Freshers week began with the opening party. All planning to go, we decided to have pre drinks in our new kitchen before going. During pre – drinks, I tried to make as many friends in as many of the other blocks around Bede Hall as possible.
I got changed and waited for my other new friends to get ready so we could all go together. I found a taxi number on De Montfort University taster day, so we booked a taxi using their service and caught a taxi with my new friends to the venue.
As I’d purchased a wristband prior to coming to university, I was able to jump to the front of various queues to get inside.
Arranging to meet more people at the venue, I weaved in and out crowds to the front of a balcony so we would be seen more easily. As it was relatively early still, I felt I was in a suitable enough place where I wouldn’t get knocked by to many drunk students, I was able to obtain a great view from the balcony of everything below including the stage where DJ’s would be playing their music through the night. As the night went on, the club got more and more crowded and the music grew louder. Throughout the night we saw friends and other students that would become my course mates in a few weeks time. This was very entertaining as we continued to dance and have a lot of fun, it was a great night.
The following morning after the opening party, we all headed to the university to officially register at the university. Feeling tired from the night before, I dragged myself out of bed and went to register.
Anxious that I wouldn’t look my best on the day after the opening party and knowing that this would be my ID photograph on my card for three years, I uploaded my student ID image a few weeks previous to me coming to university.
Then providing my passport and a form of identification as well as the offer letter which offered me and confirmed me an official place on the Creative Writing and Journalism course. Then moving along the queue, I picked up my official student card which I would use to access my resources around the university.
Staring at card, I realised that I was an official student at De Montfort University!
On the Sunday night, it was time for the freshers ball, the one I was most looking forward too. Unfortunately a few days before the freshers ball we got wind that one of the headline performances, Clean Bandit, had to cancel their appearance.
I was disappointed by this as I really was looking forward to see them. As a result of this, some people were selling their tickets. I however decided to go as I didn’t go to my freshers ball and Southampton.
Out of the many dresses I chose to bring to Leicester, I coincidently wore the one I was supposed to wear to the Southampton Solent’s freshers ball.
I felt it was fitting and I would be able to treat it like the first time. Joining my friends for pre drinks was fun, I really felt one of the group, we played drinking games and I got a bit hyper.
Heading to the Athena club venue and upon finding the bouncers were very helpful I showed my wristband I was able to jump the queues.
This venue was much better to the one we went to for the opening party, every floor there was accessible and very spacious even with the extent of the students that were going to attend that night, there would be plenty of room to dance around.
I managed to get to the very front of the top balcony, I had a brilliant view of the stage and enjoyed the atmosphere of the night and enjoyed the live performances from Louisa Johnson and the DJ.
Lousia Johnson was live on stage and did some fantastic performances of songs, including her own and cover songs.
The DJ played all the songs I knew and as a result of me drinking probably too much, I sang along to the songs and danced like no one was watching.
As the night continued, my friends and I listed to great music, got tipsy and danced the night away.
SUCCEEDING AT UNIVERSITY
During Freshers, we all attended a ‘Succeeding At University’ presentation, which reminded me a lot of one we had on the DMU technology taster day.
The session was a repeat of what was covered on the taster day which was annoying – as the sessions during welcome week were mandatory and I basically had to sit through it all again. Yawn!
To first time university students it may have been helpful but not necessarily to me. However, I did find some parts were useful like the parts about the library and how to use it, then the different sections available which had particular focus on the individual subjects.
I was interested and found it useful to know there was librarians, who worked to rep rest the individual courses at De Montfort University to assist the student in any way they need. This was very reassuring and comforting for me.
The presentation also provided usual information about the services the university offer such as counseling and the career/placement service, which was useful to know for future need.
To finish, the tutor leading the presentation told us to write down what we think makes the ‘perfect student’.
We then spent ages listing the elements that we thought makes the ‘perfect student’, then we prioritised them from one onwards. Then submitting our answers, we got told there is no such thing as a perfect student.
Honestly! What a waste of time.
SUBJECT INTRODUCTION – JOURNALISM
Throughout freshers week, I went to some pointless presentations and mandatory sessions, but this finally was a useful one.
This was the journalism induction session. In this session, I found out what to expect during my years of study in the journalism element of the joint honors degree. We met every member of the journalism team even those who wouldn’t be teaching us until second and third year.
I found this was interesting and it was useful to put a face to the names. Next we were given a handbook, which included everything I needed to know about the course as well information on all the facilities and a brief of all of the online material we would use during the course.
There was also a module guide with a break down of each of the modules involved in the first year of the degree, the content also included information on what kind of things we would learn in the modules and the skills we would gain and the practical and written assignments and projects we would get during the deration of the year.
During the session we were also assigned personal tutors who would see us through our time at De Montfort University.
The one I got was really nice and told me that there was nothing to worry about as they had already had one disabled student studying the same course, and they made all the adaptions and alterations that was needed so everything would be fine.
The tutor reassured me that whatever assistance I needed and they would be able to sort it out for me. I found it really comforting and reassuring as I don’t want my disability to hold me back and I want to get the most out of the course, achieving the best possible result I can.
