Searching for blog posts tagged with 'my welcome week 2011'

A flat with walls and a floor

Sep

24

 

The inventory of my flat's contents – which I need to sign and return to confirm that there's nothing missing – informs me that I should have been provided with workaday items such as a kettle and a desk-lamp, but apparently there should also be “walls and floors”. That certainly seems to be the case, so I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!

My mum was fussing about how she'd carefully arranged my clothes in bags: "In this bag you've got trousers. In this bag, warm things. This bag has brown things." So basically I had all my things sorted à la the Chinese encyclopedia.

Because the flat's on the ground floor, one of the rooms is the 'disabled' one, and m'flatmate Max has somehow ended up living there. This entitles him to a back door (or tradesman's entrance) plus a palatial wheelchair-accessible bathroom, which – as he pointed out after we'd been queueing for 10 minutes to get into the Saturday Night Social – was very nearly larger than East Slope Bar!

Another flatmate warned us that she needed to be up and out "early on Sunday morning," by 9:45 at the latest. I managed to trump this by needing a slightly painful 8:45 departure, so please do excuse me for the moment!

The Runaway University

Sep

26

In John Grisham's The Runaway Jury, the jurors are sequestered into a hotel in a nearby town to stop them being got at by anyone involved in the trial. Each juror has their own bedroom and en-suite bathroom, all neighbouring each other on a corridor with shared eating facilities at one end. I can't think why living in Lewes Court reminds me of this scene so much...

Meanwhile, I've been getting to know the intricacies of my new home. Mobile 'phone signal can be picked up by standing in one particular corner, sometimes on one leg. The shower-cubicle is so small that it stops you from moving your limbs, making the whole experience rather like being water-boarded. And if you take it very slowly and carefully, it's possible to get from my room to the kitchen without activating the motion-sensitive lights. Such fun!

On Monday morning, I joined a relatively modest-looking queue in Bramber House to collect my ID card. However, on reaching the door at the front, a huge room full of alphabetised queuing students was revealed. Different lines for different initials. Passport-scanning at the back of the room. Photographers snapping away in a corner. A real modern-day Ellis Island!

This afternoon I had my first academic induction event, with the Politics department. The afternoon started off with a PowerPoint presentation. The first slide was a title-page reading Some stuff about Politics...

Then the legendary Politics handbooks were distributed ("It's incredibly good bedtime reading, or bathtime reading: whatever you prefer,") and we went on to hear that "university is more of a driving-lesson experience than a taxi experience." So that cleared that question up.

Next came a meeting with my academic advisor, who explained that his role "isn't to storm up to your other tutors and say, 'Why did you grade this essay 55%? It's a 66, as I live and breathe!' No, that isn't what I do."

All-in-all though, it was pretty informative, as was the Politics Social (or Politics Socialism...?) that followed; the quiz revealed that ED MILIBAND was an anagram of BLIND MEDIA. And still is!

Until next time Smile

 

Sussex's attempt to perfectly recreate the look and feel of World War II


First Impressions!

Sep

29

It’s been almost a week now here in East Slope of university’s student residence.

Right from meeting the blue-shirt Sussex staff at Heathrow to having the sleep of my life at my residence, life here has been so far, so good.

 Having said that let me admit I am undergoing the proverbial cultural shock of my life. Every thing seems different to me ranging from the shower in the washroom (not to mention the washroom itself hahaha) to the dress code of women. The food, the office environment, ubiquitous computer usage, the buses and birds (geeky, isn’t it?)  all look interestingly dissimilar to what I have been seeing for 27 years of my life.

 

This is not to say I am not enjoying it. I have become kind of serendipitous in the past few days; befriending a course fellow from Caribbean after discovering that my next door neighbor is from Middle East and then coming across another from Sub Continent on the next step has been an enriching experience.   This cultural mix is knowledge enough to widen the horizons of my thinking. These fellow international students I have met so far have been really friendly and ready to look beyond the cliché’s everyone tends to get from the news media these days. 

 

 

I love how the university staff deals with new students. Be it the smiling lady at the International Student office or “Ask Me “ girl in the campus or the welcoming professor at IDS or the jolly gentleman at reception in East Slope or still the ever smiling assistant at International Students’ Registration office  , all have given me favorable first impressions.

