Student bloggers

Life as a student in Bath

Topic: Rob (Physics)

Moving on and into a new year: second year housing

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📥  Faculty of Science, Rob (Physics)

Now that I’ve moved into my second year house where I have spent the summer and will spend the next academic year I thought it would be apt to write a post on the topic of second year housing. Hopefully this post can pick apart some of the aspects of finding housing that people ask about. It’s a big thing, getting your own place.

So the first thing that you’ll notice about being a Bath student is how early those conversations come up. You’ll often hear that you need to get your finger out and start looking early, and that’s basically to do with the issue of low supply and high demand. There’s a lot of students in the city, I think it’s almost 30,000, and there’s only 70,000 permanent residents. There’s space for everybody, of course, but what this means is that the better places sell quickly. It’s actually common for Bath students to sort their second year housing before breaking up for Christmas.

That pattern is one that me and my future housemates followed, and in fact it lead to an unforeseen issue within our halls – see, there were twelve of us in the same building, and from the start of the year we all managed to get along. Obviously some of the friendships within the flat were stronger than others, but on the whole we were all friends and I’m sure we will be next year, and long into our lives in Bath.

Now, you might think that this was blessing and nothing less, but when it came to the decision of who was going to move in with each other, well – then we really ran into problems.

It was a tricky discussion, the whole way through. We had a few emotional nights and some really awkward moments but we managed through and came to an arrangement that suited most of us pretty well.

What I’m saying is that you’ll be unlikely to know for certain who you really want to live with by the time you have to decide- a couple of months just isn’t enough, even living in halls together, to decide who you really get on with. Nonetheless it’ll be fine. Don’t worry. It’s a little difficult, but you’ll muddle through.

When I found out who I’d actually be living with I was overwhelmingly happy. Myself and three of the people who were in halls with me – Josh, another physics student, Phillipe – a chemical engineer, and Kaz- a psychology student. It’s a great group and at the time I was happy, now perhaps even more so.

Also, as a stroke of good planning, four more of our housemates are living a stone’s throw up the road – literally five minutes’ walk away. So, in conclusion – we got there.

We decided to live in Combe Down which is a little village situated a couple of kilometres away from the Uni, and a couple from town. They form a kind of triangle.

We chose to live in Combe Down because we’re all planning to cycle next year and it sits on top of the same hill as the campus. If you decide to live in Oldfield Park it means that you’ve got to brave a grueling trip up either Widcombe or Bathwick Hill – and they’re both inclined at 12% at some points. Coombe Down is a good place to live for cyclists, but maybe Oldfield Park is a better place for parties. It’s where the majority of students live and it’s heavily connected with the university via a near constant stream of buses.

As I said, I’ve just moved in to my new place. I’m staying in Bath to work over summer and because our contract is twelve months I’ve been able to move in early. It’s a four bedroom place with a bathroom, a toilet, a kitchen and a washroom. It’s got a ton of utilities – a washing machine, a dishwasher and even a tumble dryer. There’s also a dead nice garden complete with a pear tree and an apple tree. For the price I think it’s really a bargain. I’ve attached a few photos so you can get some idea of the place.

In terms of money, we’re each paying £390 a month, and that’s before bills, so it’s not cheap – but it’s an unfortunate part of becoming an adult.

Halls is a bit like a half-way house I guess, but this is the real deal. There’s nobody here to take the bins out, or to keep guard of the place, and you even have to buy your own loo roll! Nonetheless it’s definitely worth it for the sense of freedom and independence. You’ll just notice right away that what your parents always “went on about” – turning the lights off, not spending too long in the shower. All of those things make a lot more sense when you’re the one who has to foot the bill.

 

Bath in the spring- campus and beyond

  

📥  Rob (Physics)

The sun has returned! The nights are drawing out and Bath’s campus is bursting with life in every corner. From the spring flowers, to the famous campus ducks. Even the students look lively through the haze of coursework deadlines and hangovers. Sitting by the lake has become a common pastime on campus, whether to read, drink some beer, or even have a barbeque.

