his guide is everything T Freshers, from advice on how to get on with your new
flatmates, to how to dress for those crazy nights in the LCR. This supplement has been put together by both myself and Courtney to help make the transition from home to university just a little bit smoother. University is the time to have fun, make mistakes, learn a lot, and make a new start away from home – so read this guide to make sure you know how to make the most of it! BROUGHT TO YOU BY...
“UEA is wonderful”
“You’ll find yourself on first-name terms with the Domino’s driver...”
“Our essential guide to uni fashion must-haves”
“Places to know in Norwich”
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but your first year at university is something you’ll never forget, though there will certainly be a few nights along the way that you’d rather not remember! For me, first year and even second year went by far too quickly, honestly I can scarcely believe that I’m about to be a third year! (Seriously, how did that happen?!) My time at UEA has been incredible; I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. I’ve met some of the most incredible people I will probably ever meet, subsequently made friends that I know will be around for the remainder of my life, had opportunities I’d never even dreamed of having and to top it all off,
Rebecca Bemment Coming to UEA in September 2012 was one of my best decisions so far. Making the move from home to university is a big step, and I’ll never forget the first day of moving into halls with seven other complete strangers. It’s kind of non-stop excitement from then on really. One of my biggest fears before coming to university was that I wouldn’t get on with people, especially those who I would be randomly selected to live with. I don’t know how it works out but it just does. You meet people who’ll likely be good friends forever, some who you don’t get on with so well and some that you think you’d never normally be friends with. Freshers’ Week is about making new friends here, there and everywhere, whilst trying to get on board with a new course, exploring the university grounds,
I’ve learnt a LOT - and not just about film history and literature from the regency period. I’ve learnt how to live on my own (if living in halls with 13 other people qualifies as ‘on my own’); I’ve learnt how to cook more than just pizza and pasta. I’ve learnt to run a house, to pay bills and manage money, but most importantly I’ve learnt more about myself – who I really am as a person, what I like doing and what I want out of life. I’ve grown up more than I ever thought would be possible in such a short space of time and while that thought may freak you out, as you’re probably planning to live the Peter Pan life (i.e. young, wild and free); I promise you it’s actually a good thing. Your first year will fly by, because we all know that time flies when you’re having fun. So savour it and make as many memories as you can, because trust me when it’s all over you’ll want to cling onto them. Memories such as that one time S Club played a gig on campus on your birthday and you got to relive your childhood in the best possible way, the time when
you spent the day chilling out in the sun down by the lake, having a barbeque with your flatmates when you were meant to be revising, or that one time UEA hooked you up with work experience and you got to hang out with Judi Dench for a week! Though of course with the fun comes a word of caution, and while I hate to sound like a nag, It’s crucial that you don’t try too much too fast. Making memories is important, but not all of your memories need to be made within the first few weeks. Those wonderful, crazy, and now (for me) somewhat blurry first few weeks should be spent settling in and getting into the swing of uni life. Sign up to clubs and societies, buy tickets to events, but remember that you don’t have to go to all of them. Pace yourself, there’s going to be so much going on and it can be a little overwhelming. Take some time to think about what you really want to do or rather what you can actually afford to do and go from there. Because that’s the secret - being organised, thinking things through, and if you can do that, you’ll be just fine.
and spending many a night in the LCR. You’ll probably read lots of stuff about how everyone is in the same boat when they first go to university, and although that’s true, it’s important to make your university experience unique. Whatever you like, there’s probably a society for it, so it’s the time to do what you want to do, and how you want to do it. I always wanted to write for UEA’s student newspaper, Concrete, and it was plucking up the courage to do this that then led me to become a section-editor
what you need to do and by when. Attend lectures and participate in seminars because you’ll get so much more out of your degree if you do. If you’re shy, do your research before you attend your seminar so you feel more relaxed to share your view. If you do keep on top of things, when you then want to go out with your flatmates to the LCR for those £1.50 Jägerbombs, you won’t feel so guilty. Similarly, go to your course introduction meetings as they can be helpful amidst the fun-filled Freshers’ Week. You don’t want to miss out on important information that you might not know otherwise! Your time at university will go quickly, so grab every opportunity. Explore the city with its quirky bars, range of night clubs and of course the lake at UEA. Go and meet people in the opposite flat to you, join a random society, go see a play put on by the drama society, or attend a yoga class at the Sportspark. Do something a bit different and just enjoy being a fresher. Not everything will go to plan, and you’ll likely have a few cooking disasters when trying to get used to the cooking facilities in halls, but it’s all part of learning to live on your own. And experiencing it alongside other people can provide some of the funniest memories.
for the paper. I thought I would come to university to get a degree, but as well as this, university provides you with the opportunity to put yourself out there and build upon your interests, whatever they are. It’s also important to get ready for the demands of your course as it’s different when you don’t have someone telling you
The introvert’s guide to Freshers’ Week Anna Knell Since the age of fourteen, I counted down the years until university with some idealised expectation, probably as a result of watching Legally Blonde too many times. Two years ago, I experienced the real deal as I arrived at Pine House (which in no way resembles a sorority row) and spent the first two weeks of freshers in bed, thanks to tonsillitis and not tequila. It was a major flop. I felt like I’d missed out on the prime time to find my niche at uni and that I’d never catch up. My Facebook feed was plastered with countless “best time of my life” statuses and photos of people’s new “best friends” they’d met at a kebab shop or club toilets the night before. I just wasn’t having the experience everybody else seemed to be having, but after a few months I realised I was already at the point most students got to after the craziness settled down. So if you feel a little overwhelmed at first, here’s a few things to bear in mind:
Don’t tell anyone, but I haven’t been clubbing in Norwich since my second night at UEA. I have nothing against nightclubs, but given the choice, I’d rather enjoy a few drinks at Cuba Revs where I can hear my friends, while wearing an outfit in which I won’t compromise my
“It was pretty fun, everything is new: new country, new language, new people, new everything. And I got much more independent.” Viki Mladenovski English and American Literature
BUT do leave your comfort zone! There’s a difference between being introverted and being unfriendly. You may draw energy from being alone or in small groups, but it’s healthy and productive to ‘get out there’. It’s never constructive to isolate yourself. So, whether it’s trying a new sport or going to a pub quiz with your housemates, challenging yourself will help you gain life-skills, fill up your free time, and a new network of people to your social circle.
