What is a placement year?
Maria and her friends decided to spend their third year on a work placement. Here Maria explains what that can involve.
by Maria Clark
So. Moving-in day. It was absolutely pouring down this morning, and moving my stuff from the car to my room was quite difficult! My move-in slot was from 11-12, so I went to Barker House Farm and collected my keys. Everyone there was very friendly, despite the weather. After moving in all my stuff to my room, I spent some time unpacking whilst my parents attended the Parents' Talk. All the reps say to unpack on the first day as it'll be too busy later in the week to do it then. I made my room nice and comfortable and met my parents to buy a few essentials, before saying goodbye. It was emotional, but I tried to hold it together and wasn’t embarrassed about crying – I saw lots of others doing the same thing, after all.
I didn't meet many of my flatmates initially as not all of them had moved in, but it gave me the time to settle into my surroundings on my own.
After a few hours of chatting to others, my freshers’ rep came to my flat and took us to the Welcome Talk, where we were introduced to the college JCR and staff team.
Lots of people were talking about going out tonight, but I’m sitting in my kitchen, typing this with a cup of hot chocolate and chatting with a new friend. It's very quiet in my college, but after an emotional day, it's exactly what I need – and means I'll have more energy for the events later in the week!
Slept well in my new uni room, and was surprised to see the sun shining as I opened my curtains. Today our Freshers Reps took us to Registration at the LICA building, which involves giving your e-ticket, proof of finance and passport to receive your student ID card. Make sure you take your own photo in advance if you don’t fancy a photo on the day!
I then attended a Major Talk from my Major department, English Literature and Creative Writing. We have a Department Day tomorrow which gives us a greater taster of the course and the type of learning we will need to use, but it was a nice opportunity to see how many others were on my course and to remind me why I actually came to university! It still feels very unreal – being at university – and the general fun atmosphere of Welcome Week makes it feel like a temporary holiday.
I’m going to Furness Karaoke tonight with a few friends I met on the Transitions Programme, something I really advise joining.
I can’t believe it’s October already! Had our first Department Day today, which involved being introduced to the different members of the department and then we had sample lectures/seminars.
I had to run for the bus into Lancaster as I did a tour of the castle this evening. It was very interesting – it’s also a former prison and court room – and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the town.
It’s only Tuesday, but I feel like I’ve been here for a lot longer. I’m getting on really well with my flatmates but I haven’t met too many other people yet. I’m not worried. It’ll take time to find really good friends, and there will be plenty of opportunities in the future to meet new people.
We caught the free bus to Sainsbury’s this morning and I managed to get everything I needed. It’s much easier to make a shopping list and even a meal plan for the week before you go, so you know what you need to buy – and so other things don’t keep falling into your basket!
We’re heading to the Take2Cinema this evening for a showing of Monsters University. A lot of people are out tonight but free food and drink will always win!
I’m definitely feeling at home now. I know where I’m going around campus – and know that my lectures are on the opposite side!
We queued for 1.5 hours to get into the Freshers Fair, and I came home with lots of leaflets for societies. I didn’t really have time to stop and ask any questions but all the societies use social media and encourage contact via Facebook and Instagram. There are almost too many societies to choose from! There are lots of taster sessions running next week, so I’m going to try to go to as many as I can.
I’m getting ready to go to the ‘Freshtrav’ bar crawl tonight. Cartmel’s theme is Spaceland, but I’ve heard rumours of Smurfs, Mario Bros and Grease elsewhere. It’ll be a good chance to get to know the bars on campus – and to see all the costumes!
I’m exhausted! Yesterday I went along to the netball taster session and then to the Welcome Ceilidh dance at the Chaplaincy centre. It was something that I’d never done before, and a month ago, I wouldn’t have ever thought that I would just be able to start dancing with a group of strangers.
We’ve only been at Lancaster for a week, and already it feels like home. Everyone has such mixed feelings about Welcome Week, but, as someone who isn’t a big drinker and as an introvert, I have to say that I quite enjoyed it. There were a variety of events to suit everyone’s interests, and if clubbing and drinking is not your thing, I can safely say that Lancaster tries to make Welcome Week special for everyone.