University was something I had always dreamt of, something I thought I wouldn’t be able to achieve. Coming from a working class background, I never imagined that I would end up at University. After a gap year of working, saving and counting pennies, I was finally here- Coventry University.
Move in Day felt like Christmas as we drove up right next to my accommodation. To my surprise, my flat looked like an Ikea Showroom but I was most excited about my desk. I was used to writing in libraries, so the fact I had the privacy to work was incredibly useful and a massive bonus to me. The thing I was most daunted by was meeting my flatmates. A few tips about meeting your flat mates:
- Be yourself. You are going to be spending a lot of time with these people so don’t be afraid to be who you naturally are.
- Talk about your course/major. Get an idea of what you are all passionate about, that way throughout the academic year you can ask how it’s all going and you can encourage and support each other.
- Set side a cleaning rotor from the get go- this may seem extreme but this will diffuse any tension surrounding domestic duties which may build in the future.
I found with my flatmates that everybody can get along if you are straight forward and willing to be civil even if they aren’t your favourite type of person or your best friend. At the end of the day, everybody is in the same boat. It’s not going to be easy or simple at first, but once you get yourself into a routine it should be a walk in the park.
I don’t think I was prepared for how rowdy Freshers was going to be. I feel like I was taken from a peaceful town and sucked into a rowdy party portal. Normally a dedicated introvert, I was shocked by how much I actually participated and enjoyed freshers. You will end up meeting a vast number of people from all different accomodations and it will make this new big, exciting city seem a lot smaller. I particularly enjoyed getting to know people during move in weekend, purely because everyone was so nervous that instantly you became a friend to all. And it’s important to note because it’s a main fear when starting Uni, that you do make friends. You will be asked about a hundred times where you’re from, what your hobbies are and what your course is and it will feel like a job interview- but it will be worth it.
I was most excited for my lectures to start- after all, that was the whole point of Uni and even though it was only induction week, I bounced out of bed on that Monday morning excited for what was to come. My journey with applying to Coventry felt like it lasted years, so I was ready to get into the swing of things and see what I can achieve. Walking into the lecture hall for the first time was so daunting- I was so nervous, but looking around and viewing everybody’s nervous faces, it was clear we were all afraid together.
Exploring Coventry was something I really enjoyed. I didn’t realise how beautiful it was in places, especially around the cathedral. If you go there at the right time, you will find birds, squirrels and dogs being walked all along the cobbles. Being from a small town, it’s comforting for me that there’s places I can go and relax. The squirrels are particularly friendly in Coventry, but they always look at you, offended that you’re not an acorn.
There’s so many parts of my first week that I enjoyed, the little facts about my new City all came to play and it’s interesting to move into a new place and learn the history- it’s fascinating.
For example, Coventry was a city of destruction during World War 2, so occasionally bombs from under the ground have to go through a controlled detonation. My new building Ellen Terry is named after the actress and the building is renovated from an old 1920’s cinema. There is also a significance of elephants around the city, which myself and a small group of journo’s found out as we made our way around the city on an elephant hunt. From the Herbert Museum to St Mary’s Guildhall to the Transport Museum, it was a kooky induction event that I’m not likely to forget.
I made sure I got involved, a signed up to Societies and spoke to as many people as possible. I joined Rock Society, the welcome event was incredible and I would highly recommend it to anybody if you are into a spectrum of music from classic rock to metal core. What I love about Coventry, is the fact everybody will talk to you and you get to meet a variety of personalities. Nobody is afraid or too shy, and it made me feel a little bit more welcome. Especially in those moments where I’d felt homesick.
My first week at Coventry flew by- and I assume that the next three years will too. But I will remember this week for the rest of my life. It’s such a huge adjustment, whereas it’s exciting you don’t realise how much of a difference it is going to make on you. But it’s such a positive influence and change and I don’t think I would have had such a happy adjustment week if I hadn’t of chosen Coventry.