The big step into university isn’t quite as daunting as one might imagine. After finally settling in, and being here for a whopping two weeks (I know, ages) I feel quite at ease about being on my own.
It’s fair to say that independence has never been much of a scary prospect for me. There are some individuals who cannot bear to be alone, and simply cannot function without company surrounding them – thankfully I’m not one of those people. One thing I will say however, is I’m not sure I could have coped with having a self-catered hall, there’s something quite comforting in knowing that a meal is waiting for you between the times of 11:30-1:00pm and 5:00-6:30pm and that you don’t have the washing up to deal with afterwards… that delight is left for the weekend, and even then it’s not difficult to warm up some soup or call Pizza Hut Delivery.
Chester is a lovely place, there are much worse areas I could be living in (i.e. Bradford) for the next three years, but fortunately, I’ve been blessed with a pretty town filled with pretty buildings and nice posh-sounding people to boot. It’s easy to navigate around the city centre (as well as the campus, providing you’re on the main one), and equally easy to spend your student loan in a breath with the mammoth amount of shops – Pandora has become a favourite.
For some reason, however, I imagined despite all this prettiness, that my bedroom would be no bigger than a cupboard. After seeing my accommodation during one of the open days I visited, I questioned the room sizes due to the building not being the biggest of the bunch (in comparison to somewhere like Hollybank). I’ve been pleasantly surprised though, because yes, you can swing a cat in here… in fact I’d go as far as saying you could probably swing two cats in here and have room for a third person to observe if you’re lucky.
On arrival you are given the basics, a bed with a mattress, a small wardrobe (and I mean small, so thankfully I didn’t bring THAT many clothes), a chair, a desk, lamp, chair, a chest of drawers, a basin and mirror and finally two wooden shelves. It then becomes a race against time to unpack everything, work out what’s missing and make it feel more like ‘home’ before the welcome talk begins at 5:45pm. For me, it was a real race against time, rushing around the supermarkets at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon trying to equip myself with everything before my parents finally had to set off back home.
And that brings me to without doubt, the most bitter sweet experience so far at University. Seeing my parents drive away, knowing they won’t be returning for another month. On one hand there is freedom, independence and responsibility, but on the other you are totally alone in a completely different city with no-one to rely on but yourself, and there is that image imprinted into your brain of your poor mother crying in the front seat of granddad’s omega. I’m not going to lie and say “oh yeah I was fine” because I wasn’t, and it is a hard thing to do, but it gets easier, you get used to it and realise you aren’t as lazy and useless around the house as you once thought (or rather, as your parents thought) you were.
After that day, university has been nothing but great. My student loan came in on time (for a change), there’s an on-site Starbucks and the tutors here seem nicer than the ones at Dixons (sorry Rem).
The only problem I seem to have found is the food here… in particular the desserts. They are just TOO tempting. They have an entire cabinet stuffed with different slices of cake, cupcakes and warm desserts, and some sliced fruits for those strong enough to resist. One has grown in great danger of putting on a tonne of weight whilst studying here – perhaps I should take up running, or perhaps the pole dancing society might have a solution to the problem.
For those looking to join the University of Chester, or at least looking at it as an option for UCAS, I would so far 1000% recommend it here. It’s a great university for a great city!