Everyone’s situation is different
It’s not all about clubbing…
“The delicate but spontaneous combination of Unreal academic experiences, Excessive partying and Amazing friendships gave me and many others at UEA the perfect recipe for the most exciting year of our lives.” Jonny Micklewright Biomedicine
dignity, catch pneumonia, or break my ankle. Ironically, clubbing isn’t actually that social. You might meet twenty people that night, but you won’t have many quality (or coherent) conversations and chances are that even if you remember whose number you saved, you won’t have anything in common the next morning. So if it’s not your thing, don’t worry. There will always be people who would rather stay in with a DVD and a hot choccie.
Course sizes vary so don’t panic if your friends on other courses are best buds with the people in their lectures. Some courses are so small that you’ll be around the same people all the time while others are so large you’ll rarely come across the same people twice. I went to the LDC welcome party in first year; I only stayed
“Freshers’ Week was by far the best week of my life, whether it involved making 20 best friends on my first night, beatboxing for Greg Davies or discovering the joys of £1.50 pints! A memory I will look back on fondly in 10 years.” Jack Evans Maths
ten minutes but met a girl on my course that ended up being my housemate for the rest of my degree. You never know who you’ll meet at your school welcome party, so go along and get chatting to your new peers and professors (you get free wine too). If this is still a concern for you, get stuck in with your course society!
Speaking of societies… Check them out. There is guaranteed to be something that tickles your fancy, something you’re already a pro at, or something you’ve always wanted to try. Pop down to SocMart to get informed and sign up to something new. There are also clubs which aren’t listed as societies which are worth looking into.
It gets better! I remember being very close to deciding uni wasn’t for me and ducking out before I even finished my first semester! If you feel this is you, wait it out until Christmas. I really found my feet in second semester, got a job after exams, moved into my house early, and have spent both summers in Norwich since. It’s natural to feel apprehensive when you first start university, it’s a new experience and despite what social media and others tell you, you are all in the same boat. Just keep hanging in there and make sure that you enjoy the adventure!
“Despite a slight culture difference, and the pressure of discovering to fend for oneself, freshers’ was a great taste of freedom. I wouldn’t go back to it, but I am so glad I did it!” Eve Lacroix English Literature and Creative Writing
“Freshers’ week is a vodka induced haze of happily “Meeting people from confessing my deepest different parts of the secrets to strangers who country/world made me became my best friends after realise how much I still have about 24 hours. It was pretty to see.” cool.” Brian Ho Becky Smith Biomedicine History
“I just remember wondering whether the giddy feeling was from fairground rides or from Bucks fizz – and then realising on the way home, after trying to get into the wrong flat in the wrong ziggurat that it was probably the latter.” Helen Puddy Script Writing and Performance “Dive head first into everything, be the first people to say hello, I guarantee you will get a smile and a hello back. Try new things, and don’t hold back.” Magella Oldcorn English and American Literature
The Red Lion Carvery for when your parents visit
UEA Student Accomodation seems to be the only in the country that doesn’t provide an oven, but the Red Lion Carvery (a 12 minute drive from campus) will provide you with the roast you’ve been craving when your parents come to visit. With a choice between turkey, pork, beef, gammon and lamb shoulder, each served with a homemade Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and swimming in rich gravy-it’s so good you’ll feel like you’re back at Grandma’s house!
for cocktails before a night out
Charming and oh so vintage, Biddy’s was dreamt up in 2010 by owner Charlie to recreate that traditional village staple in the city centre. It’s the perfect place to go with your housemates, or your mum when she comes to visit, if you fancy something a little different. Grab a hot drink and a massive slab of Oreo chocolate cake, then sit back and enjoy.
The cocktails in Revolution (or ‘Vodka Revs’ as it is more often referred to) are like those in a top London bar, with the atmosphere, music and design to match. The Cranberry Fizz made with Raspberry vodka, Cointreau with lime, cranberry and sparkling soda is a personal favourite. The Rum Bongo is also worth a try made with Bacardi Superior rum, coconut, Grenadine and passion fruit.
for the best afternoon tea
on Prince of Wales Road
The first few weeks as a fresher will unashamedly be a haze of £1.50 Jägerbombs, takeaway pizza and cheesy chips (with a garnish of regret) but when it gets to mid-October and you find yourself on first name terms with the Domino’s delivery driver, then hop onto the 25 bus and sample the array of bars and restaurants the city has to offer... Words by Louisa Baldwin
Revolucion de Cuba
for celebrating a flatmate’s birthday
for a chilled friday night with live music Revolucion de Cuba tops all other bars in Norwich for atmosphere, attracting residents of all ages to dance the night away to classics such as Robbie William’s ‘Angels’ and The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’. The Cuban teapots are a highlight and definitely worth ordering to share at least once- you can choose between a Cuba Libre, Fruit Salad, Madhatter and Raspberry Colada Teapot. In a sentence, if you like rum, you’re definitely in the right place.
The Waffle House
for a late lunch with flatmates If you only sample one restaurant in Norwich, make sure it’s this one. The Waffle House have been providing lip-smacking savoury and sweet waffles since 1978 with locally sourced ingredients and 30 waffles to choose from for breakfast, starter, main and dessert in either small or large. Highlights include the Chocolate Mouse Waffle (£4.50 small/£5.55 large) and Garlic Mushroom & Cheese Sauce (£7.50 small/£8.45 large) and 10% student discount is available!
