Student bloggers

Life as a student in Bath

Posts By: Daniel Hua

Cooking and Eating as a First Year

  

📥  Undergraduate

Whether you’re the Queen of England or Dave from Westwood, there is one thing that connects us all. That rumbling feeling in your stomach in your 9am because you just rolled out of bed without breakfast, or that insatiable lust for Domino’s after a night out; hunger is universal. But that’s where the similarities end. For some, food is sustenance. For others, it’s their purpose in life.

Personally, I never thought too hard about food when deciding to come to Bath - I knew I wanted self-catered accommodation and I trusted that I could feed myself somehow, but beyond that I had no plans. However, with such a busy Freshers’ Week and the first few weeks, it's useful to have a clearer idea of how you’re going to eat. It’s not something you want to be trying to figure out whilst you’re getting barraged with new information about timetables and socials. With that in mind, here are some cooking and eating habits I’ve found so far as a student in Bath.

The Budgeter

This person is smart and responsible. Their kitchen cupboard and fridge shelf will always be organised and well-stocked, yet they never seem to spend as much money as you. Their secret? Online shopping. Bulk buying may seem unnecessary when you live five minutes from Fresh but when you see an online deal for half-price pasta sauce and you buy enough to drown in, you can sure as hell bet you’ll have food for the next few semesters at least. Just make sure you really like pasta.

On a serious note, as much as online shopping may seem lazy, it is simply the most convenient way to get your groceries when you live on campus. They deliver right to your door and let you return the crates at your leisure. Make sure to buy in bulk and shop with some friends or flatmates to lower the cost of delivery.

The Eater-Outer

On the other end of the sensibility spectrum is the person who likes to eat out all the time. The person who makes a beeline to The Parade Grill after every lecture and knows the menu to every restaurant in town. Everyone has their own habits though, and especially in the first year, you might find yourself being a bit like this person. And for good reason, because eating out is a social occasion – I found one of the easiest ways to get to know people on my course was to talk to them a bit during lectures and then ask if they wanted to get food afterwards (note: this only works for certain times of the day).

The Meal Planner

The Meal Planner is a truly gifted person. They have the magical superpower of seeing into the future, and they can predict what they’re going to be eating for the next five days. Pasta. Pasta. Pasta. Pasta. Pasta.

But for all the sacrifices their taste buds will have to make, their schedule will reap the rewards. A one-hour gap between lectures is often not enough time to walk back, prep, cook, eat and walk to your next lecture. If you do a course with more than a few days where you’re short for time at lunch, consider breaking out the plastic containers and freezing some Bolognese. You’ll thank yourself later.

Stocking up in 'Fresh' on campus

The Junk Foodie

Bless the junk foodie. They’re not harming anyone. They just want to eat their crisps and biscuits in peace, and not deal with their flatmates asking if that is indeed what they’re having for dinner. Yes, it is. Now if you’ll excuse me and my diminishing figure, I have deadlines to attend to (junk foodies often appear when assignments are due. If you see one, make sure it has lots of its drink of choice, coffee.)

The Meal Dealer

The Meal Dealer is similar to the Junk Foodie, in that it’s choice of eating habit is based mainly on convenience (or laziness, depending on how you look at it). However, they differ in one key aspect: the willpower to endure the huge queues at Fresh during lunch and dinner hours. The meal deal (sandwich, snack and drink) costs a measly £3, and is something that can keep you upright during your afternoon lectures, though as a dinner option it leaves you wanting more.

So, there you have it: five different eating and cooking habits at Bath. With a range of lifestyles, eating habits, budgets and some of the finest restaurants (and kebab shops) in the country, you’ll be spoiled for choice when your stomach starts rumbling.

 

Freshers' Week for the mildly awkward

  

📥  Uncategorized

It’s loud. It’s fast. It begins with a tearful goodbye to your parents and ends hungover at 9am in a lecture hall wondering why you didn’t just take a gap year instead. It’s Freshers’ Week, and for some people, it’s far from their ideal week. Now that I am settled into Uni life I thought it would be a good time to look back over my experience of the much anticipated Freshers' Week.

Personally, I knew it was going to be a hard week to get through before it started. I’m not a heavy drinker, clubs are a bit too loud for me and meeting so many new people in so little time sounded a bit overwhelming. Nevertheless, I still wanted to make friends. I still wanted to enjoy my time. You’re only ever a Fresher once, they say.

Moving in takes place over the first weekend. I moved in early on Saturday, and despite having to wake up at 7am and leave the comfort of my own bed, it was worth the extra effort. Being the first in your accommodation means you can meet people as they trickle in. You have time to settle in and breathe, you can help others with their luggage and you can get to know your flatmates one by one. For someone who’s not as outgoing in group conversations, this was a huge plus. One of my flatmates brought along a few biscuit cans full of homemade brownies to share, and though it didn’t occur to me beforehand, it definitely seemed like a good way to be friendly with your flat without having to utter a single word.

Chocolate, a quick way to anyone's heart

With the weekend out of the way, it was time to get down and dirty. Our Eastwood house consisting of eleven guys (at least the toilet seat’s always up) managed to fill one of our three fridges entirely with beer.  It was a magnificent sight to behold even if my stomach did tremble a bit. There’s a lot to do during Freshers’ Week even if you don’t have a hankering for hops though. Every night there are two films shown around campus and on Monday it was Guardians of the Galaxy 2, my favourite movie (I know, I have very refined tastes). Seeing that on a big screen, I wouldn’t miss it for anything, not even ‘the sesh’. ‘But it’s the sesh!’ my flatmates exclaimed. ‘But it’s Baby Groot! I replied and away I was. I did worry that I might’ve alienated my flatmates a bit by missing out on the first big night out, and throughout the week I did make conscious attempts to not be M.I.A or in my room for too long, but ultimately I realised that even if you don’t go out with your flat every night, and you don’t sit down to have dinner with them every day, they will still like you.

There are a range of activities during the day such as arts & crafts, yoga sessions and city tours. If you can summon up the energy to venture out into the cold wilderness of not your room, you can find something happening on campus at all times, guaranteed. Everything from going around collecting freebies from the Freshers’ fair to going around a second time and hoping they don’t recognise you. The struggle is perhaps not finding things to do, but people to do them with. For most people coming out of secondary school, it might’ve been two or three years since you’ve had to make new friends. Maybe you don’t even remember how your closest friends became your closest friends. Whatever the case may be, tagging them in memes and looking at their snapchat story just isn’t a substitute for real human interaction, so reluctantly, even the most mildly awkward of us will have to put ourselves out there.

It’s funny how relationships form during the first few weeks of university. Some don’t make it through the initial test as they shake your hand and tell you they’re from Chippenham and you have to nod and pretend you know where that is. Some seem to be just fine until they say the fatal words ‘Oh I live in Quads’ and you can’t look the poor guy in the eye because now you’re just in it for a beanbag. Most don’t turn out to be lifelong friendships you expect to make at university, so if you’re a bit disappointed that your life isn’t like a scene out of Friends, don’t fret.

Once Freshers’ Week is over, you’ll realise that it wasn’t such a painfully awkward experience after all. Maybe it’s rose-tinted glasses. Maybe it’s the fact you actually have lectures now (like whaaat?). It might even be, god forbid, because it was actually quite fun and everyone was in the exact same terrifying, unfamiliar situation as you.