 

I am looking forward to much more in the days and months to come. At the end of my one year here, I bet I am going to miss all the enjoyment of staying and learning here. So before this all comes to an end, let me enjoy and have fun of my life here!!

 

Cheers. 

Thursday 29th - Heat wave, Fresher's Flu!, Poster Sales, the Pier Party and Gay Clubs!

Oct

02

Today has been even hottter than yesterday (apparently it reached 27 degrees celcius!). It's almost October! We all packed for winter and now it's as hot as the days in the peak of summer and I can't wear my new Sussex Uni hoodie Frown. To top it off in this weather - I definitely have Fresher's Flu, Whyyyy? I took my multivitamins! I guess it's showing people why Brighton really is 'bright' and ''the 2nd sunsiest place in the UK'' (a little quote at the open day). Anyway, to go and enjoy the sunshine me, S, M and J from downstairs went out to sit on the JMS lawns after we got a healthy luch of Co-op (in Bramber House) white chocolate cookies and cinnamon swirls  *drool*.

It's one of those days where the time just goes, so before we knew it it was pretty late. Me and S went to the Poster Sale, as it was the last day. I got a world map - those things are popular! I love to look a the world and where I would like to go. I also got an awesome iceberg poster, which shows the iceberd over and under the sea and has a cheesy quote about potential! S got a giant Einstein poster (science nerd Tongue out).

 Back home we made some diinner (a Quorn chicken fajita for me) and chatted before we had some people round before the Pier Party. Another J from downstairs came around and taught us how to play Irish Snap and Spoons. Spoons went down well with everyone, but now I have massive bruises down my right arm from grabbing spoons. Who knew card games could be so much fun? I definitely reccomend bringing/buying a set. I might crack open the Silver Jubilee ones my Gran gave me.

Unluckily some people took quite a long time getting ready and stuff, so we didn't set off until about 10 past 10 (the party started at 7:00pm), at this point I was just hoping to get there before 11 (the time the Pier closes) to get the wristband to get us into the clubs at the After Party. Some people were quite drunk, but we managed to get there just before 11 for that. I didn't realise the whole end of the Pier (the part with all the rides one) was shut off for the Uni event! So I'm sure it would've been awesome.

So next we headed to Bar Revenge opposite the Pier, my first ever time in a Gay club! We didn't realise it was really an event for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) society, but I think everyone was welcome and they had really good music there! We had out pictures taken with these foam mustaches we were given which was a laugh. Next we headed to Audio just down the road. Audio was amazing! The best club I've been to all week; the music was great, the drinks were quite cheap, the queue wasn't too long, it was just the right amount of packed and the lights were great. We only got to stay for about an hour as S and M were really tired from being out until 6am after they went to Oceana last night, but I had a really good time.

Advice for this post is things don't have to go one way. If they don't go exactly right don't get angry, just let it flow off you, because it's not worth falling out with people or creating tension over. Jusr enjoy the good bits.

Wenesday 28th - Barn Dance and Being Locked Out

Sep

30

My internet is still not working (why this blog started late), so I went for an appointment at the IT centre (10am - another early morining), this time they get it working. The connection is a bit slow, but I'm not going to complain living in Northfield!

Later on me, M and S head out to the Barn Dance. Everyone else thought it would be a bit 'lame', but it was really fun. We dressed up in checkshirts and jeans and took pictures in front of the carboard cactus decorations. Everyone danced in big groups following the dance instructions, we all had a laugh. Barn Dancing is no joke though! It's probably a great workout. There was also a pie eating compitition, which was funny to watch.

All the flatmates were meant to go to Oceana afterwards, but had left without us. Our friend (J) from downstairs locked her key inside her flat, someone had to be locked out at some point! So we went on a mission to York House to get her back in and they told us to wait back home. S and M decided to head of to Oceana, but being very sensible I choose to stay in and have am 'early' night. I waited with J for her keys and ended up going back to York house so she finally got in.

So my advice for today is to go out lots during freshers week - even if you wouldn't normally! Don't use tiredness as an excuse, as someone once told me they'd ''rather be tired and have the experience than stay in and have nothing''. BUT do know your limits and midweek you might want to have an 'early night' to keep your energy up. Second piece of advice, be a bit selfless (especially during freshers week); offer people your stuff if their short, buy people some drinks or help your friends if they get locked out! And don't get locked out yourself!

Going to bed around 2:30 and feel asore throat coming on could this be the dreaded Freshers Flu?!

