The first week of second year was so vastly different from that of first year that September 2015 almost seems like a different age.
Twelve months ago everything was new; I was living in a tower of two hundred strangers from across the world, had no sense of what the City was like, and was frantically scrolling through the Wikipedia on ‘historiography’ before my first Seminar.
In hindsight, I wouldn’t trade this disorientation for familiarity as it was such an exciting adventure that has brought me to write this blog in my comfortable flat, shared with friends after a seminar where I knew (*most) of what was being discussed.
Maybe the move from the ever noisy City centre to the quiet, leafy Chertsey Road (opposite Clifton Down Station) has made first year appear more thrilling than it was. Certainly my targets for this year are more focussed on getting a first class degree than seeing how many consecutive nights I can go out, but this year I have learned to manage my time more efficiently. As such in comparison to last year, all it took was a timetable to reveal to me, I have much fewer hours to mess around. The workload certainly has increased but I am finding the necessitated increased engagement with lecturers and Historians to be very rewarding in developing my skills as a Historian. This fuels a passion that provides a different motivation than just ‘doing well’.
That is not to say that I haven’t found time to do fun things, and this year I have even found time to start swing dancing and have found a job at the SU. One of the roles was giving away freebies to freshers at a Pirate Themed night at the 02 Academy, this was certainly the culmination of my University career so far. Out of the blue, as I threw a treasure chest inflatable parrots and sharks from the stage to the mass of first years below, I had a moment of reflection. Everyone there in some respect was like me last year; be it confused as to whether they will see tonight’s friends ever again, living away from home probably for the first time, or in the back of their mind wondering about how that 9am will go tomorrow. What united everyone however was the electricity in the air, the sense of anticipation that now was the time to disregard all these worries and make tonight that one unforgettable night you return to in memory. My perspective from the stage, as a second year was like the blow up creatures that night that everything falls into place.