Anne-Sophie at UEA

An International Student of Literature in England.

Dear Freshers

Dear Freshers,

Last summer, I was extremely impatient but also really stressed about moving to UEA. I would spend a lot of time trying to find out as much as possible about UEA on google and Facebook. I would also spend hours trying to find accommodation photos and videos on Youtube since I’d never visited UEA. I joined lots of Facebook groups, hoping to find people studying English Literature or living in the Village, like me. I wanted to be prepared for everything. 
This is why my main idea when I started my blog was to make something that could help, guide and reassure new students. I wanted to make the blog I wished I’d found. 
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The organisation freak that I am made tons of lists of things I needed to pack: warm clothes (obviously), chargers, camera, handbags, shoes, towels, laptop, IDs and other important documents, soap, makeup, my guitar, a pack of new guitar strings, my flute, a glossary of literary terms, photographs, posters, folders… As the weeks went by, my lists were getting ridiculously long! All I wanted was to leave home and be at UEA! The wait was unbearable at times. But once all this way done everything went smoothly! Okay, I have to admit I got a bit scared when I was left alone at the airport. 
I can tell you’ll love UEA! I liked it as soon as I saw the UEA sign on University Drive and got off the coach. My first thought was that the university was pretty big and that I’d get lost many times over the first days (I was right). The staff was very friendly in Congregation Hall, where I went to sign my accommodation contract and to get my key! 
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If you’re going to live in halls the first year, making friends is very easy! Most people ended up being very good friends with most (or all of) their flatmates. Of course, some people weren’t as lucky but I’d advise you to spend much time as possible with them so that you can get to know each other and bond quickly. During Freshers week, most people would go out and do pres with their flatmate and housemates and after only one or two weeks, everybody felt quite close. Another tip is to spend dinner together to socialise in your flat. This is what we did in our flat and all these hilarious dinners spent with my friends are probably the best memories of my first year. 
 
Societies and clubs are also a big part of university life. It’s important to do something other than working in your room all day and they’re a good way to meet more people. If you’re interested in music, you could join the Music Society: they have three groups (concert band, big band, and a choir). They do two concerts per year in a church near UEA. There’s also a Live Music Society, where musicians can meet, form bands and perform if they want to. As for reading and writing, the Creative Writing Society and the Literature Society would be perfect for English Literature students (but everyone is welcome)! I was part of it last year and will join it again! You can find out more about societies and sports club on the UEA Union website or during Freshers Week.
If you’re into sports but don’t necessarily want to join a club, you can go to the Sportspark anytime, with or without a membership! I’ve never been in there (shame on me) but there’s a huge swimming pool, a gym, and more!
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I’m sure you’ve heard of it, but the LCR is basically the venue where everything happens on campus. It’s also a venue for gigs since some famous and local bands come to play. If you’re interested in music, you’ll love it! Bands like The Killer, Coldplay and Placebo have played there.
 
The campus itself is very nice: there’s a lake and the Sainsbury Centre if you like art. I loved going out for long walks on campus, in Earlham Park or in the fiels at the back of the Village. The campus has everything you need: green spaces, a bar, the campus shop, a bank, Waterstones, several cafes and places to eat… There are bigger shops within reasonable walking distance of UEA such as Aldi and Waitrose. There’s also a lot to do in Norwich if you’re interested in the history of the area and museum or galleries. The bus stop is in the middle of the campus, which makes going to the city centre very convenient.
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After spending a year at UEA, I can safely assure you that not only is it an amazing university, but it is also a lovely place to live in! There’s a lot of support and people are always ready to help you if you need anything. The Dean of Students Office offer mental support but can also give tutorials if you’re experience academic issues and advice regarding finance or careers. Tutors and professors are usually really nice and interesting! Most importantly, making friends is very easy.
 
So don’t stress too much, because I’m sure you’ll love it there!
Do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions 🙂 
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19 comments on “Dear Freshers

  1. Vera
    16 August, 2016

    Do you have to bring your own duvet and pillow

    Like

    • Anne-Sophie
      16 August, 2016

      No of course not! You can buy all your bedding on UniKitOut and they deliver everything to your room before you arrive, or you can also order from internet or go buy stuff in the city centre 🙂

      Like

  2. Anne-Sophie
    25 July, 2016

    Reblogged this on Anne-Sophie at UEA.

    Like

  3. JeccaBoyce
    7 September, 2015

    I want to say a massive thank you for this post, I’ve just come across it and before reading, I was a little more than terrified about starting in just a few weeks! Thank you for reassuring me that I’ve made the right choice and putting my mind at ease. I can even say you’ve successfully replaced some of my nerves with excitement! I’m also studying English Lit this year (with Creative Writing), so it’s a relief to hear you’ve enjoyed it so far! Any tips for the year ahead?

