How to: All the things you need to know to get through uni life

How to get lost in 7 easy steps

  1. Choose route.
    For bonus points, make it a route you’ve walked so many times you basically know it off by heart. For more bonus points check the route on google maps before you start
  2. Get stuck behind a really slow walker
  3. Continue to be stuck behind the slow walker
    Bonus points if the slow walker notices you.
    More bonus points if other people notice.
  4. Turn right before you meant to to get out of the awkward situation with the slow walker
  5. Realise you’ve never been down this road before
  6. Realise you don’t recognise any of the other roads
  7. Pick a road at random and pray

Congratulations, you are now lost

How to be awkward on the underground

  1. Take up the bassoon or other huge instrument
  2. Become proficient at the bassoon and get lessons at the RAM
  3. Go to RHUL to study music
  4. Get on appropriate tube with bassoon on back. Make sure the tube is packed
  5. Hit someone in the face with the bassoon
  6. Accidentally stroke someone’s hair as you grab one of the poles

Congratulations, you are now awkward beyond belief.


Ways to know you’re winning at uni

  1. You know exactly how long it takes to make porridge in the morning, so you can grab a few minutes extra sleep
  2. You’ve started peeling and cutting vegetables over the bin to save on washing up
  3. You’ve basically memorised the long (and complex) address people need to use to send you things
  4. You’ve made friends with the cleaners
    4a. The cleaners are now on such good terms with you they’ve left you a bottle of viakal for the kitchen
    4b. You’re using it
  5. You’ve stopped panicking when your flatmate almost sets off the fire alarm, and your first response is to leap for the tea towels and open the window
    5a. Simultaneously
  6. Your frozen goods/fridge rotation is bang up to date
  7. You’re on daily speaking terms with the administrative staff in the music department
  8. You’re recognised by most of the staff in the shop as the one who occasionally mass buys pot noodles
    8a. Even though you don’t do it anymore
  9. You sometimes walk to lectures with a massive mug of tea
  10. You’re no longer fussed when people stare into your kitchen while you’re having lunch
    10a. In fact, you sometimes wave at them
    10b. Sometimes they get embarrassed and stop
    10c. Sometimes they wave back
  11. You’ve mastered a ‘pity me’ face to persuade people to help you out in times of difficulty
    11a. Like the time when the launderette wouldn’t take any of your coins
  12. Your “I’m totally paying attention” face is better than ever
  13. You count going to bed before midnight as a solid achievement

End of week 2: Reading

It’s the end of week 2. Dun dun duuuun. It’s not actually that long, actually, but it feels like I’ve been here for ages and ages. In the good way, rather than the bad ‘oh my god I’ve been here my whole life and I wish I could do something else’. More in the ‘yay I’ve stopped getting lost everytime I leave my flat and I’ve finally learnt which dial corresponds to which hob’ sense. That’s good, for me.

Lectures have been pretty cool, so far. I’m thinking that’s because we’ve only actually done introduction lectures so far. The seminars were better once we worked out how to talk to each other, and we had a different seminar leader who didn’t just monologue all the time. Oh, those PhD students. You’d think they’d know better.

Apart from the hill on the way to lectures (it’s like a free gym, only more depressing and with a humid room to get to. It’s the other way round from a gym, really.), everything’s basically great.

But there’s just one thing. All the damn reading. All. the. damn. reading. It’s a music course! Why have I got 6 chapters to read by next week?! I swear I’ve only had like four lectures? How did that happen?


Those aren’t just any squiggles. That’s me demonstrating a type of harmony. Yeah. That’s how I do my notes.

Kind of boring looking, if you can read it. Anyway, it turns out some chapters are manageable lengths, and some are so long you stop caring about Early Music and the role of the composer by the time you get halfway through.

#nowIhaveacold #butitmightbeFresher’sflu #mythroathurts

‘Welcome’ week recap

Freshers’ week. The week where all the new uni students (and some of the older ones), are meant to get wasted every night and sleep through the day, existing on a diet of pot noodles and pasta, downing paracetamol to cure their drinking-induced headache. When you put it like that, it doesn’t actually sound that great.

Fortunately, all my flatmates are nice. And I’ve witnessed at least 3/4 of them eat real food over the week and a half I’ve been here, so that fixes that problem. (I got bored of the pot noodles pretty quickly)

We sometimes sit in the hall eating dominoes pizza (50% off for being a RHUL student! I know! well… if you spend over £30. Let’s face it, you can’t really avoid it with 4 people) and watching films. My favourite was the Hairspray and Grease evening. It sounds a bit like a terrible hairdresser, doesn’t it? Hairspray and grease. ugh

And of course I managed to polish off a packet of club biscuits over three days. Don’t judge me, I was stressing about my bassoon lessons! ah, sweet sweet memories…

Last night we played monopoly and I got overexcited every time I won any money. Shame it’s not real money… I ended up with more than I started with, so Thumbs up from me.

Moving in: Royal Holloway

Moving in to RH wasn’t what I was expecting. Well, in some ways it was, because a) I ended up at Royal Holloway and b) I wasn’t exactly expecting space stations and Martians (…), but in others it wasn’t. I wasn’t expecting to get here and sort of feel like I’m dreaming and I’m about to wake up, probably five years ago when I was 14. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be in a flat with 6 girls (me inclusive), 1 guy and 1 MIA flatmate. Hopefully we’ll find zir before the end of Freshers week, or zie won’t be able to get into the flat.

Shopping was pretty exciting, for a given value of the word ‘exciting’. It’s kind of cool to have my own shelf in a fridge/freezer, although I’m sure the novelty will wear off soon. Probably around the time I get so bored of cooking I just buy boxes of pot noodles. I’m sure that day won’t come for a while yet though…

photo 1

I hope you like the posters. It’s a Gryffindor poster, by the way, because I’m in Gryffindor house. I was very disappointed.

photo 2

Also my room is pretty messy at the moment, but yes, that is a double bed, and yes I did stick up the calendar on my notice board. Spending money on stationery seems to be my thing at the moment.

Just over a month to go

So. One month to left. This is the thing I’ve spent a year stressing about, looking forward to, and being terrified about in equal measures. I’ve wished it closer and I’ve wished it further away, sometimes at the same time.

Now it’s almost here.

I’m a bit excited, I think. I’m looking forward to getting out there and being a student. I’m definitely looking forward to having a bit more autonomy. I’m looking forward to having my old friends from school over to my uni flat. Hopefully my flatmates will be my new uni friends, but if not I’ll probably make some on the course. I’m taking my teapot with me as means to bribe them into liking me though. Who doesn’t like tea?

Then again, I’m still nervous. There’s so much to think about; budgeting, buying food for the week (a whole week’s worth of shopping? Mad!), lectures and note-taking…. There’s so much to do. It could get overwhelming.

Maybe it won’t though. I’m probably just worrying too much.