Brimming with history, this Victorian public library was renovated into a restaurant in 2006 and boasts an impressive menu and innovative space, ideal for a group wanting to book something special for a birthday or Christmas meal. Mains meals range from £7.95 – £14.95 with a popular choice being the Wood-Grilled House Burger with bacon, cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce. As you sit between the old bookshelves and your food is brought out on a wooden slab, you feel like you’re eating in a high-end restaurant, but paying a fraction of the price.
HOW TO also work well when teamed with jeans or over floaty dress.
On the Town
Whether you’re a fresher or an old hand at this uni game, you’re sure to be thinking the same thing: “What do I wear!” Well, we’re here to solve the manic over-packing and car-cramming with our essential guide to uni fashion essentials. Now class: pay attention!
All that’s left to cover is a night out in Norwich! FOR THE GIRLS HEELS A must is a comfy pair of heels. Every girl needs a pair of go-to heels and black is always a good staple colour as it goes with pretty much anything.
5-minute lecture style
Whatever your fashion of pleasure, there are certain wardrobe essentials which cross those style lines. You might have only rolled out of bed five minutes before your lecture starts, or have been up since seven perfecting your look; but whatever your timing, these essentials will make early morning dressing a breeze. THE JACKET Be it structured, slouchy or somewhere in between, this is a wardrobe essential. Not only does it keep off the early morning chill, the right jacket ties an outfit together. There are countless trends on the high street, with fabulous collarless coats in cool pastels and chunky camel coloured knits popular for the girls. For the boys, bomber jackets are still on-trend in a variety of stand-out patterns, as well as plain ones to pare down your look. THE BAG Satchels and rucksacks are hot picks for both guys and girls, and aside from the style points, they’re super easy to use for lugging all those textbooks around. Be as bold or simple as you like: bags are a great way to express individual style. Customising your bag is also a great way to achieve a particular look and ensure yours is one of a kind.
Flickr: Adam Wilson
From popping to the library to all night essay writing sessions, there are three key pieces you need. BOOTS With winter just around the corner, boots are a wardrobe staple. Team with skirts, dresses… Well, just about anything! And obviously trousers for the boys. From the flat to the snakeskin and of course buckled, there’s a style out there for every girl. And that’s not all: boys can do boots too with the suave Chelsea boot or a classic Dr Marten. JEANS Of course jeans had to be included in our uni staple style guide. Jeans in any incarnation, be it acid washed, ripped, high-waisted, mum, boyfriend or honestly any other relation’s jeans are welcome. Invest in a decent pair as you’ll definitely get your money’s worth out of them. Opt for a variety of cuts and colourings to suit different occasions. KNITWEAR Oversized. Need we say any more? Cardigans, jumpers and even hats! Comfort is definitely the key with this piece as there’s nothing worse than itchy jumpers, so be careful (and check the washing label: wool shrinks on hot washes – a lesson often learned the hard way!) It just so happens that knitwear is big for autumn/winter 2014 so there are lots of varieties on the high street. Channel your inner bohemian and go for oversized wrap-around cardigans in beiges and burgundies. This goes for the guys too. Nothing wrong with wearing a cardigan lads, but maybe not a wraparound? Classic fishermen’s sweaters etc.
OPTIONS A wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear… The standard night out what-to-wear drama is no more. Build yourself a mini capsule wardrobe. • Two decent skirts: options range from a skater skirt to leather, body-con or even pencil skirts • One pair of jeans: black high-waisted are always a good staple • Two pairs of shorts: one fancy and one denim • Five plus tops: white crop t-shirt, black bandeau top and a variety of floaty cami tops • A couple of dresses and a playsuit Vary colour, pattern and texture of items so that you always feel like you’re wearing something different. It’s better to buy a couple of key pieces and be able to update them as the seasons and styles change rather than have a wardrobe bursting with 10 of the same thing. Be discerning. Plus, wardrobe space is often limited! FOR THE BOYS: SMART SHOES Well, smarter than normal! We’re not talking formal prom, but a decent pair of brogues always looks sharp on a night out. Blacks, browns, navy blues and greys all work well. To add a bit of flair, why not opt for a pair with a coloured sole to stand out from the crowd? SHIRTS A couple of decent shirts will always see you right. Alternate between plain and patterned shirts to add variety to your wardrobe and team with a pair of chinos or coloured jeans for a key look. T-SHIRTS To make a bit more of an impression, step-up your game and go for a smarter t-shirt than just every-day wear. Not only will it get you noticed, but it will stop you feeling like you’re wearing the same thing. There are endless varieties of colours, patterns and textures out there, so pick a couple that suit your style.