Tuesday 27th - Academic Inductions, Electives, Subject Socials and the Union Shop

Sep

29

Falling asleep at 5:00am and getting up at 8 for a Introduction Lecture at 9 didn't feel so great, but goes along with my new 'work hard play hard image'. The lecture was just about safety, so wasn't that important and a bit boring. The lecturer told us well done as we had gotten into ''quite a good uni'' Laughing I then had another Subject Lecture at 12 which was for Biology and Neuroscience, which was good and outlined some of the course structure and credit system - though it did seem less detailed than some of friends with other subjects lectures were. I also found out my options form was due in tomorow! Only getting my induction pack yesterday (which didn't even have the form in it) I was annoyed, as I would've liked to have had more time and be more organised. After that we met up with out Academic Advisers and group who all take your subject and I met a really nice girl (G) who I got on with straight away. The options form dilema worked out in the end as me and her opted for the climate change option together.

Me, S and another flatmate (G) went down to the Student Union Shop bewteen lectures, as queing for Brightonian nights yesterday we spotted the Univeristy hoodies in the window and I spotted a rather nice grey one with 'Sussex University' written in Navy blue on the front and S was after a burgandy one. It was calling out 'buy meeee!' so I had to go back for it, it turned out to have the cosy fleecy fluff stuff inside and was only £19 so it came home with me Smile. We met up with another flatmate (M) and a friend (G) and had student union hot chocolate yumm.

I went to the Co-op to pick up some vegetable soup and a roll for an easy lunch. The (also new) Co-op in Bramber House is really good, it's large, keeps a great selection of foods students would need (even Quorn for us vegetarians). It's more expensive than an ASDA shop, but it is convenient, especially for neccessities and you have to take into account the £2.50 return bus ticket to get to ASDA.

Later on me and S  headed down for a Life Science event on the JMS lawns which we didn't know a thing about. It turned out to be a bit of a social and we ended up sitting and chatting on the grass with a big group of people. The only thing I would say is that I think it'd be a bit intimidating if you came on your own.

We had a mandatory kitchen meeting with our Residential Adviser , they just went over some rules and answered some questions, but seemed nice and helpful.

Even later S and I went to Falmer Bar for a Life Science Society Social we met a few girls, but again it was hard to chat to people, unless they were right next to you. We opted to go home (calling Northfield 'home' already!) rather than head out with the rest of them to town.

We got back around 12:30 so an 'early' night for us!

Ultimately I think the university should have been a bit more organised in this respect (apparently 76 people hadn't picked up their induction packs, no wonder with no information) but luckily it all worked out in the end.

Saturday 24th September - Move in Day! Welcome Weekend Begins

Sep

29

Living in Brighton some people thought it was a bit strange I was moving into halls, but I would reccomend it to everyone as it's a great way to make friends, go to events and have a good 1st year experience.

I arrived at 10:30am as I was excited to move in and grab some cupboard space! I was allocated to the new accommodation called Northfield, so I knew it would be nice - but not this nice! The rooms are bigger than my room at home (plentyof wardrobe room left for us girls), the shower is huge, and there is loads of space left in my room so far. The kitchen is also amazing; the best part is the two red sofas and the dining area so we can all sit in there and socialise. They have designed this place really well, down to how many towel racks you would need and the light switch placement (there's even light swtches beside the bed, so you don't have to get out to switch the lights off!) Getting hosuing off-campus next year will be a huge step down from this!

The next person to move in (we shall call them C) was really friendly, after sharing an unavoidably awkward hug/handshake my parents and me left them to unpack and headed over to get the internet on my laptop sorted at the IT centre. Then I went over to the Student Union building and bought some event tickets ahead of the crowd for the Welcome Sunday Party, Brightonian Nights, the Barn Dance, the Pier Party and the Seafront festival. Next, we headed over the cafe in Bramber house - it's also new and is decked out with a a white and green theme, ready food area, and a hot meals area serving at least 5 different meals at very reasonable prices. Being a vegetarian I was pretty shocked they had loads of options for me and choosing a falafel pitta we had a nice goodybye meal.