Blog

The whole campus is full of these flowers

Turns out making friends with ducks is easy – just keep feeding them!

Turns out making friends with ducks is easy – just keep feeding them!

The change in weather has made me rediscover one of my favourite things – walking. I have a lot of free time of Thursdays which I’ve been using to explore the local countryside with my flatmates. I’ve discovered a couple of really interesting routes through the local area and plotted them on top of an ordanance survey map – if you come to visit with your family I’d recommend having an amble. These routes take a good half a day, but they go to and from campus so you could easily fit them in. I took a few photos of the walks which I’ve put below as well.

Our route map

My route map

Francesco made friends with this nice old lady from Bristol. She was fishing at a reservoir that we passed on the blue route

Francesco made friends with this nice old lady from Bristol. She was fishing at a reservoir that we passed on the blue route

This is Midford castle, again – part of the blue route

This is Midford castle, again – part of the blue route

A surprising place in the middle of nowhere – all of the houses in the settlement are in this photo. Hardly even a village

A surprising place in the middle of nowhere – all of the houses in the settlement are in this photo. Hardly even a village

The whole area is full of canals. You can even take a boat trip to the city from Bathampton

The whole area is full of canals. You can even take a boat trip to the city from Bathampton

Further afield

The Easter break has been a chance to discover some sights slightly further out from Bath. A number of factors – having some time off, really decent weather, and most importantly my girlfriend’s car, have made this possible.

Bath is surrounded by natural beauty. It sits directly below the Cotswolds, a region that’s characterised by its idyllic villages, rustic charm and seemingly never-ending hills. As well as the Cotswolds, there are the Mendip Hills area which is slightly southwest of Bath. The most attractive part of this area, in my opinion, is the region of Cheddar Gorge. It’s a geological wonder that seems to be out of place in the middle of rural England and there’s a dramatic walking route which traces the top of the Gorge. They can all be accessed by public transport though a car would obviously make the trip easier; if you’re here on an open day I’d say a trip to Cheddar is much better than Stonehenge – both more exciting and at the significantly cheaper price of zero pounds.

Castle Combe- So there’s not much here but it’s pretty as it gets.

Castle Combe- So there’s not much here but it’s pretty as it gets.

Cheddar Gorge- this is the best walk in the area, in my opinion. Dramatic but accessible. Much better than paying a small fortune to look at Stonehenge.

Cheddar Gorge- this is the best walk in the area, in my opinion. Dramatic but accessible. Much better than paying a small fortune to look at Stonehenge.

 

 

Coming home for Christmas... and revision

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📥  First year, Rob (Physics)

I’m writing this from the belly of the beast, the valley of the shadows, the edge of the observable universe. My first exam is a week today. I arrived back in Bath this Monday just gone and I’ve quickly settled back in. It felt like I was coming home, not leaving it! I was overjoyed to see my housemates again and we managed to squeeze a game of risk out of our respective revision schedules, however tight they may be.

The tension of war doesn’t wait for anybody, no matter how excited we were to see each other, or how close our exams are...

The tension of war doesn’t wait for anybody, no matter how excited we were to see each other, or how close our exams are...

Just before the Christmas break I went to the lake district with The Mountaineering Club. It was a special trip for me, as I’ve always wanted to go back, since I first visited as a child. I was under the impression that nostalgia had the best of me, and I’d be disappointed on return, but that really wasn’t the case. I think the views speak for themselves. Here are a few of my favourite photos from the weekend. It’s a destination that I’d recommend to anybody and everybody.

Frosty fields on a cold winters day

Frosty fields on a cold winters day

One of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen

One of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen

A moss covered stone roof, typical Lake District fare

A moss covered stone roof, typical Lake District fare

Could it get any better? The weather was like this all weekend

Could it get any better? The weather was like this all weekend

Waterfalls are everywhere in the Lakes

Waterfalls are everywhere in the Lakes

Video timelapse: Stunning. Shot on an iPhone - not too bad.

