As summer came to an end and I cycled into university on my shiny new bike that I bought as soon as I got back to Portsmouth (after living in the Langstone Student Village for a year, I longed not to rely on buses anymore), I remembered why I fell in love with this city in the first place. I returned to Portsmouth ready to embark on my second year of University, preparing myself for the somewhat daunting, but exciting, times ahead. Last year I was determined to make the most of my Fresher year at university and, if I’m honest, I spent a lot more time on Guildhall Walk than I did in the library, but now it’s time to knuckle down and work hard. It’s important not to stress out though and to have a break from time to time, so I’m sure I’ll go on plenty more nights out, just as soon as I’ve finished my essays!
As I moved into my new house in Southsea with some of the great friends I made last year, all of a sudden I felt very grown up. There’s rent to pay, bills to sort and the mysterious problem that took a month to solve: what day is the rubbish actually collected? (I’m not sure we even really know, still!)
Freshers’ Fortnight was a bit manic for me as I am now on the committee for the UPSU Rock Society and Freshers’ Fayre is a lot more stressful when you are busy recruiting new members. It was still great fun though and even though I didn’t manage to nab a free slice of pizza, I did manage to fit in a cheeky snakebite or two. Everything went extremely well for us and on the following Monday we had our first social. The turnout was amazing and I know we felt extremely proud that all the hard work we’d put in over the past few weeks had really paid off. I wanted to sign up to write for Pugwash News but I realised that at the moment I just couldn’t find the spare time to put as much effort into it as I’d like to. I’m definitely going to get involved next year though! I really do think it’s important to try new things at uni as the Union offers so many sports, activities and societies and it’s so easy to get involved.
Also, a couple of weeks ago I managed to get down to a gig at the Wedgewood Rooms and it was amazing. Another reason Portsmouth is a great place to live is the diverse music and club scene. Gunwharf Quays and Guildhall Walk have nights playing all sorts of music from chart to dance to rock and indie, and The Registry has a great reputation for its dubstep nights. If you want to venture even further afield you can pop down to Albert Road where there are often local bands playing and occasionally, like White Lies and The Vaccines this month, big names playing small DJ sets. There literally is something for everyone and, as someone who would quite happily go to a rock night on a Monday and a dubstep night on a Friday, I couldn’t ask for more from the Portsmouth scene.
When the weather was at its best, my friends and I all rushed down to Southsea Common and spent a lovely day there enjoying the sun. I wish we had taken a barbecue but dinner at the pub was a good replacement. Coming from the middle of the country, I still get excited about living by the sea.
In terms of my course, the workload is coming on thick and fast. I study English Literature so I have to read at least three novels a week and at times it can get tough. It’s so important to try and stay focused but I learned last year that, if all else fails, a rainy Sunday spent in the library two days before the deadline is due might be your only hope! I’m really enjoying my course though and that always helps when it comes to doing the work.
For now, I am looking forward to the rest of my year here. You’ll find me with my nose in a book, frantically typing up essays in the library, chilling at the Union, or looking windswept and, er, interesting as I cycle to and from the University Quarter. Enjoy your year!