After this, we got set a task to conduct a five minute interview with the person next to us about anything we wished.
Being the interviewer, I asked her about her hobbies and interests as well as her future aspirations and upon answering, I was able to find out very interesting things. All good. I also found out that we had a lot in common such as she likes drawing and designing.
I was also able to find out that our future aspirations were of a similar nature too. When the tables were turned, she went straight in and asked me personal questions such as what age did I have first kiss?
Having a chance to conduct the interview was very useful as it allowed me to get to know my friend better, but it also allowed me to pick up tips and skills that I can use during the course.
Then following on from this, we were told to write it up in a form of an article, this allowed me to use my knowledge and skills to write the article and then gave me the chance to receive critical feedback to make my work better.
I must learn to take the feedback on board for future articles throughout my course and my career as a journalist.
SUBJECT INTRODUCTION – CREATIVE WRITING
Studying a joint honors degree, I had to attend a Creative Writing introduction session, to get briefed on what to expect during my years of study in the Creative Writing element of the joint honors degree.
I was able to meet my fellow course mates and the members of the Creative Writing team who would be teaching us at De Montfort University.
Similar to the teaching team on the journalism course, all of the Creative Writing tutors has industry experience in some form. We were given a presentation on everything we needed to know about the course, information on all the facilities and online material we would use during the course.
In the presentation, we were also given a break down of the modules that we would cover in the academic year, including descriptions of the assignments during the deration of the year. As a challenge, we had to chose a passage from a book that we had read, then read it out and be able to tell others what we liked about it and the impact it had on us.
After looking at all the books I read, I chose a passage from ‘Please Don’t Cry,’ I had recently brought the book after hearing the writer being interviewed about it on the TV show, This Morning.
When I chose it, I hadn’t read much of the book, but what I’d grasped from it was that the story is so gripping and heart breaking, I had struggled to put it down and that’s saying a lot for me, as I often don’t read at all.
I love that its based on a real tragic story about friendship and loss. I feel it uses powerful vocabulary and portrayed and it to show how deeply the character felt about the different events that happened. I feel the book is defiantly worth a read.
Freshers fair was something I looked forward too, I was able to get a great number of free things including vouchers and free pizza.
The hall which the freshers fair was held was crowed. It was absolutely full of stalls, promoting businesses and restaurants as well as events and opportunities around De Montfort University and Leicester.
As the exhibition hall was so crowded I had to move forward inch by inch being passed vouchers and coupons to get discounts and free food, without having to much chance to actually looking around. Finally getting around to the back of the exhibition hall we found a Dominos stall.
By texting a word to a number it gave a code to be able to get free pizza. Then moving onto the another Dominos stall, we span a wheel and whatever the wheel landed on I would get.
There was all sorts of prizes like different sizes of pizzas or sides or discounts. I was eager so I span it and annoyingly out of all the great prizes, I got a pen… another pen. Accepting this, I received my vouchers and received my free slice of pizza which made it all better.
BONKERS BAR CRAWL
The Bonkers Bar Crawl was the most anticipated night of them all as it and had got so much hype from the university, student union and fellow students.
Prior to the Bonkers Bar Crawl we were required to purchase our coloured T-shirts symbolising what time we would start the bar crawl. As no one knew anyone when purchasing their T-shirts, there was a sudden rush to sell and, or exchange ones so they could go at the same time as their friends in a group.
Personally I wasn’t fussed about going to the Bonkers Bar Craw, however as there was so much hype and we had already brought T -shirts, we decided to go, even if it was for a short time. According to our route, we were scheduled to start the bar crawl at 11:00.
Annoyingly the first bar and club on our route wasn’t wheelchair accessible nor was the second one!
Feeling a little left out and upset, I watched my friends go into the club to have a few drinks, but I suppose it couldn’t be helped.
Luckily I had researched the bars and clubs on different routes before we set out and decided to continue along the bar crawl until I found a club and bar which was accessible.
Walking around and around, I passed many large groups of students going in different directions, heading for different pubs and clubs around the city.
Continuing to walk around, I finally found a pub that was accessible. This pub had a very long queue entering it, so it showed that it was a popular pub.
I heard very loud dance music and the clinking of glasses inside and getting into the pub and weaving in and out of the crowds we found a small table towards the back.
I was half way through our drinks when friends found me, they were already full of alcohol, so I played catch – up. When we were all full of alcohol, we all acted silly which was fun to do and watch. Still feeling very tipsy, we all decided to head back to halls.
As we were stumbling back to halls, we decided to get some food and take it back to halls. I had not had chicken nuggets or cheesy chips since last drunken night at Southampton Solent University. Nothing better after a drunken night out!
The activities fair was really busy. The square in which it was held was full of stalls of the different clubs and societies involved at De Montfort University.
As I had made a group of friends by this point we all went together on that day. Using a map, a weaved around the crowded square clubs and societies that were there.
I was determined to join a few clubs and societies as I wanted to make this university experience better than the one had in Southampton.