It was great to go home. I live just south of London so it wasn’t a quick journey by any means (six hours of coaches with an hour in-between, waiting at a rainy bus station!) but I arranged to link up with a friend from home for the second part of the journey. He’s at UCL studying anthropology. We chatted about our courses and who we live with, and traded stories of the first two months, of which we both had a huge number. It really brought home to me how much I’d become immersed in my life in Bath, and the nuances and personalities of the people I’d been living with seemed even more interesting. I really missed them. I arrived home late that night, and by the look of the smile on her face mum had missed me just as much! I quickly opened the fridge and realised what I’d really been missing for the last two months; excessive amounts of food.

I think it suits me, honestly

I think it suits me, honestly

It’s not quite Bath but sunrise is special anywhere, right?

It’s not quite Bath but sunrise is special anywhere, right?

On the 23rd I went to the city with Becky. We soaked in the Christmas atmosphere that seems to ooze out of the bones of London at this time of year, hurrying around and stopping from time to time to warm up with food or coffee. Maintaining a long-distance relationship is testing, especially at University, but a day like that makes it feel so worth it!

Covent Garden…I loved it as a kid, and still love it now

Covent Garden…I loved it as a kid, and still love it now

I spent Christmas day with my family, and I even managed to do a couple of hours of revision. I spent the next few days revising, and the next few nights at the pub. I went out for a couple of meals, which was appreciated as a rare treat. I went to an Italian with Becky and an upmarket sort of place with Mum. Just in case you’re hungry…

Fish in spicy tomato sauce

Fish in spicy tomato sauce

Eton Mess done properly!

Eton Mess done properly!

Pizza, potatoes and Becky…three of my favourite things

Pizza, potatoes and Becky…three of my favourite things

…sorry if you were.

And almost as quickly as it came, it went…I spent new year’s eve at a friends and then it really started. I entered the dragon’s lair- revision. Intense revision.

The last goodbye to a year without exams

The last goodbye to a year without exams

Coffee is something that I don’t think anybody should deny themselves, not at any time of year. But now , the evils of examined physics on the horizon, coffee becomes something far greater than a choice. It becomes the very blood in my veins, the breath in my lungs. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It has been this way since the beginning of time. A constant in a chaotic universe. I share my house with somebody who feels the same, and as such we’ve developed what resembles a cult around the substance. We both have different apparatus and have made a fine art out of coffee brewing, balancing taste and caffeine content with precision. We meet as often as our addictions allow to refresh and rebrew.

Revision has been difficult for me to approach, as I haven’t taken an exam since 2014. I took two gap years to pursue travel and other non-academic interests (something I’d recommend to anybody who’s considering the option!), and I’m somewhat out of practice. It’s surprising how fast things like this seem to come back to you though, and I have managed to gain traction since the start of the year.

To illustrate what it’s like to prepare for university exams I’ve decided to include a F.A.Q in this post, to clear up some common confusions.

Q. I’ve heard that first year doesn’t matter, so why should I bother?

A. This is a common misconception, since the first year of a course doesn’t contribute to the overall degree classification. But what does it do? A good first year grade puts you at the top of the pecking order for employers considering you for a placement year, increasing your chances of securing a placement that interests you and pays well. It’s also important to be considered for year abroad options. Also, the first year of a degree provides knowledge that underpins the rest of the course. Without a strong understanding of the material taught in first year, the remaining years of a degree will be very difficult to grasp.

Q. Are there any key differences between A-Level and University exams?

Firstly, university exams are written by your lecturer for each module. The key difference here is that every exam will have a different style, based on the examination philosophy of the specific lecturer. Secondly, full worked solutions aren’t available for past papers! This came as a shock to me as that was my primary method of learning at A-level. Though it has indeed complicated my working process it has solid ideas underpinning it. It encourages students to gain full and deep understanding of the topics studied, instead of just remembering and regurgitating words onto an exam paper. You’ll thank the university in the end, trust me! Deeply understood knowledge is much more valuable.