When I got back to Northfield everyone else had arrived except one who we dubbed 'the mystery flatmat/Eugene'. It was a bit awkward at first, I actually said goodbye to my parents with no hugs or anything... oops, but once all the parents had gone we had some good chats and made dinner. One girl (M) shared her veg pizza with me straight away and I was shocked everyone was so friendly right away! So far I've gotten away without cooking yet! Wink

The best part of the day is when we all headed out to the Saturday Social, hitting up Falmer bar where we all bought some rounds (see so friendly!) then East slope bar which was packed. During freshers you can really just talk to anyone randomly! After that we headed on the 25 bus straight from the uni to town - being a Brighton native the bus routes aren't too much of a problem for me, but it's great there's a straight route to town from the uni (every 10 minutes!) and back again. It makes me feel safe on campus. We went to the seafront club Coalition, getting back around 3:00am.

The main thing I learned today is everyone is so friendly you really don't have anything to worry about before like I did - lots of my flatmates told me they were nervous beforehand too, but they didn't need to have been worried Smile. I would also advise other new freshers to spend as much time with their new flatmates as possible, as you'll be living with them for the next year! Putting in a little effort will go along way, so don't stay shut away in your rooms. That's good advice Smile

Saturday the 1st - Into the City Centre and One Week Anniversary Group Dinner

Oct

02

Getting up late at 12 after the Festival last night I rush to get ready to go into town with my friends. It's so hot still! And my Fresher's Flu has reached a whole new level, a runny nose replacing the sore throat. We go to Churchill Square Shopping Centre in town and hit up H&M, Zara, and Hollister. Where we spend some not very student-budget friendly amounts Embarassed. Some items WERE on sale... And we get a nice Subway/Greggs luch (I promise I've been eating healty-ish most of the week!). The shopping area is so big we're going to have to come back another day to show my flatmates around the Lanes and the North Laines.

Next we pick up some spaghetti bolognaise ingrediants for a group dinner, which happens to be our one week move in Anniversary! The week's gone so fast, but it feels like I've been here ages. We cook it up and chuck in anything to make it better (e.g. vegetable OXO cubes, basil, garlic, mushrooms and courgette). It tasted great and we ate so much!

I love cooking, as part of independent living it gives me loads of confidence in my general life to be able to do these kinds of things for myself. A group meal is also a great way to spend time together and have a night in. Again, try to be generous and offer stuff for the meal, to pay your share or wash up.

The kitchen is getting quite messy, I don't like having too much mess in a communal area, so it annoys me a bit that people leave alcohol bottles, dirty washing, clothes and stuff around - even their plates other people have washed for them! If other people clean up for them they might just think they're not even messy... You just have to live and learn I guess Tongue out I'm just one of those people who cleans my plates straight after I've eaten and puts it away. After Fresher's is over and people don't go out as much it might get a bit better. It's not all bad though, some people are awesome and wash up, vacuum and clean the cooker without even being asked!

Advice today is to be easy-going - again. In worlkshops I've done they've said don't worry about things you can't control, this is something I try to remember all the time.

FRESHERS!

Oct

02

Well, firstly I will start by saying that due to my alcohol induced state this week my intentions to write and enter this blog competition earlier on in the week sort of failed... However, although my account of what happened this week may not be an entirely accurate one it will certainely be entertaining. Back to the very start of the freshers week was of course the hardest part, leaving home and embarking on a new life was certainly a daunting prospect. Finding myself thrown into the unknown of where I would be living and who my future flatmates were was an unsettling feeling for me but soon put at ease when I arrived. Moving what seemed to me my whole life into one room and a shared kitchen and bathroom was actually a surprisingly smooth transition. I can saftely say that the sight of mainly girls moving into my flat did relieve me from the worry that living with boys would mean mess and football chanting late into the night.

And so the drinking began as our flat and the one opposite were herded into the car park at 7 O clock to be taken down to East Slope Bar. Each and every one of us very much like a cow to the slaughter as we waited nervous and vulnerable. My inital panic of what would happen when the comfort blanket small talk of ' what's your name, where are you from and what are you studying?' had subsided quickly disappered as my very first jagerbomb was consumed. Sunday was an interesting day; firstly waking up in my new room was a sure confirmation that my whole leap into university life was a reality and secondly the first morning breakfast with my new flatmates.  In true student style we only ventured outside once it was past midday and headed down to the gym to see a tour.  I couldn't believe how nice it was, the gym being one of my priorties of things to join whilst here meant I was throughly excited by seeing how sophisticated and uncannily like a normal gym back home was; not what I was expecting at all.  But of course not only a day into being a student and we had deceided that the tour of gym was enough activity for one day.  The evening of drinking awaited and of course in my mind when it came into settling into university life, consuming large amounts of alcohol was one of the few aspects that would never be a problem.