There were a great number of them available for students to join; not only sports teams for men and women but a number of other amazing societies such as the video game society and cocktail making society. I wanted to join clubs or societies that fitted my interests, but also I wanted to challenge myself and join something new.
Having this philosophy in mind, I took a another look around. To a great disappoint there wasn’t a Harry Potter society, evidently they got rid of it as it was unpopular. I felt like crying. I considered to join the DJ society as I loved music and wanted to work with the equipment and loved putting playlists together.
There was also a cocktail society which is perfect for a student, you can sit around and socialise and drink cocktails all night.
When I considered them, I thought about the extent of work I would get when the course started, so I decided to join the DJ society and the cocktail society in year two and join one society in my first year, while I got used to life at the university.
In the end I joined Demon Media, I felt this society would be a lot of fun and allow me to get involved with the different sectors of media with a great opportunity to get my work recognised and possibly published.
At the activity fair during freshers week, I joined Demon Media as I planned to do from the first day of university.
To get as much information as I could about the society I joined and the opportunities it offered me, I picked up leaflets and a mini posters about all the strands.
Within the society, I could get involved in the university’s magazine, ’The Demon’, DemonTV the university’s television studio, DemonTech, where students would help deal with all the equipment needed within the society, Demon’s Social Media team where students promote all that happens in the Demon Media society, Demon Online, the society’s website where articles and videos written or made by De Montfort University students and finally Demon FM, the student radio station.
I knew that it would only be practical to join a few of the strands within Demon Media due to the commitment each had, and then the commitment I’d made to my studies.
When considering each of the strands to join, I took into account which ones I would find the most fun, which would help me form the best friendship groups and above all which would help me gain the most experience and skills, benefiting me the most in the future.
After thinking for a long time and reading the leaflets; I signed up to Demon’s social media team – as I could enhance the skills I had already gained in previous social media roles and gain new skills.
I also decided to join and write for ‘The Demon’ magazine and Demon Online, where my articles could be reconised, showcased and published, which I could then add to an online portfolio.
Finally I signed up to Demon FM in which you could be a part of a real radio station, host your own show on a radio station that is not just broadcasted at the university but throughout Leicester on 107.5 FM. I couldn’t wait!
DEMON MEDIA INFORMATION DAY
During freshers week those who were interested in Demon Media could go to an information day where all the societies were putting on sessions for each strand involved in the society. On that day, I had a very tight schedule as most of my sessions were mandatory that day so I decided to go to one of the sessions. I thought about it and went join the Demon FM session and went to check out the studios. Greeted at the door of the magnificent studios, we were given all the information on the strand. Then we were met with the surprise of participating in a mock radio show on Demon FM, the theme of the show, ‘being a fresher’. I was absolutely caught off guard but definitely up for the challenge. As there was a lot of us interested in the strand who had appeared at that time, we were split into smaller groups and started work on our own radio show with this particular theme. I really enjoyed this as it allowed me to see how a radio studio worked during a live show. Alongside this, it also gave me a feel of what it would be like to develop content for a radio show. I felt that the atmosphere was very relaxed and chatty which was great. There was actually points within the show that I actually forgot that we were recording a live radio show. At the end of the show, I felt pleased and confident on my pleased with my performance on the radio show and based on this show, I was eager to participate in a regular show while I was at De Montfort University. To make sure I wasn’t to forget this wonderful experience, I was sent a complete vision of this radio show with music and the official Demon FM jingles. Listening to the official copy of this radio show, I felt a real sense of achievement that I will never forget to this day.
FRESHERS OLD SCHOOL DISCO
The old school disco was a very enjoyable night to me. This was the first fancy dress party of freshers week. The theme of the fancy dress being an old school disco, we were all encouraged to dress in school uniforms or outfits that students wear at school discos. Embracing this theme, I went into the local shopping centre and began looking for my outfit to wear on that night. I am a shopaholic and have a really bad habit of staying in clothes shops and looking around and around until I found the perfect outfit. After deliberating long and hard over each outfit I picked up, looking in the mirror wearing each one, I finally picked up one which got my approval. I decided on a half black and grey jumper and half a plain white shirt, then a black skirt just reaching below the knees and a pair of black boots. Deciding to co – ordinate at a group, friends brought similar outfits, girls wore shirts, jumpers, skirts or trousers while boys wore trousers, a jacket, shirt and tie. Pre – drinks were brilliant that night, I was finally was able to relax and let go and I and was able enjoy myself properly, all playing card games which involved a lot of drinking! After a few too many to drink we got a taxi to the venue, Athena night club. Once I found my friends, we had more to drink and started to dance. Athena was full of the latest music, accompanied by a few old school classics which were fitting to the theme of the night. I loved this and just kept dancing with my newly found friends, the night was crazy, we kept drinking and dancing as more friends joined us.
The next morning, my head and throat hurt badly but I can’t remember much of the night before, according to my friends I had a lot of vodka and coke to drink and had been singing along to the music at the top of my voice. Seeing photos, it wasn’t my finest few hours but it was a hell of a good night.