University of Sussex : My Welcome Week : School of Life Science Induction, plus Ben and Jerry's!

Today's post takes us back to Monday 16th September and having to wake up at 8am. That's something else that is going to take a lot of adjusting to! 

The School of Life Sciences includes a lot of different disciplines; from Biomedical to Ecology, Neuroscience and Chemistry! Some modules we will all be together but I think they're pretty few and far between.

Our programme of 'events' for the day lasts from 10am to 12.30pm, and are based in 3 separate buildings. Hm. I guess it's a good way to familiarise yourself with your surroundings, but my feet and ankles are growing increasingly more painful by the day!!

I left home at 9.30am and managed to power-walk my way to the Jubilee building just as everyone was walking into the lecture theater. There was more than enough space for everyone, so I sat at the very back row - with a lady who had a service dog in training with her! So cute!!! :)

This was the first time I became painfully aware of the age gap between myself and others at this school. The most potent example, that still makes me cross, was that during the address by Professor Lawrence Pearl - the head of the school - a guy of no more than 20 was playing tetris on his iPad or texting on his phone the entire time. I wanted to smack him around the back of the head and get him to pay attention!

What I loved about Professor Pearls talk was that his passion and love of science was still very much present, and I could definitely relate to his observation of scientists being like curious children constantly asking why. His encouragement of interacting with fellow students of other disciplines was also pretty hilarious... "god forbid, the social sciences!!" Haha!

Prior to this, we were welcomed by Professor Michael Farthing who holds the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University. Yikes. As a trained medic, his talk focused on health and well-being, explaining the dangers of drugs and alcohol, plus his absolute disgust for smoking!

Next on our agenda was a short walk to our next lecture theater for 'Getting started at Sussex for undergraduate'. On this walk, thankfully, I was spotted by a girl I briefly spoke to at the mature students induction. Oh the relief!! She is a biochemist so we don't share much lecture time but she's a lovely girl who even let me sit with her; anxiety levels were definitely starting to ease off!

This hour was related to the library and careers service. They had powerpoint presentations to try and inform us, but oh my word, they were so painfully poor that all they probably did was serve as a break from trying to absorb what we were being told and just enjoy the train wreck infront of us!

My friend and I were also talked into asking a question from a colour coded cue card in exchange for freebies. I believe my question was "Can I talk in the Library?"... We didn't have to stand or face the lecture theatre so it was pretty painless. That hour went pretty quickly, no doubt because of the powerpoint laughs!

Our final location was a short walk away and just a 15 minute introduction to the 'Sussex Signpost' service. I'll be honest, buy this point I was so tired I didn't really take much in! A lot of other people looked pretty knackered too. It was made just that much harder by more rude teenagers sat behind us whispering and giggling the entire time. It was so annoying! When did people get so rude?! Grr.

That took us up to 12.30pm. Our induction was over but we still had a couple of jobs to do: collect our degree pack and student cards! It was a lot of walking, talking, and general stuff that makes me tired quickly.
It was pretty cool though. Having my student ID made it just that much more official and real... I'm a student! I have a card to prove it!! Two actually, my NUS Extra card was waiting for me when I got home.

We had a look at the stands in the meeting room downstairs and bagged a few cool freebies; including a UV Pen from Sussex Police and a rape alarm - which I will 100% be using to prank the boyfriend with at some point. I also got a couple of stress balls, and Lily has already laid claim to one. She absolutely loves chasing it around the house and kicking it with her back feet! She even goes to sleep with it at the moment.

This brings me to our best friends: Ben and Jerry. They need our help, and I think it's only right we give them a minute of our time after all the hard times and good times they've got us through. You know I'm right. As we know, there is legislation in place to protect the welfare chickens and pigs but absolutely nothing for our hardworking dairy cows. Obviously this needs to change and you can read the full proposal being taken to the EU *here*. The campaign is heavily supported, but still needs more signatures to take to parliament.

"We did a bit of dairy detective work, commissioning some European research in the industry, and we found…

Widespread health problems

  • Painful illnesses such as mastitis or lameness
  • Infertility
  • Low life expectancy

Frequent injuries and poor diet

  • Uncomfortable cows, at time injured because their housing is cramped &/or poorly designed

Lack of access to pastures

  • Meaning they can’t roam freely & express themselves in their beautiful bovine ways"
Taken from: 

It's super easy to sign the petition and help to make a difference. There are 200,353 signatures at the time of writing but more are always needed. All you need to do is click *this link* and boom, you're done! The folks who work for this campaign haven't asked me to do this, it's something I thought you should know about and would like to help with. 

So that was my Monday! Getting the bus is still pretty stressful but I'm getting the hang of it. What really sucks about going home is the hill up to my house! I have no idea when that will stop feeling like torture. What I also don't understand is how people have the energy to have an induction like today, then go out drinking all night?! Hell, even if you're not drinking... where is that energy coming from? I want some!

All I do when I get home is put my PJs on - regardless of what time it is, I love my PJs - take my make-up off and am basically unable to move for the rest of the evening. Every muscle hurts, I can feel a cold brewing and my head is just completely gone. I'm at the stage where I'm too tired to be anxious or panic, everything is a haze and from time to time I just cry for a bit. 

So..... Yeah.... I'm a really boring fresher to be honest! Sorry about that...

Next time: Hair dye, the university uniform, and a mid-week review.

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