Flickr: University of Salford Press
HOW TO Gemma Carter The majority of Freshers’ Week is spent in the LCR and, for most of us, we wish we’d had a few tips on what to wear. Obviously, you want to look your best and make a good first impression, and with this advice you’ll do just that. Overdressing and underdressing are common mistakes made by excitable and intoxicated first years and I’m going to help you avoid common pitfalls... Heels aren’t often seen at the LCR, apart from the A-List events on Saturday night, but it isn’t very common. Firstly, the floor is way too sticky and you’ll find it a nightmare walking around in humungous heels. You want to be comfortable and not have to go back to your flat to change your shoes halfway through the night. Chances are, you’ll probably miss out on something that everyone will be talking about for weeks. You can still look nice in a pretty pair of pumps or add an edge to your outfit with some converses. Wedges or flat-forms are a good compromise to a pair of heels – they’ll give you that height but also give you the support you’ll need after a few drinks. Now I know there’s nothing better than a crisp, brand new white shirt but if you want to be able to wear it again I’d avoid wearing it to the LCR – or anything white for that matter, especially during Freshers. The place will be overflowing with drunk students who will probably spill a few drinks; unfortunately at one point or another you’ll have something spilt on you. Also, if you don’t know your limits and end up being sick and it gets on your shirt, that’s one stain you won’t get out! Inevitably some nights it will be raining,
or even snowing, and you’ll want to wear a jacket on your way to the LCR. Carrying it around all night will be a pain and it would be unbearable to wear it in there, so avoid it if you can. Obviously, if it’s torrential rain, wrap up so you don’t catch a cold, but just remember you’ll have to pay to put it in the cloak room and at the end of an LCR night, the queue for that can be pretty big. I’m all for “If you’ve got it: flaunt it”, but there is a limit. Don’t wear dresses or skirts that are so short if you bend over we’ll see what you had for breakfast. It gives off the wrong impression completely to people and they’ll have a perception of you before you’ve even spoken to them. This goes for boys too, if you’re wearing a t-shirt that has a neckline that touches your belly button then you’re going to repel any attention. You may have an amazing body but less is more; offering it all up on a plate is not attractive. For a night out in the city, nine times out of ten, ladies will opt for a cute little clutch bag, but for the LCR you’ll need something a bit more practical. Go for a small bag or clutch that has a strap so you can wear it across your body, big enough to fit in your phone, money and keys. You’ll appreciate having both hands free to carry your drinks and dance around without a care in the world. Try to use a bag that has a zip fastening rather than a button as your valuables will be more secure and you’ll be less likely to lose anything important or have your phone fall out and smash into pieces. The LCR is renowned for its themed nights and they are where you’ll make some of your best memories and take the funniest photos. Don’t get too hung up on having an expensive costume as it takes the fun out
of it. Living on a budget means you’ll have to be creative and think outside the box, which can result in creating some of the best outfits. The T-Shirt Party is one of UEA’s best Freshers’ events at the LCR, as it’s where you really get to know one another. Fill out all the boxes on your t-shirt and be completely honest with your answers – no matter how strange they are, it’ll be a guaranteed conversation starter! It’s also another chance to be creative as you can customise your t-shirt to suit you. Cut it, tie it, crop it and do whatever you want as they’re screaming for a bit of alcohol induced creativity! So, enjoy Freshers’ Week and I hope you love the LCR just as much as everyone else here at UEA does!
Flickr: Bryan Ledgard
Lectures and Seminars Let’s talk about...
Sacha Reeves Making the move from studying A-levels at school to attending university can seem like a big step, without the added worries of how you are going to cope in lectures and seminars. Although it may seem daunting, university lectures are far more relaxed than classes at school, providing you pay attention and have completed the reading! The ‘spoon-fed’ approach given in schools is somewhat different to the teaching styles at university. Whilst lecturers and tutors are there to guide you whenever needed, it is important to remember that you are expected to be independent in your reading and additional study. No-one will tell you to ‘do this paper by tomorrow,’ or ‘read chapter four tonight’, so it’s important
to keep yourself motivated (coffee helps!) Although the first term is full of distractions and whilst making new friends and settling into university is crucial, make sure you do not miss any lectures or seminars. It can often be difficult to catch up if you have missed or fallen asleep in any classes! Seminars may seem scary at first and different lecturers have different styles of teaching, but it’s always good to speak up and talk. Seminars can actually be very relaxed and you will find that eating cake in class becomes very familiar! It’s a good idea to set yourself a target or to do so much uni work each day in order to maintain a balance between your academic work and social life. Doing the set reading is essential for keeping up-todate with the modules and further reading is useful for exams and essay writing. It’s also important to keep to assignment deadlines, try to plan ahead and don’t
leave it all to the last minute! And don’t forget that your module leaders don't tend to read drafts! Staying organised can be tricky, particularly when you have so much freedom, but module leaders tend to advise you how many hours of reading should be done each week. It may seem like a lot at first, but sticking to this will make lectures and seminars a lot easier. Having been a fresher, the best advice anyone can offer is to keep up-to-date with weekly reading and try not to fall behind, attend regular tutorials and don’t be afraid to ask questions (even if it’s by email)! After the first few weeks it can be a good idea to make study groups and meet up in the Hive to help each other over coffee, or book a group study room in the library and work together. Although you are independent, you don't have to study alone.
Money, money, money! Jasmin Gray Unless you are one of a very lucky few, being poor is an inextricable part of the student experience. However, that’s not to say that you must live on instant noodles from now on. By following a few easy tips, even the most pitiful of student loans can be stretched. Make a budget So, what’s the easiest way to calculate your budget? When you receive your student loan, immediately set aside enough money for your rent and bills until your next loan payment. Divide the money that’s left by the number of weeks in the semester, and you have your weekly budget. Simple, right? It is, on the whole. However, even the most careful of budgeters have been left scrambling for coins under the sofa cushions because they forgot to consider a necessary expense. Remember, your budget has to cover:
Flickr: Simon Cunningham • • • • • • •
Food; Travel expenses; Toiletries; Going out; Mobile Phone contract; Clothes; Course books & printing costs.
If you find yourself struggling to cover the costs of these essentials with your weekly budget, it’s time to get a job. Or, if your pride really can’t stand it, make a grovelling phone call to your parents. Actually stick to your budget Anyone can make a budget, but it takes discipline to stick to it. If you are the sort of person who really struggles to keep track of spending, take your budget out of your account at the start of each week and pay for everything in cash. That way, you only spend what you know what you can afford.