Well, Edith Bowman didn't show up but copious amounts of alcohol and great company masked the disappointment of it. I seemed to spend the night either on someones shoulders or on the floor, ( remember i warned at the beginning that it was going to be more entertaining that accurate). I relish the fact that our campus has so much land because the tent was a great way of making sure we were all packed in together ensuring many new friends some of which i don't remember... but nonetheless a great night.  Mondays 10 am start was not so much as welcome as the welcome party the night before nor was the rather tired looking student id photo which was taken. Due to little sleep the night before i managed to nap for two hours and almost missed the freshers fair. Once there though you would have never known my sleepy state just minutes before as i signed up to clubs and soceities of things i never even knew myself i could do, one of these things being RUNNING!! Running certainly isn't something i would normally consider doing ever but  clearly there's something about sussex which made it appealing to me. That eveing followed in very much the same fashion as the previous except this time i went one step further and managed to find myself on the beach along with many other students embracing the very reason why we chose sussex as a university so we could get drunk and go swimming on the beach!

Tuesday, another early start but this time i found myself becoming increasingly excited about my course as i listened to the head of the department who claimed his degree in languages had taken him all over the world. I deceided that a well earned break was needed but dont worry despite no drinking plenty of drama was still instore for the evening ahead. It seems that only being away from home for less than a couple of days was more than enough for me to lose all basic common cooking sense. Yes.. that's right i was the first one in my block to set the fire alarm off! A very embarrassing experience but equally although i had almost burnt down my fellow flatmates accomodation they still found the incident hilarious. I think after that night i will avoid late night cooking. The next day was my first trip into sunny Brighton, such a beautiful place and a truly memorable day. Sitting on the beach and eating fish and chips with my new french friends I realised this is what the next three years of my life was going to look like and it made me very happy. My first night at oceana and i think possibly my last. I think possibly the drunkest i have ever been but i feel like after having to be carried home by my only guy flatmate , it was not possible for any more awkardness to remain.

Thursday- an early start for me but this time for different reasons than before. I was awake and I think quite possibly still drunk from the night before i couldnt wait to see what the rest of the day held in store. My departmental social was not what i expected at all. Of course being a student i thought only pizza and beer could be in store however wine with salmon smoked cheese crackers was a very pleasant surprise.  It was interesting how at ease i felt talking to my lecturers, it was almost as if  they were to be my closest friends. Another tame night for me which was well needed. Our flat ended up sleeping in our hallway and just talking about what the next three years could be like, weirdly i felt like all these people i was surrounded by i had known for years.

Friday came and the weather again was too beautiful to just stay in bed after all we had another three years of being able to do that! Free hot chocolate at falmer bar followed by cake was the perfect way to spend an afternoon with my new friends. The last night of clubbing for me was more than anything a chance to actually remember an evening out, however only being a fresher once i didnt stick to my moral obligation to be sensible and not drink too much for very long.

Saturday morning came and quite unbelivably a whole week had passed since leaving home. I could only hope after the week that I've had that if university could equip me with anything for the future it would be the ability to cook without almost burning down the builiding and maybe just maybe to drink less?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Oct

02

So it's the end of Fresher's Week Cry (even though Fresher's Flu hasn't left me just yet....). It was the best time and I'll remember the great memories! There's been lots of firsts for me; properly clubbing, drinking, living on my own, being independent. I feel like a better more confident version of myself. I had a very rough fe weeks and day the day before moving into uni (private reasons), so throwing myself in and really living to the fullest this week has been especially important to me this week.

Small things like cooking, doing your own laundry (though I've managed to escape that this week!), cleaning, living on your own and just being more independent really boost my confidence in everyday life.

I really feel like I belong here, have made good friends and am excited for the future.

