#26 Cardiff

I’ve taken quite a long break from blogging recently. Not because there hasn’t been things to talk about (I have many things to cover in this post to make up for it) but purely because I haven’t had the time or energy to construct sentences for a blog post.

Topics for today then; Working full time, A Level results, preparing for university and finally, now that I’ve arrived, university life itself!

Working a 35 hour week throughout the summer was a big change from my school life. Although it was a lot of hard work (that’s why they call it ‘work’ I guess) and having to learn new things very quickly, I did enjoy it thoroughly and hope to return to the working world in holiday time. I am glad that I don’t have to wear office wear all day every day now though, that stuff was bearable but not exactly comfortable.

Bang in the middle of August was results day. The stress levels in the days running up to that were horrendous, but it wasn’t worth the worrying as I did well in my A Levels and consequently got accepted into my first choice, Cardiff University.

Preparation for my moving to university has lasted at least a year thanks to my mum. She’s been hoarding stuff for me like plates and pots and pans and all sorts under the stairs. Getting it all into the car on moving day was definitely a game of ‘how high can we stack boxes without them falling on Rosie when we go around a corner’, but it somehow all got in and is still being unpacked.

The issue with that is that I’ve been moved in for what must be 4 days now…oops. I’m slowly getting there, it’s just trying to find homes for things in my flat. I share a flat with 7 others, 2 of which I’m yet to meet whilst writing this. I have my own room and tiny en-suite, but the kitchen is a public domain. I’ve been quite lucky as I found 4 of my flat mates through social media shortly after accepting my place at Cardiff, so I’ve been talking to them for a few weeks before moving in. It made moving in extremely easy, as instead of walking in and trying to get to know complete strangers, I walked in feeling comfortable and relaxed and excited to finally meet my friends face to face.

We’ve turned the kitchen into a morning conference room accidentally, which is quite nice. We all seem to congregate and chat from the time when two of us are awake to when the rest of us surface. And the times at which people wake up is varying quite a lot. Myself and one of the guys seem to wake up at similar times at the moment, so we generally get slowly joined by the rest of the flat whist we tuck into breakfast. It’s been nice making my own decisions over what I’m eating all the time, and I haven’t quite fallen into the typical student routine of packet noodles or toast yet. We have enough cupboard space in our kitchen to have a couple of cupboards each, which is plenty for food and cooking utensils, but we are soon to face issues with the fridge. With only 7 small shelves in the fridge, the 6 of us who have already moved in have filled it to the brim. We are going to have to have a major shuffle/feast of fridge food in order to create space for the other 2, but we shall cross that bridge when they move in.

My flat mates and the other people living in my building (8 flats total) all seem lovely so far, and it’s made the first few days easier. It’s been quite strange moving so far from my family, who are now over 3 hours away, but in a way these lovely strangers have formed my new, second family. It’s very surreal how already I feel comfortable around these people I’m living with, trusting them all (especially the boys who are at least a foot taller than me) to keep me safe and entertained. We all trust each other a lot, and I think some of that has come from the fact that we have to keep our doors open. Although it is September and we’re in Wales, our entire building is BOILING. We can only open our windows a tiny bit thanks to what is effectively child locks, and we have no other form of ventilation other than opening all the windows in the kitchen and our rooms, opening the doors and letting the air in. We’ve all still maintained our manners though, knocking before coming into each other’s rooms. I like this lot already.

Half of our building decided to go clubbing last night. Considering that I am not really one for drinking or clubbing, having only just turned the legal age for all these things (and also being boring), I’m still very new to it all, but really enjoyed my evening. I spent the majority of the night dancing with a new friend from the flat above who is effectively a Flat 6 member (my flat) and then we got a taxi back ‘home’ at maybe 2am. The rest of the clubbers rolled in a couple of hours later (with rather a lot of noise) but it seems like everyone had a good night.

I’m not used at all to the almost constant parties. For three nights in a row now (out of the 4 I’ve been here) there’s been some sort of party or pre-drinks in either our kitchen or the flat above’s kitchen (both of which aren’t suited to hold 8 people, let alone the 30 odd that turn up). It’s definitely starting to take its toll on me, as I’m not a very sociable person and get quite easily anxious or intimidated by large social gatherings. I keep finding myself slinking off to my room just to relax myself before returning to the chaos.

On a plus side, my flat mates are generally tidy. We all seem to have the same logic of ‘if I’m doing my washing up I’ll do everyone else’s too’ which is great. It’s a nice surprise when you think ‘oh no, that’s not clean’ to find that actually it is and is ready for you to use. It was really nice waking up the morning after a pre-drinks party in our kitchen to find everything in the recycling. The only think that needed doing was wiping the table which after a few drinking games was quite sticky.

I found it very easy letting my flat mates know about my alopecia. With the flat being an oven, wearing a wig is just too hot at times, so very quickly I’ve moved to switching almost constantly from shoulder length hair to a bandana. I was worried that doing this would scare some of my flatmates as I never know how people will react to finding out that I’m bald, but in all honesty they’ve been lovely and have just accepted it as the norm which is fantastic. I did explain to a couple of them earlier what alopecia was when they asked, but so far they’ve all been super open minded and really quite brilliant.

Although I am finding the constant partying too much (God save me for Fresher’s Fortnight – I know, a fortnight. I’ve got to cope for twice as long as at other universities) I think that I’m going to really enjoy university in Cardiff. The city’s lovely, my flat mates are lovely. All I need now is for the people studying Music to be lovely and I’m sorted.

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