‘If there’s a free event, go… there’ll probably be free wine’.

Hello again for what’s been quite a long gap in terms of my blog writing! I’m sorry if you wanted to read daily updates and thoughts that I have, but I’ve just been so busy I’ve not had any time to write! I’ve been seeing shows, at rehearsals and just generally enjoying the sunshine that Britain is actually experiencing for what feels like the first time in a long time! But, as I write this, the weather is overcast and dreary, very much like my hand. I write this with a club stamp on my hand from last night that no matter how hard you wash and scrub, they do not come off! Are they made with impenetrable tattoo-like ink? I currently look like a trashy white girl who didn’t jump in the shower this morning…

However, I would like to state that I am not a ‘trashy basic bitch’ or a ‘ratchet ass ho’ – thanks to Katherine Ryan for including these phrases on Mock The Week and not allowing me to sound ridiculous… Katherine is one of my favourite humans and you will find out why at a later blog post. My first year has changed my whole life for the better, and I finally feel like I know what career path I would like to go down, and how I’m able to do that, even if it is extremely difficult. University has taught me to be resilient and even more hardworking than before. In previous education, it’s easy to get away without giving it 100%, you can slightly slack and miss out on knowledge, however you still know you’re guaranteed that elusive A grade. But, university is so different. I’ve found that I have to give my all into something, whether that be in degree life or society life. You have to fully immerse yourself into the task you’ve set yourself if you want to see the results you’ve dreamt for yourself.

I guess that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learnt in first year. You can do a million and one things half-hearted, be everyone’s best friend, go on every night out and not miss out on anything, but you’re not fully getting involved in something. Yes, I’ve had to be selective during my first year as sadly there are not 100 hours in a day for me to do everything. But, I’m incredibly happy with the choices I’ve made, and I think Dad would say that I’ve indeed ‘made good choices’. I truly think that for the first time in my life, I am content with the way in which my life is developing, and I’ve not been this happy in a long time.

When I left Sixth Form, I was extremely excited for the future and to start a new life at University. I could be myself, forget all the tensions that pervaded my home life and really be ‘fresh’. On 29th September 2014, I stepped into my accommodation for the first time, with all my suitcases and bits and bobs and began the process of settling in. Sometimes, it has felt as if I’ve been Elle Woods, sometimes it’s felt as though I am in Sims 2 University, and that I’m just in a game and you’re being controlled by an omnipotent force into the actions that you are doing – a mad experience. Fresher’s Fortnight was just that, mad. The first two weeks of university flew right before my eyes. I got to know my coursemates, the surrounding areas around campus life, the do’s and don’ts of university life… but most importantly, I got to know my flatmates. There’s always the trepidation of ‘oh god, am I going to like them?’ but I couldn’t have got luckier! Warwick Accommodation did so well in putting a few girls together who all love performing and being outgoing, but love nothing better than a chick flick and a night in. I’m so relieved that my flatmates and I have all been comfortable with each other, and just had fun. Ellen, Beth, Mary and Kelly – if you read this, this is a public thank you for being great people and I’m so excited to be in a proper house with you girls and Alice next year!

But, as well as having wonderful flatmates, I can’t spend the whole time in accommodation. I have actually had to do a degree. Lol. Again though, I’ve met wonderful people whom are seriously intelligent, but know how to have fun all at the same time. I vividly remember the first time every History student met, with complimentary wine from the department and schmoozing with lecturers and tutors. This was very ‘Sims 2’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ all in one. I think I snapchatted that I was like Blair Waldorf, and this is the aesthetic I’d like to present myself as for the rest of my life. Myself and my history friends think the same. Every Monday, before an evening lecture, myself and two girls always purchased a coffee, a cake and had a chat about what had happened during the week and what was happening this week. How sophisticated, eh? We’d discuss everything, from Strictly, S Club 7 all the way to our actual degree life.

Another highlight of my first year was receiving my first ever essay feedback. I was absolutely petrified. I didn’t achieve as high as I’d wanted to in my History A  Level and did enter University with the feeling of ‘how did I actually manage to get to Warwick?’ even though it was my firm choice and I did get in. I remember I walked through the door to have a one-on-one with my tutor, and she told me I’d got a 2:1 in my first assignment. Now, I know at the end of my degree, I’d love to leave University with a first class degree, but the feeling of knowing that I had actually been able to write a piece of assessed work and not flop was a feeling of utter jubilation (I nearly teared up with excitement and pride in the meeting, that would have been embarrassing…). I realised that I’ve put my mind to a piece of work, and come out with a result a lot better than what I could have imagined. That was a wonderful day, with that and the biggest Christmas Dinner ending my Term 1.