Shop as a flat While this isn’t something you can implement straight away, once you get to know your flatmates, it is worth cooking as a group, even if it is just a few times a week. Not only may you win the flatmate lottery and end up living with the next Nigella, but it is a well-known fact that shopping for one works out much more expensive, as most of the fresh food you buy will go out of date before you get round to eating it. Make sure you have a student bank account A student bank account is extremely important when it comes to managing your money. Not only do they have interest-free overdrafts, but many come with bonuses, such as a free 16-25 railcard. This means you aren’t charged for overspending, and have the opportunity to save money in other areas!
It’s around this time in the life of a third year that the yearning to be a fresher again rears up. Seeing all your happy, worried, excited and slightly scared faces doesn’t half stimulate a gust of nostalgia for our first year.
Rob Drury It was when we met our group of flatmates who we’d share cereal with after a night out, when we found out it was in fact possible to burn garlic bread from the inside-out and when we smiled at our first over-70% grade and started the best three years of our lives. And for some of us, it’s when we decided to tell people we’re gay. Coming out at university can be pretty terrifying to start with; it’s about letting go of part of your being you’ve kept so closely and carefully to yourself, and everyone does it differently. Whether you’re making a flatmate guess it in your kitchen on a Thursday afternoon, or correcting someone at a gig when they asked you if any girls caught your eye in the LCR last night, you’ll do it your way when you’re ready. The responses you’ll get will be as varied as the outcomes of your attempts at cooking; though the responses will never be as bad as the pasta, sliced tomatoes and steamed carrot concoction you made
NIGHTLINE Suffolk Terrace, Roadway level, Block A, 08:00 - 20:00 Online listening: www.uea.ac.uk/nightline
one night. Some will know, some will laugh you through it, and some will take it in, smile and go back to the last thing you were talking about. It’s not necessarily the easiest thing to get used to, particularly if you kept any hint of your sexuality a secret before uni. Not only are you going to be trying to work out where you stand as yourself like everyone else (cue the well-loved, vomit-inducing phrase “everyone’s in the same boat”), you’ll eventually stumble over the gay community, and try and work out where you fit in that too. There’ll be some really good times, and there’ll probably be some less good times on the way too. The advice we’ll give you here at Concrete is don’t do it alone. You’ve got the prime opportunity in your new flatmates and friends from across your courses and societies; these guys will be the friendliest bunch you’ll ever know, and will be there when you need them. As well as the friends you’ll make within those spheres, there are people who’ll listen when you need them to as well. UEA Pride peer support society is a fantastically relaxed
THE UEA WELLBEING TEAM Reception: 01603 592761 Email: studentwellbeing@uea. ac.uk Dean of Students Office
social and campaigning group, Norwich Nightline are around when you’re anxious or upset at 2AM, or even if you just need a chat, and the Wellbeing Team within the Dean of Students office can be a real help. First year is a precious thing, but the best advice you could get from a third year could come from someone who was around before UEA even existed. Julian of Norwich (who the retina-meltingly pink building next to CD Annexe is named after) is well known for saying “…all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well” - which is a pretty good way to think about it. Keep the faith that in the end, everything will be fine; take your first year at the speed you want to and how you want to. Want to just be comfortable with yourself? Awesome, you can be. Want to have loads of sex? Great, but play safe and be a good human. Want to promote equality on campus? You’ll be welcomed. There’s a place for you here to be just who you want to be. Keep calm, because everything will be fine, you’re going to have an amazing time. And who knows, it could be you writing an article like this in your final year, reflecting on just how far you’ve come since that awful pasta, sliced tomatoes and steamed carrot dish (but your cooking might still suck).
You are not on your own. There are plenty of advice services on campus that provide support for students!
A Beginner’s Guide to SocMart Laura Crockett
As a fresher, societies will be the gateway to new friends and new experiences. But with over 200 different societies and sports clubs, SocMart easily becomes overwhelming and hard to navigate. Whether you are looking for a good night out with the cocktail society or bringing out the adventurous side of you with skydiving, the huge range of societies will have you wanting to sign up for everything! To make sure you get the most out of SocMart, here are some tips on tackling the two day extravaganza:
Look online before you go
By going onto the union website www.ueastudent.com/groups#clubsociety#sports beforehand, you will get a better idea of the societies you want to join and can then head straight over to the stall- in the crowded LCR and sports hall, you will be thanking us later.
Go with a group
It is always daunting trying something you have never done before by yourself, so get your flatmates together and go around as a group. You will feel more confident signing up for a society if you already know someone else doing it.
Try before you buy
The costs of societies are really reasonable, but it is easy to pay for a club straight away and then never go, and doing this for every society can quickly add up. Instead, go along to the introductory session first and then pay if you think it will be something you can commit to.
Buying Sports Insurance (SAM)
Photos Flickr; UniversityofEastAnglia
It is great to join a sports society, but the most important thing to remember is that before you can even go along to the trial, you need to have bought sports insurance. This is unfortunately the costly aspect of doing sport, but once you have paid the £35, you are covered for the entire year and can do as many sports as you want. Plus, an added bonus is that with your SAM card, you can get 20% off from the union bar during the sports night every Wednesday.
One of the best things about coming to university is being able to try new things, and there are so many societies out there that people aren’t aware off. Alongside your subject society, which is always a good place to start, don’t be afraid to try something that you have never done. Make sure you check out the more unusual societies, such as Assassins, where the members ‘hunt’ each other, or knitting, where you can catch up with new friends whilst learning a new skill. And of course, check out the Concrete stall for a chance to try out your writing abilities. SocMart has so much to offer, but one final thing to remember is that if you cannot find a society which matches what you love to do, the union does offer students the opportunity to form new clubs and societies. All you need to do is find 20 other liked-minded people and get in touch with the union, who will then assist you with completing the necessary forms. Make the most of SocMart and enjoy yourself- you’re only a fresher once.
