University.

I am a student. Oh yes. A full blown student. Reading Chemistry at Durham University in the North of England & yes, I am aware of how pretentious that may sound. But even if you think it does, then well, I don’t care. I love it!

Yes, I have 21 hours a week (+ additional reading); 6 hours of labs, 3 hours of tutorials and 12 hours of lectures a week. I’m studying two double modules of Chemistry with an additional module of ‘Molecules in Action’ and a supplementary maths module. There’s so much work that sometimes I feel like the stress will never end; but it’s the most worthwhile decision I’ve ever made.

Although Durham has a catered collegiate system, I’m in the one self catered college (Josephine Butler), and now that I’ve lived her for 3 months, I felt as though a blog was in order.

I applied to University just before Christmas last year and it was in January that I got the letter back saying I’d made it into Durham. I was umming and ahhing about which university would be best as my first choice (already naming Birmingham as my insurance), but I very nearly put Bristol down as my first. It took an open day mid year to convince me that Durham was the right choice and I’ve never looked back.

Within my flat of six, I live with another girl and 4 guys and I love them all to pieces. Yeah, we occasionally have minor tiffs, and get annoyed at each other, but what family doesn’t? We’re all science based, save one classics student who lives next door to me.

I have to budget my money, look after my affairs and make sure I’m eating right and sleeping enough. Cooking for myself, cleaning up and washing up; all things which I do as an independent person (not including holidays where I just happen to bring dirty clothes home…). It’s a lifestyle to get used to, but it’s a change which I wouldn’t want to undo anytime soon.

Every night there’s something to do when the work’s over; trips to the bar to watch the football, nights in watching DVDs, basketball training down at another college; whatever it is, there’s always something to do, and it’s always fun. Early nights count as 1 o’clock and a night off drinking counts as only one glass.

If you’re ever bored you walk maybe 10m to another flat, drop in and you’ll be doing something within 10 minutes. If you’re ever stuck on your work, it’s no more than a 2 minute walk to find someone on your course who will be equally stuck, which gives you an excuse to go to the bar and play some pool.

It’s a nice place to be. It’s fun. Two, three times a week I’m hitting the clubs, which is shocking even to me. I like gigs, but the amount of fun you can have going out to clubs is amazing. They’re only small in Durham, but it’s fun, and if you can stand being hit on by randomers, then it’s definitely a good night out. Yeah, it took me a while to hit my stride, work out which nights I could go out and still make the lectures the next day…but after the first term it was easy to do.

University is amazing, and the work load shouldn’t put anyone off going. It’s turning out to be one of the best experiences of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Well, now that’s all over, here are some of those stories and situations which only a student could find themselves in. Yes, there’s some irresponsibility, so please do not try any of this at home. You have been warned

Epic Tales Of The North

Studio
This one happened on the Snowy evening of the 27th November. It was our third day of heavy duty snow, but we were going out…there was no stopping us. We stopped at the college bar, got our drinks and free UV paint and waited till half ten to phone the night bus (student taxi) to get us to the club (Studio).

We had free entry until 11pm and by the time the clock had turned 10.35 we had just found out that the night bus had been cancelled. 25 minutes. A 40 minute walk.

Now, we were drunk, I won’t lie, I’d had about 10 shots and some wine. We were in our small party frocks and heels. We had no jackets and it was still snowing. We were told we were going to get hypothermia and die. We decided to run to Studio.

Cobbled hills. Ice. Cars. More hills. Snowballs. Lack of a sense of direction.

Odds were against us but in 23 minutes we’d arrived, claimed our free entry and got a free bottle of champagne…but yes, we did get a taxi home.

A&E: Trip 1 Of The Term

I’m on the basketball team (oh yeah!). It was during a team training session; my fingers collided with the ball and someone else’s hand and I felt a shooting pain. However, I was a little naive…I decided to play for another 45 minutes. That night I held an ice pack to the finger, reduced the swelling and went to bed.

The morning after wasn’t as good…purple, swollen and throbbing; someone had her first trip to A&E of the term. A chunk of bone was dislodged and a crack ran through the bone. 6 weeks later and it’s just back to normal…nearly…

The Night I Got Knocked Out [aka Second Trip to A&E of Term]

I don’t remember much. I was with my college mum when I felt a thud on my head which caused me to stagger back as I heard the glass bottle (which I assumed had hit me) strike the ground. Feeling the sharp pain, I fell back to the floor…and then I blanked out. I remember falling, but not hitting the ground. The next thing I remember is sitting on a step, people stood around me, worried out of their mind. I have bruises where the floor met my hip, arms and ankles.

We had to get a taxi back to my college, before getting one to A&E where I was diagnosed with a concussion.

It was…interesting to say the least

Top Tips!

-Always take Taxi numbers with you and keep spare money for Taxi fare, even if you can walk back.

-If you’re going to Durham for a night out you do NOT need nor want heels

-You can survive off ham and cheese toasties for up to a week

-Going out 5 nights in 1 week will pretty much kill you, unless atleast 2 or 3 of those are very light nights

-Always keep credit/minutes on your phone. When trying to get home (or to A&E) in the early hours of the morning, it really helps.

-Do not kiss your (rather attractive) lab partners when drunk just before the Christmas holidays (even if he was just as much to blame); it’ll probably not end well…

Photos:

My Flatmates

Butler Army Night

Some Of The Basketball Team

Before A Night Out

Freshers Ball

What you do when someone leaves their door open…

Oh…and SNOW!
It was about 1ft “ 2ft in places…

Ta da!
Posted on December 20th, 2010 at 11:46am

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