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Disaster Management Other

MSc Update

So the teaching side is all finished, and I’m happy to say that I am above 70% and therefore on track for a 1st. Yey! I’m going to Japan to do dissertation research: should have been in August but will now be September. I’ve never really been that bothered about visiting Japan, but I am looking forward to it.

Unfortunately the Japan trip is making job-hunting harder. I have had a few interviews but all unsuccessful, even though some went very well. I’m now on the dole and having to look for temporary work for the rest of the summer, because who is going to want to hire me when I need to take a month off almost straight away?!

Other

Freshers’ Week

The weekend was quite boring but things improved throughout the week. We had a programme induction on Monday, where we were given course guides and met our lecturers/tutors. There are about 30 of us on the course. Afterwards I spent some time in the coffee shop with a few of them.

On Tuesday we had a library induction and I went round the freshers’ fair and sports fair with the people I met yesterday. I got a few freebies (most of which are now in the bin) and signed up to a few clubs. I feel like a lot of the clubs miss out on some interest because they’re so competitive: they don’t have much room for people who just want to play a sport for fun. Thankfully the kayaking, equestrian and badminton clubs I’ve signed up to do understand ‘recreational’. They looked a bit confused at the football table though. But I’ve since found the ‘give it a go’ sports programme, which is basically the recreational clubs. So I can do football after all. And ultimate frisbee. Maybe.

On Wednesday I had a meeting with the programme director. During the induction he mentioned that we could do extra modules, such as GIS (which used to be one of the options but isn’t anymore), but it won’t appear on the transcript. Basically we can either just sit in on lectures and he will write a reference saying this, or we can do the coursework too, and he’ll give the mark gained in the reference. I also asked about being a course rep, which looks like very little work but still something to add to the CV. Afterwards I went around the societies fair and signed up to a few: World Vision, rock music, photography, film, sky diving, volunteering, and One Planet. The fifth housemate arrived tonight: one more to come.

Thursday started with a walk: our lecturers were taking us on the Ouseburn walk, which led from the university, down to the river, along the quay, and up the Ouseburn. They told us a bit about the history of Newcastle, and some rather disturbing things about reclaimed contaminated land. Then we went to a really nice pub called The Cluny for lunch and a quiz. It’s just across the road from Stepney Bank Stables, where I hope to volunteer soon. I had to leave early because I had my gym induction, which I was a couple of minutes late for. So I got to see all that the new £30m sports facility has to offer: a swimming pool, climbing wall, huge fitness suite, sports halls, arena… lots! I signed up straight after, so I have to go now to make the most of it!

The weather up until Thursday has been fantastic. It’s been so warm and sunny, I’ve been walking around in vest tops and skirts, and not believing I’m in northern England! But on Thursday afternoon the heavens opened. It bucketed down for a couple of hours, so I went into town and bought a hat and an umbrella: I guess there’ll be more of this to come! On my way home I went to the library and checked out my first book: Green Development.

Today I had nothing to do in uni, so I stayed in bed until lunchtime, then I went to B&Q to buy a shelving unit, and that has basically been it!

My housemates have been going out and doing the fresher thing. The two girls have been out a couple of times but haven’t gone nuts. The newest guy went out last night but is in tonight. And the fresher guy – in the room next to me – has definitely been making the most of freshers’ week. I don’t think he’s been in before 4am, he’s loud, and he’s often drunk when he wakes up in the morning too! He apologises to me every day and asks if he woke me. He has woken me a few times, but now it’s all blurred into one. I’m hoping he’ll calm down once uni starts and he gets a few more shifts in work.

So I haven’t been out yet. Me and Mum went for supper in town last Friday, but were both too knackered to go bar hopping afterwards! And the idea of a few thousand 18 years olds in their first week away from home scares me a bit. I do want to go out and socialise, but I’m happy to wait until I go to some course and society socials. Our lecturers do a Friday night pub thing every week, and one of them is having a garden party next week. And between all the clubs and societies, I should have a few nights out!

Other

Starting in Newcastle

I’m feeling quite bored and lonely at the moment. I’m worried it’s all going to go the same way as Leeds did. Or that I don’t connect with my housemates. It didn’t help that today I lost the piece of paper that had the key code for the door and alarm on. I spent a couple of hours worrying that I might’ve dropped it right outside the house, or that I’d been pick-pocketed. I had a brief wander on campus, finding the main buildings and students’ union. Again, I felt noticeable as I was alone.

I need to get over this. I need to make sure that I get involved. I want to. It’s only my shyness holding me back.

So I’ve met 3 housemates and the boyfriends of one. Really nice people, but they are all 18, so it’s all new and exciting to them. One of the girls I’d been in touch with isn’t coming here anymore, and there’s still two more to arrive. The one thing that is becoming apparent though is that these guys all have their lives set up: they already knew each other, work together, and they’re all quite local. So I’m in a position where I absolutely have to get to know other people, or this could turn out to be an even more lonely experience than Leeds.

I’m hoping the course is small enough that I see the same group of people again and again. I’m hoping there’s lots of group work, so I can get to know people on the course. I hoping that by the time of the welcome fairs next week, I’ll have built up the guts to sign up to the societies I’m interested in.

I have to do this. I can’t spend this year thinking about how great life is at home: I’ll go nuts. I need to make the most of this year. It’s about setting up my career path as well as looking after my mental health. I haven’t set myself up in the best way, between not sorting things with Dad and my bizarre boy hang ups.