Hey everyone. My name is Nicolae Radulescu, but all the people I know call me Nico and I have recently become a student blogger for the Government Department even though I am studying Liberal Arts which is from another department. I decided to write a few lines for you as most of my modules have been from Government so we have a lot in common.
Even though I am third year student now, I still remember very clearly the first time I arrived on campus and how I survived the first few weeks at uni. Before coming here, I did not know anyone from Essex and I was even more afraid that it was the first time I would live by myself in another country.
Arriving at Essex
After I took the bus offered by university from Stansted, I met a lot of other students who were nervous exactly as I was. Getting on campus, I had to pick up my key card and to get settled in my new room in Bertrand Russell. Although I was nervous as it was a completely new experience for me, I was welcomed by some of my flatmates. This is how my surviving journey started.
Retrospectively looking at that period now, I realize that surviving the first two weeks was not a nightmare. The first thing I knew then was that I would need to spend as much time as I can with my flatmates as thus, I could cement some lasting friendships and so it was. I made friends I had fun with and we went together through some difficult moments such as cooking your own meal, doing laundry for the first time as well as finishing the first assignment by the deadline. Going through these experiences was fun rather than worrying.
Events on campus and getting involved
Another thing that I did then was attending most of the events from my welcome pack, from the registration and welcoming event of my department to the “How to get the most out of your first year”. I found them useful as from there I started doing a lot of other things that are going to be in this blog post. Although, I participated at some of the events and went to a few parties as all of you will probably do, you will need to bear in mind that you do not need and cannot attend all of them, so just do as much as you can during the first 2 weeks as long as it is not overwhelming. You will have plenty of time later.
At the same time I started to join different societies. This happened during the Freshers Fair which is always fun as all the societies are up there exhibiting their activities. There is also a lot of free stuff such as Dominos or other snacks. Societies are good time to spend some time with as you join different groups where you will find people with the same interests, you play games and make more friends. If you will run for the committee positions, you will also get some experience to put in the CV.
Since from the beginning I started thinking about jobs as I was sure that sooner or later I would need more money. This is why I joined vTeam which is the volunteering team run by the Students Union. They have regular projects where I could go to schools and teach children or they have the one-off opportunities which I attended. I enjoyed all of these as I went with my friends and had fun whilst giving something back to the community. This made me win the Volunteer of the Month award which helped me later as I had something more in my CV and managed to get a frontrunner position at the end of the year.
I did as much as I could then because the more active one is, the faster that person will get settled. This is what happened to me. I managed to go through almost all of my degree now and I still have my friends from my first yea. I currently live with 3 of them in the same house and all the extra-curricular activities that I did then helped me considerably as over the last 2 years, I managed to win 9 awards and have 4 jobs and can easily say that I have a really good CV.