Q. Generally has it been easier or harder?

A. So it’s a difficult question. The material itself is a lot more detailed and as such a lot harder. But then now I’m studying just physics, instead of three subjects at A-level. I chose physics because I’m passionate about it and also I find it, not easy, but manageable. The nature of studying one subject in detail is that a lot of modules cross over, and as such the knowledge is more general than specific. A lot of concepts from my Vibrations, Waves and Optics unit, for example, are relevant in both Mechanics and Electrical Circuits. This merging of subject areas creates an easier dynamic than rushing between History, Chemistry and Physics, for example.

Here goes nothing! Only five exams until I have enough time to breathe again!

 

Christmas in Bath: exams, food and friends

  

📥  First year, Rob (Physics)

It seems so recently that this whole thing started. A few months ago I was an unsure fresher, and now I’m well and truly swimming at the deep end! Christmas has come around so fast and with it so have coursework deadlines, imminent exams and a couple of fun things too.

In about a month I’ll be sitting my semester one exams. Now my coursework is done, my teaching is ending and I’m preparing to dive into revision. This week is my last of the year. I’ve sorted all of my train tickets, so I haven’t got an excuse not to come back! I’m oddly nervous for the exams- I think it’s because it’s so different to A-levels.

The entire learning process at university is a lot more self-driven and as such I am the main indicator of my progress. Although I have gotten used to being the driving force behind my development I’m aware that these exams are the first true test of my abilities as a physics undergraduate. Luckily I’ve made a group of friends to study with, which should help the material make sense. One piece of advice is to make friends on your course- having not only practical help but moral support from my peers has really helped to push me this semester.

Despite the imminence of exams I’ve had some time to focus on other things. Bath offers the perfect antidote to exam blues; it’s world famous Christmas markets! The stalls are situated right by the Abbey, and stretch all through the town. Wandering around the mulled wine vendors, gift shops and food stalls feels like stepping back in time, especially after dark. The town is heaving with buskers playing Christmas songs and with so many coffee-shops and bars to choose from there’s no real time limit on a day out in Bath at Christmas. It was also a great chance for some friends from home- Jess and Stu- to come and visit me here in Bath.

jess

It was great to see Jess! Here she is checking out the Christmas tree by the Abbey…

stu

…and here’s Stu getting a little too excited about a castle near campus.

I had a few more days working hard before I had another visitor. My girlfriend, Becky, has been here this weekend, visiting from Southampton! She was also captivated by the markets and we spent all of Saturday night exploring them.

becky

Becky bought her Mum some handmade baubles and a hand knitted wool hat from Scotland…

burrito

…which was tiring enough to stop for a (not-very-christmassy) burrito from Mission Burrito. Definitely recommend stopping by.

The next day we woke up late. It was the day of our flat’s Christmas dinner which was excessive to say the least! We were all stuffed afterwards and collapsed in the dining room watching Home Alone. It really felt like a little family in our cute corner of Eastwood.

meal

Right before we ate…we all looked a little bigger afterwards

It was really nice seeing our whole flat together. In the past few months we’ve grown really close and it’s hard to believe I hadn’t a clue who these people were in September. And on the last weekend of the semester there was a suitably beautiful sunset to mark an end to a great start to my degree.

sun

Maybe the last sun I’ll see for a while…here’s to revision starting properly!

So as the excitement of the new beginnings have died away the important stuff is on the horizon. Revision will be a long and daunting process but one which I will try to get the most out of. I was given some advice this week from somebody in their third year - always remember why you chose the course and focus on that. They said that as hard as it may be to always bear in mind that the reason that I’m here is because it’s what I want to do! And I couldn’t agree more. As I go in to the hardest part of my degree so far I plan to keep in mind that I’m here to learn about the world and how it works. And I think that’s exactly what I’ll do!

