University of Sussex : My Welcome Week : Medical Neuroscience Induction and Fresher's Fair!

Today we're going to cast our minds back to last Wednesday, 18th September. My last induction and freshers event before lectures start! Oh gosh.

So. By now I am somewhat familiar with the routine of getting the bus and walking into campus. What still catches me out is finding certain buildings. The John Maynard Smith is one of those buildings. I left with plenty of time but didn't anticipate getting quite so confused. I have no idea what I would have done if the green-shirted helpers weren't around to point me in the right direction!!

I hate rushing, absolutely hate it. Thankfully I found the building just before everyone was called through into the lecture theatre. There really aren't many of us at all!!  The first thing I found myself asking is why must all my lectures be in buildings which need a lot of steps to get to. I always arrive gasping for air and it's really awkward.

The induction followed the same pattern as all the others. We were greeted by the course convener, an ex-Sussex undergraduate who showed us a delightful picture of him in the early 90's wearing a painfully awful, yet hilarious, jumper.

In the moments before he started speaking, I heard a strange noise coming from my bag. I had an emergency can of Relentless stashed away, and the can had somehow acquired a hole and was peeing everywhere. Oh my god. I wasn't on the end of a row so I couldn't run to a bin. Oh shit. What to do? Shotgun or ask the guy at the end to run to the bin for me!? I opted for option two, scarlet with embarrassment. Thankfully they were nice enough about it and I spent the next hour using my bag as a sponge to soak up the puddles that had formed. Oh my GOD. Why me?!

That wasn't even the last of my humiliation for the day.

We were given the standard health and safety talk, complete with some gory pictures which was pretty cool, and also informed about assessments, handing in work and mitigating circumstances. I'm not a fan of this handing coursework into an office lark. I've been spoilt with the OU and emailing in my work, and now there's an office to find and forms to do?! Gah.

Towards the end of our hour-long induction, tutors were piling in to the back of the room like vultures ready to pick off their prey to torture for the next three years. Our handbook had a sheet that told us who we were assigned to, but now we were able to put a face to a name - if we hadn't already utilized google or the staff directory!

My academic adviser is Dr. Jeremy Niven. He had a checked shirt on so I definitely wasn't going to forget who to aim for at the end of the induction! There were three other students assigned to him, so we had a very small 'tutor group'.

Remember me talking about the annoying guy who played on his phone the entire induction on Monday? He was in my group. Ugh. Brilliant.

We were taken to his office, which is tucked away in a corner and I have next-to-no chance of finding again on my own! For the next 30 minutes or so we tried to get to know each other by introducing ourselves, explaining our academic background and why we chose medical neuroscience. It was so, so hard not to let my anxieties get hold of me. I could feel the sweat, my hands were tingling and I'm pretty sure I stammered a bit. A bit later on in our awkward chat we had to try and explain what aspect of medical neuroscience we were most interested in. What a question to try and answer!! I settled on long-term effects of anxiety disorders on the brain, and psychiatric interventions to prevent or reverse these changes. The reality is I have oh so many questions and I just love the intoxicating paradox of the brain and/or mind learning about itself.

Guess who was on his phone during the meeting? Yep. So rude. I don't know what's happened to people...

Then we were given homework. Nooooooo!!! We have to give a 5 minute powerpoint presentation and produce a 1000 word essay. I need to have a title by Wednesday and it's not as easy as I thought... Bugger.

After the meeting I was pretty tired and intended to go straight home, but as soon as I got nearer to the centre of campus I remembered Fresher's Fair! Today was the clubs and societies. It was noisy. It was busy. I froze for a minute and had to decide whether or not to turn and run or plough through and embrace the chaos.

I held my breath and walked into the storm of people. It was hard to know where to look, what to listen for and in general it was just sensory overload. But it did get easier. It was cool talking to the people running the stands, particularly the Time to Change team! It's so awesome that they were there, and that the Student Union has signed the pledge. I signed up for quite a few societies, and hope to have some new blogging opportunities coming in the near future!

One of my definite favourites from the stalls was the LGBT society, who had these amazing stickers: "Some people are gay. Get over it." Just amazing! I really wanted one but they ran out!! I got a flyer/postcard though. Yay!

I also spotted a familiar face in the crowd which was a total surprise and huge relief! She gave me a huge hug which was so sweet, and we wandered around the stalls together - before she realised that she had missed 40 minutes of her induction! Oh no! I quickly briefed her on what happened in my induction and that she didn't miss anything totally vital, as it was in our handbooks, but she should head there and meet her adviser. That was definitely the most important part of today!

I headed to the bus stop after she left. By now I was feeling low blood sugar kicking in and desperately needed to sit down! I knew I'd never make it up the hill home feeling like this so I went into the SU shop and got a chocolate flapjack and a diet coke. Yum.

By the time I got home it was almost 4pm. My evening consisted of absolute nothingness and preparing for my first ever lecture the following day. Thankfully it was at midday so I would be able to get a solid 9-10 hours sleep! Time sleeping is time that cannot be spent panicking.

I love sleep.

I hate iOS 7. It's lost my pictures and videos!! :( Hopefully it's an easy fix because I definitely haven't deleted them. Hopefully they're in the ether of the internet on this 'cloud' or whatever the hell it is.

Next time: My first ever lecture!

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