Hi, I’m Abbi, a music student and this is a glimpse into my first-year experiences at Storthes Hall Park!
How did you find moving in?
I found moving to university quite a scary prospect at first but at the same time it was also exciting! Even with support from family and friends, moving to England on my own, was very nerve-wracking.
Moving was a big step for me. Thankfully, my worries were soon taken care of as the block reps I met upon arrival were very friendly and helped myself and other new students find their way and settle in. Thanks to them and the wonderful DIGS staff who answered any queries, the transition was so much easier than I’d imagined.
Meeting my flatmates was a bit strange at first, putting faces to names and getting past the initial awkward stage of living with complete strangers, but it was interesting getting to know people from different backgrounds around England and they were all lovely people. Overall, moving in was a bit difficult in terms of travelling and getting everything over in one piece.
But I settled in better than I thought I might have.
Was it easy to make friends?
In the past, I’ve struggled somewhat to make good friends and was a bit apprehensive making the big leap to university. I was a little worried as to how to meet people with similar interests. But making friends was different to what I expected. I was luckier than some as my music friends had already made a messenger group holding quizzes and games each week for fun. We each contributed with our own quiz rounds, and it was a fun way to get to know our peers.
How is the social life at Storthes Hall Park?
Those of us living at Storthes Hall Park met up (socially distanced of course!) when restrictions allowed us to. We played some card games and through conversing I discovered a few eccentric characters that I clicked with. We continued to meet up for the events on site and gradually formed a close friendship over the year.
Due to different circumstances, we ended up in the same flat at different times and I think that just increased the fun chaos in our group even more! They are all fantastic people though and I would not have them any other way! You may see our group out and about at the different DIGS events in the future. It’s not always easy talking to new people as I can be shy but being myself and finding similar people was a great relief. People will come and go but letting things happen naturally and being open to others is a great start for it.
How did you balance Social and Uni life?
Being social with friends is great but you also need to find time to balance university work! Being a music student, it was somewhat easy for me compared to other courses. We don’t really have formal exams. One of the most important things is to practice our instruments so having access to practice rooms at Uni when they were open, helped to ensure I got a decent amount of practice in every day. Finding a different space to study can help give you a fresh perspective if you find yourself stuck on draining tasks.
Depending on the amount of work I had, I would set aside time to complete my work and then time for social events with my friends. We weren’t typical students going out to drink at the weekend. But relaxing at The Venue playing board games or simply chatting was a lot of fun for us! Balance is a valuable thing to stay on top of your work but at the same time to not burn yourself out and enjoy yourself when you need the time off! It can be tricky to find what works for you, but once you get there it really helps you to get the most out of your degree while still having fun.
What is one of your favourite Storthes memories?
One of my favourite memories was getting to participate in my first DND (Dungeons and Dragons) Campaign! I’m a big nerd and am really into Harry Potter, Games, Books and the like. But I’d never played DND before. James (a great friend of mine) invited me to try it out and it’s fantastic. In a nutshell, it’s a role-play with a unique plot set in a world designed by the Dungeon Master. There are set storylines out there, but it’s so much more fun trying out homemade ones with your friends. Characters are chosen by various species like Elves, Goblins, Centaurs etc. You could be magical or non-magical – the choice is yours.
A lot of it is down to the imagination of course. But the enjoyment you get from the various shenanigans your party gets up to or following the plot. Dungeons and Dragons was a fantastic experience for me! I got to meet more wonderful friends and had a blast doing it so it’s 100% worth a try in my opinion!