I'd just summarise some general advice that might be useful to future Freshers to share what I learned this week

  • Don't feel pressured to drink like so many do - most people respect that you can choose for yourself (really!), less people care at uni and a lemonade or coke looks just like one with vodka! Though don't be superior about not drinking.
  • But if you want to try some alcohol and you don't normally drink go ahead - uni is a time for new experiences, just limit your self to ONE drink
  • Get stuck in, don't let the week pass you by! Join Sports Clubs and Societies, go to events
  • Spend time with your flatmates
  • Go in acting confident. Acting confident = being confident! A new situation can make confident people of even the shyest person!
  • Don't worry about what you can't control, let things flow off you, avoid things that will create tension and do things that bring you and other people closer together
  • Try to be organised, carrying around a diary or notebook and a pen will make everything so much easier
  • A blog of your Fresher's Week would be a great way to document the experience to look back on!

And some practical advice Wink: bring a camera, some extra underwear, going out clothes, electric ovens and cookers need to heat up before you cook on them - especially the oven, maybe pack some suncream incase you have abnormal weather and sunglasses, because Brighton is bright.

I hope this is useful and given a good insight into my first week a Sussex. I've enjoyed writing it. Sorry I couldn't work out how to add pictures. Contact at csc29@sussex.ac.uk. Good luck if you're a new fresher! :)

 

Sunday the 2nd - Trampolining Tasters, Library hauls and movie night

Oct

02

Waking up and going into the kitchen I found it quite trashed (from a flatmate bringing people over last night) - a chair was even broken! They did clean it up the next day though.

Today me, S and J went to the trampolining taster at the Sports Centre. It was really good, they do proper teaching and have routines and a competition. They were all friendly too, so we're all definitely joning the Trampolining Club.

I also went to the library to get some of the recommended reading material. It was really organised and had high-tech self service checkouts. The books practically cut my arms off on the way back, so definitely get a backpack next time...

Next to do on my list is some job hunting, which I've been doing all summer Frown. Now there's also extra compition from all the other students. Maybe I'll make my money in the paid psychology experiments! Some are pretty invasive and most involve alcohol, but they do pay pretty well... The poor psychology students have to do them for free though!

after another group dinner we decided to watch a scary film on a laptop - another nice night. You're never lonely here!

Two Aussies on an English Adventure

Oct

02

The Welcome Weekend and Freshers Week, an account of two Australians attempting to integrate into English Culture without any grace at all. Oh, Freshers week, you had me at 'occasional free food', 'excited and ridiculously friendly English people' and 'hilarious accommodation'. Oh, and 'hello.'

Arriving at the airport Saturday morning, we were pleasantly surprised to see two - well, mildly dejected but very friendly - welcoming people standing with a 'University of Sussex' sign. A lovely gesture, and made us feel, well, 'welcomed', before we were even at the university. We took a coach to Brighton, and then taxied into Sussex, the seaside city flashing by. 

Dragging the orange pumpkin (also known as my suitcase, the tiny-tiny-twenty-kilograms I was allocated to bring all the way from Australia) up the stairs, we finally reached our flat at the very very top on the very very outer edge of East Slope. We trundled in, attempted to open the doors of our rooms, found a magnificent eight or so square meters of prime real estate and a perfect view of a 'do not walk on the roof' sign, a desk, a bed, a broken cupboard, oh East Slope, you already have my heart. Dumping our stuff and escaping our rooms, it was time to meet the flat-mates, who were mildly unimpressed concerning our lack of crockery (but were mildly impressed with our Australian accents, so it made up for it, at least for a while.) One of them (superbestflatmateintheentirewholewideworld) even made us dinner, which really did set the tone for the start of our adventures at Sussex.

We met more people venturing down, the rest of the row of fortunates who live on the East Slope, danced-jumped-shook hands-laughed-spilt various volumes of alcohol down various places such as shirts-skirts-stairs-plants-roofs, made our way down to East Slope Bar - and back up again, to perch in all manners on the stairs. And this was about everything we've done the last few days, repeat-repeat-repeat; bacon and coffee in the morning to cure the 'freshers flu', some crazy questions concerning Australia (do you ride to school on a kangaroo? -no. do you have a pet koala? -no. then why do you live in Australia anyway? - precisely why we're over here, really, you don't understand how absolutely adorable your squirrels are...) and perhaps even some sleep, wow, and maybe attempting to consider academics, registering and paying the accommodation fees, listening to exchange-student lectures concerning grades, University support, and, oh, international students who accidentally find themselves in colorful Brightonian gay bars.

The Freshers fair consisted of a myriad of clubs and societies yelling at you, proffering lollies and pamphlets and badges and catching your eye, it was all quite exciting really, the atmosphere, people running about everywhere... and not to forget all the hazy memories of the events presented by the Union this week, thankgoodness for 'The Big Lemon'! (I got on for free by holding a lemon, best thing in the world! Well... at the time.)