Term 2 saw me become more involved with my dancing self. I went to University knowing that I’d want to get involved with dance, and I’ve done flexibility, contemporary and jazz classes with students teaching, who are all brilliant people and I am very thankful for them being able to let me be able to move and not turn into a plank of wood. Classical and Modern Dance (CMD) also saw me enter the Warwick tradition that is ‘circling’. Circling is a Warwick sports club tradition; ‘WE SAY DANCING IS A SPORT’ being a major chant throughout. I’ve dressed up in some odd outfits this year, all the way from Lack of Effort to Best Dressed for my 1920’s attire, and boogied on down to the Warwick club establishment that is ‘Pop!’.

As well as spending my Wednesday nights stuck to the floor of the Student Union in my Primark dolly shoes, I’ve also been fortunate to attend three balls, in which each time I wore a glam outfit, spruced myself up and had a great time with some of my best friends, especially in the photo booths. History, Dance and Drama Collective balls were absolutely hilarious, and I cannot wait for them to roll around next year and feel pretty again!

Another event of first year that I cannot wait for in 2016 is tour. This year I was fortunate enough to go on two tours. Conveniently, my birthday fell during the second tour, therefore my parents were willing to financially help me as a birthday present. The second tour was the infamous ‘Saloufest’, in which I giggled for a week straight. My 19th birthday was spent in one of the best chains of clubs in the world, and I can’t believe that I spent my birthday in Pacha. My 18th was spent in Sixth Form in Sociology and English lessons on an overcast Monday; my 19th in 30 degree Celsius weather in Spain. I definitely never pictured that change in my life just a year later.

I’ve clearly not talked about the first tour, and this is because it was with the society that has indeed made my university life, and just needed to be discussed in separation to the whole of my first year. As you are probably aware, I am a musical theatre girl through and through, and knew as soon as I joined university, I was going to get involved in the performing arts. But, Music Theatre Warwick (MTW) has managed to get into every part of my life, and I honestly could not be more thankful. With the society, I’ve performed in Into the Woods and played one of my dream roles in Avenue Q, which was an incredible experience. Both have been two of the most fun show experiences from start to finish I have ever been a member of, and I’d do them again in a heartbeat. I’m extremely excited to get just as involved in the society in my second year, as I don’t need to be labelled with a title of ‘keen fresh’ anymore. The people in MTW are simply amazing. As well as being super talented, everyone is able to keep up with their degree (just) and still achieve academically as well as putting in stellar performances. Mad props.

I went on tour with MTW to Prague and again, I didn’t stop giggling. Right from arriving to Gatwick Airport to days later looking through all the photos on Facebook and Instagram, I realised that the people I’ve met this society are people that I want to know for the rest of my life. I know I’ve discussed Pacha in Salou, but Coyotes in Prague was simply sensational and odd all at the same time, with many a story the morning after! I can also say I’ve been to the biggest club in Central Europe (it didn’t feel it but we’ll let the Czech have it), and rode a SEGWAY! Incredible fun, all whilst feeling a bit like I was on Coach Trip all at the same time.

I came back from both tours and entered Term 3, which was essay and exam season. Whilst not the most fun time of my life, now it has ended and I am free to enjoy my summer. But, not before I engage myself in the wacky world of ‘WSAF’; Warwick Arts Student Festival, one of the biggest university festivals in Europe! I get to perform with MTW 2014/15 a few more times before I say farewell to the finalists, something which I really don’t want to as they’ve been fab in making me feel welcome to the society.

To think less than a year ago, I only knew a couple of people who I still speak to and are at this university is just weird. The people I’ve met are brilliant through and through and the life I am living is the dream. Some people I have met at university are my ‘best friends’. This is a term I don’t like to throw around, as it suggests they are the best, the top, the superlative. But, they truly are. I just love them and I can’t wait to see what second year brings with my degree, the societies I am involved in and where my life will be in a year’s time. I’ll write another blog post about the last couple of weeks at University and moving out which I don’t want to do!

Choosing a song to end this blog post is clearly a tough matter, as there are many songs that have such a strong memory attached to them. However, I’ve gone with a song that I heard in Pacha and I screamed the club down when I heard it as I was so excited that it was my birthday. It was a song that I hadn’t heard in YEARS created and produced by an old DJ who was headlining that evening. I sang every word, birthday sash on body and danced like never before. The song is ‘Pretty Green Eyes’ by Ultrabeat. www.youtube.com/watch?v=E48JhG2bMQ4

Enjoy,

Sophie x

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