What’s what The Union of UEA Students (UUEAS): The independent and democratically-run charity tasked with representing and supporting students at UEA. It provides services such as the LCR, Shop and Hive, runs campaigns on issues affecting students and lobbies the university’s management for better conditions for students. Sabbatical Officers (Sabbs): These five individuals are the collective leadership of the UUEAS. The team is composed of the Campaigns & Democracy Officer, the Undergraduate Education Officer, the Postgraduate Education Officer, the Activites and Opportunities Officer and the Welfare, Community & Diversity Officer. All five are paid an annual salary and are elected by students every year in a campus-wide ballot. Part-Time Officers: These part-time officers are also elected every year, and but not paid. Some of these are Liberation Officers tasked with supporting and representing certain groups of marginalised students; others represent specific groups of students or campaign on certain issues. Union Council: Union Council is the representative body of UEA students, composed of 300 members elected from clubs, societies, courses and departments. Union Council ultimately has power over almost all of the student union’s actions, although if it proposes a policy that might be illegal or damaging to the union’s finances then the union’s Trustee Board will have to approve the proposal as well. There are also plans for general meetings where any student can attend and vote to set union policy. What the union does: • Runs the Hive, LCR, bar, Shop, advice centre, box office and Waterfront. • Provides funding, rooms and support for all student societies and clubs. • Lobbies the university administration to provide better conditions for students when it comes to exams, coursework, extension requests, accommodation, seminars, lectures and anything affecting students in their life at UEA. • Provides support for students through the advice centre, peer support groups and Liberation Officers. • Runs campaigns around issues affecting students and general ethical, environmental or social justice issues. So what’s the difference between the university and the union? The student union and the university are entirely independent institutions,
Elliot Folan’s Guide to
DEMOCRACY IN THE UNION OF UEA STUDENTS
Flickr, Blue Square Thing providing different services and funded in different ways. Many of the elements of UEA life that are non-academic are actually run, indirectly or directly, by the student union – the bar, the LCR, student societies and clubs, even the annual Pimp My Barrow competition. The Dean of Students is run by the university, while Café Direct, Waterstones and The Campus Kitchen are run by independent companies. The student union’s funding comes mostly from its commercial services: the food and drink it sells, ticket sales and sports association membership. It also receives an annual grant from the university known as a “block grant”. How the student union makes decisions: The day-to-day business of the student union is run by the five Sabbatical Officers, who work out of an office in Union House. All the part-time and full-time officers meet regularly and make other strategic decisions as part of a Student Officer Committee (SOC). Union Council sets union policy and can instruct the union officers to take action on any issue. How can you get involved and change union decisions and policy? Get involved with Union Council: any student can attend Union Council and speak, although only councillors are allowed to vote. You can find out who your councillor is, and how you can contact them, by visiting the Union Council section at www.ueastudent.com. Alternatively, you can become a Council member yourself by getting elected to represent your club, society or course. Contact the Union’s Representation Support worker at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get involved.
Attend a general meeting General meetings happen a couple of times a term. They’ll discuss specific policy issues rather than the technical motions of Union Council, but any student can attend and vote to set the Union’s policy on that specific issue. Vote or run in elections Elections for the student officer committee usually take place in February or March of the spring term, so the next elections should be in spring 2015. There are also elections for National Union of Students (NUS) National Conference delegates in November 2014 – delegates vote on NUS policy and decide the direction of the national student movement. Use the union’s online democracy There are plans for online petition systems and mechanisms by which students can make Union Council discuss certain issues if an issue attracts enough support. Watch out for these on www.ueastudent. com Join a campaign group In between elections and outside of Union Council, there are numerous groups that seek to make change at UEA and in the wider world. Among these groups are the party political societies such as UEA Labour, UEA Green Party, UEA Conservatives and UEA Lib Dems. But there are also non-partisan social justice groups such as UEA People & Planet, UEA Feminism, Defend Education UEA, UEA Pride, Amnesty International, Stop the Traffik and many others. If you want to get involved by scrutinising decisions, informing students and in fluencing opinion, Concrete would be delighted to have you! To see the list of all such groups and to find out how to get involved, visit www.ueastudent.com/groups.
What is your first memory of being a fresher? I guess it’s moving in, and I remember pulling up to the car park and having this wash of fear take over. But then, luckily, I had really nice flatmates. First thing I did was go to my room, sit there and take pictures of the room. Then, one of my flatmates came into my room and asked if I wanted to go for a coffee and then that’s how I made my friends and felt comfortable. She’s still one of my best friends.
Oh, and make sure you don’t spend all your time in your room, it’s good to spend time getting to know people and go and get the free pizza on campus!
What was your expectation of uni? I expected to be really alone, and that I would find it really hard to make friends. And also, that the lecturers wouldn’t want to help, but that’s not how it turned out. I think everyone was in the same boat so it was super easy to make friends. I didn’t expect to get that much help but I did on my course.
Is there anything you’d do differently? No I don’t think I would as I got fully involved. I joined societies and went to all the socials. Just get involved in everything. The worst part is going to socials on your own. If you can, then definitely go with someone else, but it’s still better to go than not. But it’s different for everyone!
What was the best thing you did in Freshers’ Week? I think the best thing to do is to go to town which is what I did. So knowing the route to the supermarkets, and getting to know the general area is a good idea. And go to all of the events. You make the majority of your initial friends on these nights. Go to any course type things that they tell you to go to; I didn’t, but you should! They really help as obviously you don’t know what they are talking about next week.
How did you find the transition from the International Baccalaureate to uni? I actually found it easier but what I did find stressful was being in charge of your own workload and keeping to deadlines. For people that like to leave work until the last minute, leave a week. So I’d say three days research and planning for an essay and then three days for writing. I did leave it until last minute occasionally and it was rushed and I wouldn’t get the best grade that I could!