 

Becoming a member of the mountaineering society

  

📥  First year, Rob (Physics)

Team sports have never been my thing. I used to play football casually with friends at school but haven’t ever developed a sporting career as such. I assumed that although Bath is well known worldwide for its sport community I wouldn’t be particularly involved. However, I soon changed my mind at the Freshers' Week sports fair. I have always enjoyed mountain climbing and spent a lot of time when I was younger in the lake district, and much to my excitement I saw a stall for the Bath University Mountaineering Society!

I think this shows how diverse the communities here are. Anything you enjoy you can probably do at Bath through a society or sports club. A friend of mine is playing Basketball for the Uni’s first team and one of my flatmates is a member of Cue sports (pool, snooker etc.). There’s a club for everyone here, and I certainly found mine!

The freshers trip was about a month after term started. The drive to North Wales was longer than I thought- about six hours! This gave me and everyone else on the trip a great chance to get to know each other better. There were about forty people away in total and over the course of the weekend I made a few good friends. There were even a couple of people from my course. Interestingly there were a lot of PhD students on the trip which let me gain some insight into where I could take my undergraduate study.

We were lucky enough to have a little break in rain, a miracle for a walking trip to Wales!

We were lucky enough to have a little break in rain, a miracle for a walking trip to Wales!

It was good to meet these people but the main thing I was there for was the walking itself. The club gave options to suit everyone’s preferences. They ran two climbs and two walks on each day of the trip. I haven’t got any climbing experience (yet!) so I walked on both days. On the Saturday we summited Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, via the most common route -a path called the Pyg Track. The next day we climbed another mountain up a path known as “The Devil’s Staircase”. Both were interesting and not particularly technical walks which gave me a great opportunity to take in the views. I think the best way to show this off is in pictures!

Some of my favourite views we saw on our walks:

A wooden gate set into well-built drystone wall; a typical feature of Snowdonia’s landscape

A wooden gate set into well-built drystone wall; a typical feature of Snowdonia’s landscape

This little guys was one of three mountain goats we saw having a late lunch on the way down. I think a few of us were worried about the size of the horns on this one!

This little guys was one of three mountain goats we saw having a late lunch on the way down. I think a few of us were worried about the size of the horns on this one!

A great view of a mountain lake and the peaks of Snowdonia in the distance. This was taken descending the Pyg Track after a long and rainy climb

A great view of a mountain lake and the peaks of Snowdonia in the distance. This was taken descending the Pyg Track after a long and rainy climb

A collection of us at the top of the Devil’s Staircase!  This turned out to be one of my favourite hikes I’ve ever done due to the variety of terrains

A collection of us at the top of the Devil’s Staircase!  This turned out to be one of my favourite hikes I’ve ever done due to the variety of terrains

We stayed the night in a mountain hut at the edge of the national park. The club made a meal of chilli con carne with rice on the first night and a big cooked breakfast the next morning. This was all included in the price of the weekend!

As well as weekend trips the club runs cheap day trips to close mountain ranges and national parks. This weekend I was in Dartmoor and I’m off to the Brecon Beacons next week! The peaks of Dartmoor are referred to as tors. Tors are slightly too big to be called hills but not quite mountains. They typically are around 450-500m. We spent the Saturday climbing five of these short peaks in a circular route which took about six hours in total.

Dartmoor is a completely different landscape to Snowdonia. It is a bleak place and you can see extremely far in any given direction:

We had to jump a fence to find the right path…

We had to jump a fence to find the right path…

…and we did manage to get confused a few times along the way…

…and we did manage to get confused a few times along the way…

…but you can see why with such confusingly bleak terrain! Beautiful, but bleak

…but you can see why with such confusingly bleak terrain! Beautiful, but bleak

We finished up that day with tea and scones in a little tearoom by a log fire! Exactly what was needed as it was barely above freezing.

The mountaineering society also has a dedicated climbing branch which I haven’t yet delved into. I hope to after Christmas! I didn’t think I’d lucky enough to find a society so suited to my interests. To that end, I think that even if your thing isn’t mountaineering there’s a club here for everyone! From chess to pole-dancing, skydiving to judo, Bath has you covered!