But, apart from all of that, we've been learning one or two things. I've learnt that 'Marks and Spencers' - they're for your ''bits', some cockney rhyming slang - well, a cleaner one: 'apples and pears' mean stairs - that English people aren't really all that different from Australian kids, except they have super amazing accents (seriously, come to Australia, all of you). You kids say 'well' quite a bit, 'well good'; cheeky - 'lets have a cheeky taste then', and perhaps 'grim'... put them all in one sentence and I'll be impressed.

To be honest, the main thing we've found out is that we're all quite the same; we listen to the same music, have the same worries, make the same stupid mistakes ('where are my keys?') and we're all rather excited about learning, though don't let anyone hear you say it, at least, not just yet; what more could you possibly ask for? (Oh, perhaps a shower curtain that isn't moldy, but that's about it. Again: East Slope, I love you.) 

We even made it down to the seaside and ate some fish and chips (including infamous mushy peas) on the beach, it was glorious. Though it did prove the notion that the English are fond of losing their shirts when the weather is over 20 degrees...

There isn't much else to say but everyone we have met have been lovely and perfectly friendly (with super accents, can't really get over them); most people we have met have been drunk; all of the people we have met have been hungover; lets see you do a venn diagram of that one before classes start.The University of Sussex - well, at the very least the East Slope, and my experience of it in the last few days - has turned out to be the most perfect microcosm of lovely English University students. Can't wait to commence classes next week, but this week has been an exciting and perfectly welcoming start to my time at Sussex, and I can't wait to see what else the year will bring.

Friday 30th - the Heatwave continued and the Seafront Festival

Oct

02

It's still boiling today, so me and the girls (S, M and J) took a blanket, magazine, snacks and nailpolish to a sunny spot outside Bramber House  and had a great time until it was time to come back for dinner (vegetable pizza - I keep being complemented for cooking ''proper meals'' Laughing).

The new flatmate has moved in - another girl, making it 5 girls to one boy here! She seems really nice, as I helped her move her stuff in.

We had a couple more games of Spoons before heading out (early this time!). First we went to Tru, which is a big club opposite Oceana. I was expecting it to be brilliant from previous times I've gone there, but the bar queue was an HOUR long, the drinks were very expensive and the live act wasn't my favourite thing as I prefer dancing and singing to loads of different well-known songs to watching an act (S also tols me that while the band 'Chasing Status' was advertised it was actually performers covering their songs). However, I did get to try this new music, which was actually quite good, just not my favourite. I also ran into an old school friend who I didn't know worked in the bar at Tru.

After stopping for some 1am chips to eat on the dark beach we headed to Digital, a club on the seafront, as apparently it's quite good. Though after getting there we didn't know any of the songs (which we streotyped as 'indie'), the place was kind of like an empty shed, with not-so-great lighting. So next we went to The Tube, but we heard from outisde it was kindof 'rave music', which we didn't feel in the mood for. So we went to our last club - heading back to Coalition, as we had such a good time there on  Monday, but it also had a live act going with kind of rap/R&B vibe. So that combined with being sandwiched between to couple all over each other kind of killed that.

When we get back from nights out we all sit in the kitchen with hot chocolate or tea and chat, which is becoming like a tradition which I really enjoy.

Stuff I learned tonight for advice was that even the best clubs you can hate depending on the night. Also that luve acts = not so great for clubbing. Lots of people have also told me that during Fresher's Week the cubs are different from normal, so going out during a 'normal' time might give better music - though I do love the student/young people atmosphere on Fresher's Week events.

Monday 26th September - Freshers Fair, Brightonian Nights and Trash Mondays!

Sep

29

Waking up after 2 late nights in a row I'm definitely feeling it now! I have to go and find out how to get my academic induction timetable. The only complaints I have are that no one has told me how or where to get this and that my internet is not working (which is why I'm filling you in on previous days now), both of which has happened to most of the people in my flat too. So I go on a bit of a goosechase, but finally find the induction pack in the John Maynard Smith Building and haven't missed anything yet. Before I was so worried about missing things and nervous about messing up.