Are you happy with the way first year went? Yes, I am happy that I became president of ACS and that I put myself out there. And getting my Futurer Radio internship. Did you think that you would have achieved everything you have done? I didn’t even think I’d even join ACS, let alone become president. I didn’t think I’d make the friends, but I did. I think it’s something to do with the environment of uni that allows you to do stuff like this. Any tips? My tip is take any and every risk with university in general. This is your only time to be young and make mistakes (obviously within reason). What skill have you learnt that you didn’t have before? About myself mostly, as you can’t always turn to your parents. You learn to clean and that kind of thing. Interview by Becca Bemment
pointers to a successful university career
Ephraim Luwemba Clean your desk A wise man once told me that the state of your room is a clear indication of the state of your mind. Your environment affects your performance more than most things, and a desk is a funny thing. It can be an enticing and exciting lover, an exhilarating foe, or an altogether repellent slob. We don’t really have much control over exchanges of the former, but if your desk is covered with sticky beer stains and stinks of rotten banana peels, then I don’t blame you for not mustering up the will to get out of bed and write a lab report – so get tidying! Find the correct writing instrument Just like cleaning your desk, having the right pen is useful because it saves time
and makes you happy. Writing with a pen (stylus, or keyboard and app) that agrees with you can get you to make notes faster, more legibly, and most importantly, more enthusiastically. Enthusiasm – barring orderly noting technique – is usually the difference between useless notes that trail off mid lecture and wonderfully in-depth ones that not only record the bare bones of the lesson, but also include your own on-the-spot insights. Don’t make learning a chore! Honestly – research, test, decide, and invest! Keep fit This is the last of the tips in which your transformation is dependent upon how mind reflects body. Holistic fitness is a concept that deals with physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. It’s incredibly important that you eat and exercise well and sleep on time at least a few times a week. Creating a routine and sticking to it until it is habit is the easiest way to assure you are doing this. It also helps to have networks – friends, in layman’s terms. Once your inner environment is running smoothly, you will find that you
won’t have to work as hard to concentrate in classes and commit things to memory, giving you more time to do other things. A good routine is generally what sets intense achievers and crammers apart. Keep a progress journal There are plenty of good reasons to keep a journal, not least amongst them being that it teaches you how to write, which is a pretty essential skill at university level. But besides that, one type of journal – the progress journal – is particularly useful to students. A progress journal is a book in which you keep a record of work and comment upon it. You can comment on the way you went about doing the work, say how effective your methods were, or even set goals and go through returned feedback. Alternatively, you could simply track your grades. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, then the record that you’ve kept will give you an idea of where it is that you need to straighten up. At the end of the day, the significance of a progress journal is that it keeps you accountable and fosters selfdirected academic development.
Beth Saward While this may not seem the most exciting article in this Freshers’ Guide to UEA, it will hopefully be the most useful for you in your first few weeks of uni life. Here, you’ll find all the places that are handy to know about when you first arrive in Norwich. The first of these would be the local supermarkets: after all, food and booze will probably be a high priority when you arrive in halls! The closest to campus is Tesco which is around a twenty-minute walk from campus. To get there, you walk off campus past the Sportspark, turn right and then follow this road down to the roundabout. It’s on the end at the left. It’s a Tesco Express attached to a petrol station so there isn’t the widest choice of produce available. For more choice, Morrisons is only a bus ride away. Both
the 25 and the 25A go from campus to straight outside the supermarket if you get a ticket to Riverside. It’s a good idea if you’re planning on doing this to take backpacks with you for carrying your shopping back. The Shop on campus is good for essentials but might not have everything you’re looking for considering its size. Asda also delivers to campus which is a good idea if you and your flatmates place an order together. Another vital place to know is the train station. This one’s simple: you just have to jump on the 25 or 25A and then ask for a ticket to the train station. If you’re 19 or under, you can get a young person’s ticket. The bus station is equally as easy to find. Get a ticket to St Stephens Street and get off in front of Chapelfield (this is just after the big roundabout), cross the road and follow it around past Iceland until you reach the signs for the bus station. Boots on campus is great for getting
your prescriptions but isn’t open at the weekends. The big Boots in Chapelfield is open at the weekends and is the place to go when you need emergency contraception or medication. In case you need to see a GP in an emergency, there is a walk-in centre on the top floor of Castle Mall that is open for Nurse Appointments from 07:00 – 21:00 and GP appointments from 08:00 – 20:00 for 365 days of the year. To get to Chapelfield, get the same bus route as mentioned earlier to get to the bus station. To get to Castle Mall, simply get the 25 or 25A to Castle Meadow. You have to walk back along the road to the castle and cross the road to get to the shopping centre. Hopefully, this guide will have helped you find all the essential but slightly less exciting places in Norwich. After all, the madness of Freshers’ Week will only last for so long before you have to begin to be a responsible adult.
Lydia Tewkesbury highlights some common first year worries and gives advice on how to tackle them with confidence.
You miss home
Have kitchen anxiety
You want to sort out your room
It’s easy to consider feelings of homesickness as failure. You end up telling yourself that missing home is wrong, that coming to university was a huge decision so you shouldn’t be looking back, but forward! Etc.
You’ve just moved in with ten strangers and they’re all sitting in your kitchen, talking. It’s terrifying.
Homesickness isn’t a failure. It’s okay to miss home. Everybody does, even the most confident and independent person in your flat misses home. Text your friends or your parents, then get out of your room and go help other people miss home a little less. You’ll help yourself in the process.
Go and join them, they’re just as terrified as you, and besides, avoiding your kitchen isn’t practical. The ten strangers are nice and interesting people waiting for you to get to know them. For some, joining the group is a difficult first step, but it’s one you have to make. You won’t regret it.
