Three years of my life as an EU student of English Literature at the University of East Anglia,England.
On the 12th of September, I worked for UEA at the Open Day! I’d actually applied for it months ago and had already attended the training session last semester. One thing I love about UEA is that they offer so many job opportunities. Whether you’re looking for an actual part-time job (in the pub or campus shop) or just want to work a few hours per months or per year, there’s something for you. For instance, you can be paid to let people visit your room if you live in halls, and I basically get paid to write this blog about my life and studies! That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
I attended that training session with some friends of mine in May. It only lasted for an hour or two: they gave us a quick overview of what Open Days were about, what they did and then we were given a campus tour to make sure that we knew all the places and a some facts about UEA. Later during the summer, I got a confirmation email saying I could work as a car park assistant. To be honest, I was quite disappointed since some people got much cooler jobs like giving campus or village tours — but in the end it wasn’t that bad although worked from 7am to 1pm and was absolutely exhausted from standing up in the rain that long. However, the security people were very nice and so were the students I worked with. Basically the group was split up, and each group went to different car parks. I was in Earlham Park (which became a small car park for the day). All I did was telling the cars where to go and how to get on campus to register and things like that! Sometimes we were just waiting and chatting so it was pretty cool! It’s quite funny to see all these boys, girls and parents visiting the university because you can tell that they’re both stressed and excited. So that was a good experience, I’m glad I did it!
Last weekend I worked as a Freshers Helper to welcome home students who were moving in in halls! I’d also applied for this job months ago and needed to email the Union again at the beginning of September to secure my place. Last Friday, I attended a meeting where we were allocated our shifts. I thought we’d only work a few hours throughout both days, but I didn’t expect what I got. I worked from 9 to 6 both days as a traffic control assistant. I felt doomed after my car park assistant position for the Open Days and thought it’d be a horrible weekend but it really wasn’t.
I got to the Lodge (security office by the Sportspark) at 9 on Saturday morning and didn’t really know what my job would consist in. The whole group was gathered there, and a member of staff asked who used to live in the village. I quickly raised my hand, and me and two other girls were sent to work there for the day. It was my first time going back there since I left my residence (Pine House <3) in June. I couldn’t help feeling very nostalgic and emotional. There, we were told our job was to greet families and direct them towards the house they were staying in so they could park and unload the car. It could have been horrible but it turned out very well since I had a place to sit down whenever I wanted, water, a free lunch pack and worked with a very nice member of security who told me everything about Norwich and UEA! 😛
Saturday was a strange day to be honest. My boyfriend was moving in to his new university halls in Southampton while I was helping freshers at UEA. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there with him but helping them made me feel like I was supporting him in a way. I also made me feel nostalgic for that time last year when I moved in, discovered Norwich and started my “new life” in England.
People were only moving in in the Upper Village on Saturday, but the people for the Lower Village (Hawthorn, Willow and Pine) came on Sunday. I made it very clear I didn’t want to go to the lower village so I did the same thing at the main village entrance both days. It would have been way too sad and weird for me to see my old house and, perhaps, people going in my flat or room — as lame as it sounds. I’m not ready for that. Lots of people did ask me about Pine though and it was almost surreal.
The days were veeeery long and repetitive but I really enjoyed welcoming people, seeing them smile, answering their questions (once I got over the “OMG the village is taken over by new people” thing) and being part of one of the most important days of their life! Most of the people I know had to help people carrying all their stuff to their rooms all weekend and were completely exhausted. I did help carry things in Elm for a while the first day and it was hard.
The second day ended up well with a woman telling me “You have the most boring job ever!”. It was actually fun, I met some very nice people I hope to see again, got Kit Kats and I had wifi, so what else could I have asked for? 😛