5 Weeks In – Settling In

Since arriving here 5 weeks ago, I’ve managed to lose my jacket, reusable water bottle, 2 calculators and a pumpkin. The only one I’ve managed to find is obviously the most useful: the pumpkin. 

My first month in Bath has been a blur of ‘I’m-too-tired-for-this’ lectures, hazy nights out, and bonding with people over recognizing them but having no idea where from. Freshers’ gave us not just flu that seems to have lasted an entire month, but also cases of chest problems and viral eye infections. It turned a drunk 20p bet into me permanently dying my flat mate’s hair pink and left friends dragged along their hallway floors to bed. I won’t say I miss the days where a random guy would ask me to tie up his toga directly after hitting me in the face, but with lecturers starting to talk about essay titles and citations, it does seem like a simpler time. 

Living alone can be tough; at home I always have my mum, dad, or sister around for when my anxiety disorder plays up, and now having to create a brand-new support network can feel overwhelming. I’ve found the trick is to spend as much time away from my room as possible, so I’ve done the classic first year move of joining about 20 societies and then realizing there’s no way I can possibly fit them all in. But as most of those I’ve truly committed to seem to spend more time chatting in Happy Hour or going to Monday Night Bridge than doing actual intellectual society things, I think I’ll be alright. 

Living on campus you see some weird and wonderful things: the walk back from the Veggie Weekly Meal on a Wednesday evening is entertainment in itself. As sports initiations fill the benches outside CB and people already in their Score costumes wander the parade, you don’t think twice about seeing students dressed as cows, horses, leaves and minions. While the bus crisis may have improved, one 30 minute wait saw a girl decide out of sheer boredom to climb the Rossiter Road bus stop, to a surprisingly high degree of success. Some of us may already be in our overdrafts – one guy got through his whole student loan in Freshers’ Week alone. Others have resorted to stealing: one flat acquired 20 bottles of washing up liquid as they made their way around pre-drinks and one person is still pretending to be a vegan so that they can steal their flatmate’s chicken without suspicion. 

There are so many things I’ve done since being here that I would have never imagined, especially getting myself a column in Bath Time Magazine within a month. However, as a wise second year told me, the thing about university is that you just have to put your name down for things and there’s a higher chance you’ll get them than you might think. Then even if you don’t, you’ve still tried something out. I may have failed to get into Aquapella or attend more than one yoga session despite paying the membership, but at least I’ve added to the collection of friendly faces to bump into around campus. I may miss the regularity of London buses, having a dishwasher and not having to do laundry, but I’m getting used to being in a constant state of illness and sleep deprivation. Bath may just be starting to feel like home.

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