Not unpacking is the same as not committing, and you need to commit to make this work. Put up posters; fill your room with books or set up a ridiculously oversized TV. Whatever it is that has made you instantly relax upon closing the door to your bedroom for the last 18-odd years, bring it with you. Create something familiar in all this newness.
Cooking on Campus Courtney Pochin
e all know there’s nothing that can beat mum’s home cooked food sausage and mash, apple crumble and of course a good old Sunday roast, but just because you’ve moved out of the house, doesn’t mean you can’t still have those kind of meals. For many first time uni students, cooking will be nothing more than opening a box of take-away pizza, or putting a ready meal in the microwave, and while these are easy and relatively tasty options, there’s so much more you could be trying. It’s daunting when you don’t know what you’re doing or where to start, right now you might be worried that you’ll set the kitchen on fire, trust me I was exactly the same, but you get over your doubts. Once you’ve lived off of the basics for a week or two, you’ll be craving something more, something better – and you can have that. If you’re a total culinary novice then don’t be afraid to start simple. Get yourself a cook book of some kind, I personally recommend Nosh for Students by Joy and Ron May, which is cheap to buy on Amazon, but there will be plenty of other options available in the Waterstones on campus. Once you’ve done this, stock up on the essential ingredients you’ll need to have in the cupboard, the fridge and the freezer and make sure you’ve got the right equipment to use, the pots and pan sale in the Hive from the 17th to the 21st will be helpful for this. When you think you’ve got what you need, get cooking! Experiment, have fun with food and go a little crazy but just remember to clean up after yourself, your flatmates (or your cleaner) won’t appreciate the mess.
Check out the Lifestyle section of Concrete for regular, studentfriendly recipes!
Just seen that strange contraption in your kitchen? The thing they call a microwave oven? It’s a pretty weird invention and you probably think “I’m never going to be able to make something decent in that!” Well fear not, it is actually possible to make a nutritious meal in the thing, it’s even possible to bake a cake in it! The roasted vegetable option was used most frequently in my flat, probably due to the number of vegetarians who lived there! If you’re stuck for quick ideas why not try peeling and chopping some veg (butternut squash, sweet potato and carrots work well) and then put them in a dish in the microwave on the roasted veg setting until they’re soft in the middle and crisp on the outside. Serve as an accompaniment to a meaty meal, or enjoy them on their own with a dipping sauce – it’s healthy and oh so good!
Don’t forget to cover food with tinfoil or clingfilm to stop it drying out and being wasted. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to put any meal leftovers in a plastic tub and store in the fridge for next day consumption or freezer for a later date.
Flickr: Mrs Magic
Invest in a packet of pegs or clips to keep open packets of food fresh. It also might be handy to buy freezer bags and several plastic tubs to store leftovers in.
A great way to save money, bond with housemates and eat great food is to organise a night during the week when you and your flatmates make one big meal together. In my flat, we had ‘fajita night’ and we’d all club together for the ingredients then work in shifts to cook. It’s a good idea to pick a meal that can be adapted easily to suit different diets, for example for vegetarians, that way everybody gets to be included.
If you’re struggling with cooking then you’re probably going to want to order take out a lot. This can get very expensive, so it would be best to do some research into money saving deals before you pick up the phone. For example if some of your flatmates are also craving pizza, hit up Dominos on a Tuesday and take advantage of their “two for Tuesday” offer. Another option would be to head on over to the Campus Kitchen for their take on fish and chips. (They also usually have a range of mouth-watering cheesecake, so really it’s a win-win situation!)
UEA is the place to be for music. From the LCR to The Waterfront, you’ll be spoilt for choice with what gigs to go to! Myles Earle Coming to Norwich can be a scary thing in itself, let alone going to university. You may have no idea where everything is or where to go, but one thing is for sure. Norwich is a hub of music culture. First and foremost, Norwich has so many venues where gigs and acts tend to do their warm-up shows before they go on tour. A couple of years ago, you would have found the likes of Azealia Banks and Maverick Sabre at the height of their success performing at Norwich’s hotspot for musical talent, The Waterfront, as well as at the UEA’s own LCR. As a new student, you may be sceptical of the quality of performers in Norwich, but you couldn’t be further from the truth if you think that the music scene is anything short of buzzing. Many headliners such as Emeli Sandé have graced a stage in Norwich, so you are certain not to miss out on the top choice of performers this year. As a student, make sure you keep an eye out on UEA’s ticket booking service online (www.ueaticketbookings. co.uk) and on campus, as this will be the place for you to get a hold on some tickets to one of your favourite artists at a much cheaper price than in places like London or Manchester. And don’t forget that you could do worse than to keep an eye on the Concrete website. Sign up and you will get the low down on who’s coming to venues around Norwich, when and for how much. If you’re a music fanatic or just a subtle music admirer, there will be a gig or performance in Norwich for you. You’ve also got a chance to go to Norfolk’s famous Sundown Festival, with 2014’s line up ranging from Clean Bandit and Ellie Goulding to Chase and Status and Tinie Tempah. There’s nothing better than exploring Norwich for its rich music taste and vibe. And keep an eye out for the odd open-mic night at a range of bars within Norwich’s City Centre, the odd street performer singing covers of some of your favourite songs and the many independent record shops scattered about the city. For those vinyl collectors out there, you’ll have a field day with the amount that you come across on a Saturday afternoon. The perk of coming to UEA is that there is never a lack of opportunities to get involved with music. Joining the Live Music Society, or even writing for Concrete’s Music section will give you the chance to perform or review live performances and shows around Norwich. Once you get your bearings with the campus, you’ll start to see the reoccurring line up poster of all the bands and performers coming to Norwich for 2015, so make sure you take the time to read through. Check the listings online, or on your way to your next lecture, and make sure to use the brilliant services at UEA and around Norwich for music!