have some tea and a snack, relax on the chairs and beanbags on the grass, and also find about where to go if you struggle with something this year. And the StudyHappy stall was great as well, they have so many mindfulness or relaxation events set up throughout the year which I’m already excited about.
So overall, it’s been quite a busy few days, but I’ve really been loving it! I hope everyone is enjoying Welcome Week too!