    Liked by 1 person

    • megalomania29
      7 September, 2015

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! UEA is a really good university so I’m sure you’ll enjoy the student life and your studies. It’s stressful but once you get there and meet people it’ll be awesome and you’ll be even more relieved! My advice would be to spend as much time as possible with your flatmates and talk to lots of people (it’s very easy because everybody is sooo open and friendly, especially during freshers week). And for your studies, it’s important to be organised and know how to work efficiently since you’ll get a lot of reading to do sometimes. 🙂 I hope you’ll have an awesome time at UEA!

      Like

  4. Annika Brown
    31 July, 2015

    Hi! This was a really helpful blog! Thanks!! I’m actually thinking about going to UEA myself but I’m looking at other places as well. I was also wondering if you had any friends who studied law as a fresher, how difficult they found it and the overall experience. I’m also interested in the creative writing club that you’re in. Can you tell me more about it? (I’m really interested) Thanks again!!! ☺☺☺

    Like

    • megalomania29
      31 July, 2015

      Hi! Thank you very much for visiting my blog! I genuinely recommend UEA, I love it and there’s this amazing feeling of belonging there. Of course, the same could be said about many universities and the choice is up to you at the end of the day. I actually know one person who’s studied law and asked her what she thought about it just now. I know it was quite tough, but here’s what she said: “I mean it depends, but I’d definitely say that she should be ready to read a lot, have loads of mental breakdowns and be really confused about at least 2 modules but in general first year is a blast, as long as she does her readings”. So yes basically, expect a lot of reading and always try to be on top of your work! I’m not actually part of the Creative Writing Society, I’m part of the Literature Society, sorry. You can find out more about clubs during freshers’ week though. I hope this helps, do you hesitate to ask me any more questions! 🙂

      Like

  5. Ranjan C Patel
    31 July, 2015

    Delighted to see the enthusiasm for UEA is as was in 1974 when I came over from Zambia (first time away from home). Wonderful space, great teachers for lifelong effect, super friends and a time just flown. I was 7 years in CHE (PhD, post doc), so good was the experience! Thank you for updating to 21century UEA !

    Like

    • megalomania29
      31 July, 2015

      Thank you for your comment! It’s amazing to hear from people who went to UEA many years ago!

      Like

  6. Tanya
    30 July, 2015

    hopeful going there this September cant wait. I applied for student village, how was it? I didn’t get the opportunity to see the accommodation during the open days. do i need to bring more storage like clothing rail. I AM SOO excited and do not what i will need in terms of what’s already provide in the village already.

    * thanks for the post, lol it is diffuclt to find videos or blog post like this to help out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • megalomania29
      30 July, 2015

      Hey! I’m glad this post was useful. I loved the village, the kitchens were quite big and I found the room size decent. The bathroom was tiny but it’s got everything you need! Here’s a video I made of the village accommodation, so you can decide whether you need to bring a clothing rail or other stuff. But honestly, I don’t think you should, the wardrobe is huge and you can lift up the bed. https://youtu.be/vGxtuCHtcOk

      Like

  7. mrrwperkins
    30 July, 2015

    Just finished my third year and absolutely gutted that it’s all over (well, kinda – I’m staying for another year of postgrad, but it’s still sad all the same.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • megalomania29
      30 July, 2015

      I’m sure that’s how I’ll feel at the end of my degree too…

      Like

  8. syskidstokes
    29 July, 2015

    Lovely post, 16 years ago this September I was a fresher and everything you say was relevant then too! Good luck freshers, you’ll have an awesome time! If I could do it all again I would! H x

    Liked by 1 person

    • megalomania29
      30 July, 2015

      Thank you for your comment! I wish I could do it all over again too. The first weeks at UEA were really cool and special 🙂

      Like

  9. Sonia
    29 July, 2015

    Jthis is refreshing. I will be starting my masters in sept and am so worried about the making friend part. Hope everything turns out great

    Liked by 1 person

    • megalomania29
      30 July, 2015

      Thank you for reading my article! I’m sure you’ll be fine, everybody is so welcoming! Don’t be shy and you’ll meet tons of people.

      Like

  10. student nurse adventures
    20 July, 2015

    I love your post. Exactly how I felt when I came! UEA is a bit like Hogwarts when it comes to orientation haha but eventually I learned where buildings are. Good luck freshers!

    Liked by 1 person

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