 

Physics: transitioning from A-level to studying a degree

  

📥  First year, Rob (Physics)

Making the transition from A-level to degree level physics can sound like a daunting prospect. For a start, choosing any subject on a full-time basis is a big decision. When I was applying for a physics course I had a great deal of concerns and unanswered questions. Would I cope with such a large workload? How can I be sure it’s the course for me? What does higher level physics do differently to A-level?

Here’s the good news: if you’re considering applying for a degree at Bath then you’ve almost certainly got it in you to comprehend and excel in the material taught. This teaching has been given in lectures, which are noticeably different in style to sixth form lessons. For a start, each lecture is given to the entire first year at once (160 people this year) in a variety of buildings across campus. Luckily they’re all very close to each other as Bath’s campus is nice and compact.

Our lecture theatre filling with students

Our lecture theatre filling with students...

…and our properties of matter lecturer, Dan Wolverson

…and our properties of matter lecturer, Dan Wolverson

To give you an idea of how the course is arranged I’ve listed below the first semester modules and a brief description of their contents. A semester is slightly different to a term; a semester describes a period of modules that end in an exam season.

  • Properties of Matter – This unit feels a little like the physical side of chemistry, looking at the phases of matter and the physical laws that govern them. Think ideal gases, ionic lattices etc. The second half of the unit is solely about thermodynamics.
  • Electrical Circuits – What you’d expect. Reviewing things like Kirchov’s laws, Ohm’s law and capacitors whilst introducing a wide range of new components like inductors and operational amplifiers. The unit also streamlines circuit analysis with an array of new tools.
  • Classical Mechanics – Takes the “suvat” style mechanics for constant acceleration and velocity systems and introduces tools to apply them in systems with varying parameters. Also contains rockets, which have been the highlight for me so far!
  • Vibrations, Waves and Optics – examines simple harmonic motion mathematically, including for damped and forced oscillations. This unit deals with travelling waves and how they can be combined and introduces the physics of light.

As well as these core units, the first semester includes assessed modules in experimental physics and computing and mathematics for physicists. I was worried about the difficulty of the maths involved, having not taken a Further Maths A-level. I was concerned that the course would assume knowledge outside of my scope; this isn’t the case and all further material has been taught from the ground up.

Lab sessions of undergraduate physics are familiar yet a lot more in depth and rewarding than at A-level. I have recently completed my semester one lab sessions- over the course of four three hour periods we were given a piece of unknown science to interpret. The title of the task was “measuring specific heat ratio for gases using a resonance method”. This was an initially confusing piece of work but after a little research and a few hours of discussion me and my partner were taking measurements to plot data from an area of science we’d never had any exposure to before.

I wasn’t sure if I would cope with the pace of the course before joining. Honestly, from what I’ve experienced so far the work is very fast paced, but the modules are very intertwined and support each other well. I can’t stress how important is it to keep organised! Organisation will be a big thing in keeping up with the pace of the course.

A tidy desk is a tidy mind, so they say. Uni has made me very aware of this.

A tidy desk is a tidy mind, so they say. Uni has made me very aware of this.

In addition to my physics course I’ve also been managing to maintain an optional Spanish module and a very full social life. Exceeding at university does require a lot of dedication, granted, and my life has become busy, but that’s half the fun! If you think of going half-heartedly into physics it will seem like an uphill struggle; remember that you’ll be doing it for the next three years. If you enjoy physics at A-level then you’ll enjoy it many times more as a degree!

Is there anything you should think about before starting a physics course? If you’re passionate and ready for a challenge, it’ll be the time of your life. University begins to introduce compelling branches of physics, such as quantum mechanics and relativity, granting changes of perspective on the subject that only a degree can give. Physics is a subject for the curious, and that’s even more true at undergraduate level.

I guess the moral of this story is that although physics is a specialised area that requires dedication and lots of hard work, it’s manageable, achievable and extremely rewarding. The learning curve is steep, but if you’re applying for a Bath physics course and you have the passion needed then I say go for it!

