As mentioned before, I got an iPod for my birthday (from my parents, not my housemates!). Here it is in all its glory. Just need to work out how to put movies on it now for the long train journeys home!
So there I am, cycling along the road when I spot a drunk weaving around on the pavement. Obviously I don't want to cycle into him, but I do need to get on the footpath myself in order to get around the corner (I know it's illegal to cycle on the footpath before you tell me). So I decide to try and hop the bike onto the curb, thinking it's a drop curb. It isn't. I get the angle wrong and find myself in a heap on the pavement avec bike and bag.
Needless to say that the person who comes to help me is that selfsame drunk I'd been trying to avoid. Bless him. One of these days I will wear my helmet!
Ok so the birthday was less traumatic than it could have been.
My wonderful new housemates Jenny and Steve (and other 'adopted' housemates) threw me a party. There were banners, streamers, fancy tableclothes, balloons and music. All good. Add to this one very tired Merys and you had the potential for floods of tears... yet I managed to remain composure.
We had an enormous Chinese takeaway and tidied the flat after everyone had left (quite a mammoth job in the end) but all was good.
I got a wonderful selection of gifts including Amazon vouchers, many bottles of wine, lots of chocolate, Ben and Jerry's, various shopping vouchers, a large bouquet of flowers, money and a new sparkly 30Gb iPod Video!!
I swear, without such great housemates I would go stir crazy. I didn't think I would enjoy living with 18 year olds again, and I think they were very dubious when I moved in, but we've learnt to accept each other at face value.
It also helps that they've seen me hideously drunk and attempting to blow up a very phallic pink balloon.
I will apologise in advance....it's unlikely that this post will make a great deal of sense given that the time it's published is in fact accurate.
Picture the scene. It's 05.10 and you haven't slept properly since trying to get sleep at 02.20. The reason - every part of your body hurts. Not excrutiatingly so, just a feeling of extreme bruising and a kind of post-exercise pain. With particular reference to parts that are touching a surface (i.e. anything that touches the bed) and with extreme pain down the spine. Imagine waking up (having been sleeping flat on your back) and having pins and needles in all four limbs without any pressure on them. Imagine trying to sleep through this, and having already taken the most painkillers you can.
Imagine that this is the 4th night in a row that this has happened, and during that time only 1 night was uninterrupted due to taking Amitriptyline (a drug which you hate so severely but felt forced to take by your GP because he said you were being stubborn). Imagine falling asleep in a lecture the morning after taking the amitriptyline and waking to be ridiculed by your peers, and feeling guilty for missing the majority of an important lecture.
Imagine that you haven't taken amitriptyline earlier tonight because tomorrow is an important day of lectures and are currently incredibly worried about falling asleep irrespective. But imagine also that you are still in pain, shaking and cannot get comfortable enough to even try again to sleep. Imagine that you have even tried the floor, and are about to settle for sleeping upright because the pain in your back is less.
Imagine you expressed your concerns to your GP (although admittedly crying your eyes out through exhaustion) and being told to return in no less than 2 weeks because he doesn't have your notes and doesn't see how he can help you, and leaving with a prescription for a drug that you neither want, nor liked taking in the past.
But apparently that's ok because they don't like me either (Isn't that right Mat?)
The day started badly after 2 and a bit hours sleep - which never really helps I suppose. My back has been hurting me so badly since my parents came down to visit (?stress) that I even tried to sleep on the floor last night with my little brown blanket and pillows. This was actually working quite well until my toes gave in to pins and needles and my neck started cramping.
Sadly I can't sleep on either my back or my right hand side at the moment, and it hurts to breathe again. I suppose the student GP surgery here needs to benefit of my regular custom for painkillers!
Following this calamity and my reduced sleep my bike chain fell off in spectacular fashion causing me to a) get covered in oil attempting to put it back on, b) hurt my foot by dropping the upturned bike on my toes and c) miss a lecture.
I went for breakfast at the union instead - day not entirely lost.
Which is a relief I suppose, given the obvious presence of breasts.... Anyway, I digress.
Earlier tonight I was sat looking at my new RAM stick and new harddrive and wondering how the hell I was going to persuade someone to fit them for me....when I got bored of waiting and wondering.
A couple of phone calls later, the assistance of a boy to take the side of my computer off (i've pulled my shoulder and couldn't give the brute force required) and I had removed one of the existing 256MB sticks and replaced it with a 512MB stick.
I now feel immensely proud. My housemates do not understand why!
You see, I thought I had just come to uni with fresher's flu, but having had a gammy cough that produced funny gunk, I gave in and went to the doctors a fortnight ago. Antibiotics and a lecture later and I was on my way.
Sadly, no better. Back today to see the asthma nurse who shuttled me on to the doctor. Advice of the doctor? Good quality chocolate helps a cough.
I don't care for the evidence base behind her decision - works for me.
I think I have a case of Magwitch's Black Dog. Now I am thoroughly fed up and cheesed off to the nines.
It all just seems to have gotten on top of me and I desperately want to move back to my old university. I hate the course, haven't been exceptionally sociable and don't like the city I'm living in...... although I haven't fallen off my bike for a while.
I don't feel happy here. I actually miss [old university] more than home - to which my parents aren't very happy. The attitude of my parents is actually along the lines of 'shut up and deal with it or quit'. Nice.
The looming birthday isn't particularly helping either. Being an 'old fart' at medical school doesn't help. In fact, I'm a year older than most of the grads too (damn that masters degree!).
If it wasn't for my amazing housemates I'd be long gone by now. I guess there's a lot to be said for not living with medics.
I was reluctant to come here. After the first weekend of fresher’s activities I didn’t want to go to the first introductory lecture. It was all too complicated – too different from where I had been and everything that had gone before.
But I went. And all was OK – no big scary beast was coming to eat me up, although at some point in the week I fell off my bike (again).
Starting a new university is an unusual experience – but I feel it was more difficult as a graduate. When I was a fresh faced 18 year old moving to university to study a course I didn’t really want to, the thought of meeting people and making friends never even bothered me, let alone studying. It would just be something I would ‘do’, as I believed students did. The integration period was easier because of Jo – a friend from college. In reality this was my downfall, as we drifted apart since she was studying medicine and I wasn’t.
This time around and I’m not sure if the absence of a friend from home is a good thing or not. I feel I’ve found it difficult to make friends here because of my slightly outlandish and loud Northern personality. Maybe I’ve become spoilt by a forgiving group of friends at my old university who I don’t have to impress. Maybe I’m just trying too hard to impress….
The diversity of people here alarms me slightly, yet interests me at the same time. I was expecting to feel ‘old’ in comparison to the rest of my peers, yet oddly I don’t anymore. I feel a little more sensible than the 18 and 19 year old school leavers, but not boring. I also promised myself I wouldn’t cloister myself away with the other graduates – which I’ve pretty much managed to succeed at. I have friends 4 years younger than me and I don’t think I mind.
Speaking of people on the course, there are some people who I can already see myself clashing with on a personality level. Maybe I’m more used to basic lecture etiquette and behaviour, but making enough noise so that other people can’t hear isn’t just rude, it’s ignorant. There is a huge potential here to become ostracised by the vast amount of cliques and clans. A week in and there are some very strong allegiances being made by different groups of people – yet I feel I don’t really fit into any of them.
In all, the experience so far has been enlightening and allowed me to re-evaluate my UCAS decision. I don't feel any regrets so far, just a whole lot of confusion.