Next, I met up with a friend from school who's going to Sussex too (H), but living at home. So she joined our flat group for the day as we headed to the Freshers Fair there was so much going on I was a bit freaked out, as I'm one of those people who likes to know where everything is and when, but soon got used to it. I signed up to so many sports clubs and societies;

Surfing, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Badminton, Show Choir (so I can be like Glee Wink), St. Johns Ambulance and Life sciences to name a few. However, I'm most excited for trampolining, as a did that for years when I was younger, but gave it up (I would come to Sussex alone for these clubs!), I even got to have a go outside in the square by the library!! Also Cheerleading as I have a guilty secret - I've always wanted to try it like in those American films Embarassed. Maybe I can blag my way in as one of the girls who holds other people up? As I'm not that *tiny*. One thing I was surprised about is so many clubs had tryouts, though just as many have sessions for fun.

I would say to new people they should sign up to anything that takes their interest, as there's no harm! Though word to the wiser, there are forms near the front where you just tick clubs and put your email address, so you don't have to sign up individually - not that I found these untill the end!

The tent also had freebies in it! Free Pizza Hut pizza and Sleek lipgloss. Though, some not so great ones were in there, Old Testament people handing out bibles and Scientologists.. Each to there own I guess.

Me and a flatmate (S) both doing life sciences realised we had a Library Induction in 5 minutes, so we ran out the door up to the library to the Chichester Lecture Theater (which by the way isn't in EITHER of the Chichester buildings) we found the place and saw a sing saying if your late you have to enter through another door! From peering through a crack in the door we saw LOTS of people that would be facing right at you if you went though that door. That door's now known as the 'humiliation door'. So we decided we wouldn't go to that one... We'd be forever known as 'the girls that were late to the first lecture ever'.

In the evening we all went out to Brightonian Nights, which is basically a pub/bar crawl then free entry to some sea front clubs later. My flatmates and I had a few doubts about this event - there were two 'waves' on the bus there, so we got split up, going to each of the pubs was very unorganised and easy to be left behind and you couldn't get entry into the clubs until 11:00, so after leaving at 7:30 it was quite a long wait. The first pub we went to we named 'the old man's club', as it had a kind of 'old-timey' feel with mantlepiece, board games, different knot ties on the wall and a few lonesome old men sitting in it.  We did go to a good bar called Vodka Revolution (though we were meant to get free entry and were charged £4, they said they would 'refund' us but gave as £3 and denied all knowledge) and at another club we were meant to get a queue jump but didn't. Also the seafront club LIFE had a huge queue, but was empty inside and played music like slim shady and Bob Marley. Coalition was busier, had better music and a strobe light. It was Trash Monday there and was amazing. So if they do this event next year I would say save your £10 (though you do get a free apple sourz shot).

Coming home after a 3rd night partying in a row I do feel quite hardcore Cool. Back home I don't go out at all really! This was my first time over 18's clubbing (after being 18 for nearly a year), the dust got swept of my ID and it got to see the light of the day - or should I say night? Wink The trick to dancing is not to overthink it, do every move with confidence and don't try anything to 'out there' when your a beginner like me.

In which the Jewish Society trumpets its achievements around campus

Sep

30

Check out my new blog, Gabrielquotes: http://www.gabrielquotes.org.uk/

SHOFAR SO GOOD

People in the Falmer House common-room yesterday afternoon might have been wondering why they could hear various unusual sounds being blown through a twisted ram's horn.

This was, of course, the Jewish Society hosting a local rabbi to blow the shofar for us on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah – Jewish new year. Rabbi Zalman provided each of us with a glass of ceremonial single malt whiskey and a slice of honeycake, then proceeded to alarm the surprising number of non-Jewish students in the building by sounding out a chorus of 'tekiah', 'teruah' and 'shevarim' notes.

After the formalities were over, he went about his business of calling out, "חג שמח Chag sameach!" (a festive greeting) to everyone who walked past, in the hope that someone's face would light up with recognition, betraying them as a Jew that needed to be immediately supplied with whiskey and the ringing tones of a shofar blast.

The event was the most tremendously surreal fun and I wouldn't have missed it for the world! Nor will I miss the rabbi-organised student  celebrations festival of Sukkot in October – the entire AMEX stadium has already been booked!!

 

IN OTHER NEWS

In the library, in between sliding books into a glowing blue light-field and having them magically recognised and loaned out to me, I stumbled across what has to be my favourite ever title for any printed work...