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.
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!
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!
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.
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 🙂