 

First few days at University

  

📥  First year, Rob (Physics)

On a sunny day in late September I lugged my penultimate boxes up the final flight of stairs to room number 8. I slid the key in the lock, almost falling through the door with excitement. I ran to the window and checked out the view. I introduced myself to Jake, consciously aware that we’d spend the next ten months as neighbours. It was surreal but equally exciting. Our exchange was over as quickly as it began and we both returned to our unpacking duties and our respective families. I headed into Bath for one last wander with my parents.

We strolled through Bath absorbed by its history and architecture, trying to take it all in. Bath is the UK’s only city classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it doesn’t take much to see why. All of the wandering led our weary legs to Nandos (handily located right by Bath Spa station) for a well-earned and emotional meal. It hit me how much I’d miss my family, especially Mum. After eating we shared a couple of tears and multiple hugs. My stepdad took an obligatory Facebook photo for Mum and they then drove home. A U1 bus came after a few minutes of waiting and I hopped on.

 I know mum was choking back tears for this one…Maybe look at the lovely view behind us instead?


I know mum was choking back tears for this one…Maybe look at the lovely view behind us instead?

I caught the bus back to campus- the ten-minute uphill journey gave me a sweeping vista of my new home, hundreds of sandy houses set on rolling green hills, dyed golden by sunset. My thoughts could do nothing but race: would I fit in with my housemates, how would I cope with such a big workload, and would I have enough money for food AND beer? The more pressing matter was where to get off the bus! I had a quick conversation with a pair of students who turned out to also be Freshers’ worrying about the same thing. We talked about our respective courses and a second year student overheard us, giving us directions from the bus stop- it was comforting to know that I’d be living in such a friendly and approachable student community.

How did I ever worry about getting on with these lovely people?

How did I ever worry about getting on with these lovely people?

The next step in my settling in was surprisingly overwhelming. I worried more and more the closer I came to reaching Eastwood (my new home on campus). The people I were about to meet were potentially lifelong friends, and that’s a pressure due to affect anyone and everyone. Any worries that I had going into this first night of university faded as quickly as they came. I first started to chat, asking for my housemate’s names, courses, and where they came from. It turned out that my flat was full of diversity. I met Francesco from Italy, Jake from Hong Kong, and Richard who grew up a fifteen-minute train journey from me! My next door neighbour, Josh, was a physics student, meaning I’d have a study buddy for the year. As the evening went on I found that we’d be a melting pot of academia, from sports science to international relations. And after the formalities and introductions we began to relax little by little; after an hour or so we were laughing and drinking, trading stories from home as well expectations looking ahead. I didn’t even realise how relaxed I’d become.

I also managed to do a spot of redecorating…not bad for my first go?

I also managed to do a spot of redecorating…not bad for my first go?

The days after this came thick and fast as I became more absorbed in this strange new home. Coming from a small town I felt overjoyed to be surrounded by such a young, vibrant and altogether liberal population of students. It seemed that countless possibilities were opening up for me. This was confirmed with a week of daytime events showing off the University’s sports clubs, societies and facilities. I have in just one week signed up for optional Spanish units, joined the mountaineering club and got this job as a student blogger. The student’s union put on a great selection of acts and themed nights to facilitate this. My personal highlights were the silent disco and Saturday’s Toga Night, but what really shone through were the people I’d spent my week with.

It felt good to be dropped in at the deep end this week.

It felt good to be dropped in at the deep end this week.

Now I’m midway through my first week of lectures. A new mindset has taken over, as I am readying myself to learn as much as I can about my subject. This isn’t to say that it has stopped being fun; all of my lectures so far have been engrossing. It’s what I expected from such a well renowned institute as the University of Bath. Lectures aside, I’m looking ahead to a trip to North Wales with the Mountaineering Society (only two weeks from now). I’m regularly stuck in fits of laughter with housemates that were strangers just ten days ago. All of my worries have been answered and I feel ecstatic about what’s to come.