9 November 2020
As I'm sat here writing about my first month at Anglia Ruskin University, I can't quite believe that it's already been that long! Time has absolutely flown by since Freshers' Week and I've thoroughly enjoyed every (socially distanced) moment.
Obviously things are quite a bit different to usual this year, but I don't feel that I've missed out at all because ARU has really made an effort to ensure that this year starts off in a way that's just as fun and inclusive as any other...whilst also keeping us Covid safe, of course. It still feels crazy to say that I'm a university student – it makes me feel like I'm all grown up now! But it also makes me feel proud, and I'm proud that I chose to come to ARU, where everyone has been nothing but welcoming and helpful.
I've been studying online and, after a few technical errors (ahem, my dodgy home WiFi), it is going really well. I did do some homeschooling when I was younger, so maybe I had a head start! Our lectures and seminars are held on Microsoft Teams and it's been really easy to navigate since I got the hang of it. I've also challenged myself to do as much wider reading as I can when I'm not in class, to make sure I'm making the most of all the resources available and my time at university.
If I could highlight one great thing about my first month at ARU, it would be my lecturers. They are so passionate about language and so knowledgeable that it makes it an enjoyable and rewarding experience to learn linguistics from them. They are also very good at including both online and face-to-face students in our blended lessons. I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything by being online, since I know that there is plenty of support out there and always someone only an email away to answer one of my often rather random questions!
I've also gotten stuck into ARU life outside of the classroom, just as if I was studying on campus. I signed up for the dance club's taster sessions and thoroughly enjoyed learning the routine and getting active. I'm hoping to join some societies very soon too and I've already seen quite a few that have caught my interest.
As I'm writing now, I've just finished my first assignment and handed it in so I'm just a little nervous about that – writing academically is something I am enjoying so far but it's all new and different, so there's plenty to work on and I'm hoping that my studying pays off for this assignment!
I hope that everyone who reads this is settling in well to this year at ARU too, whether you're a first-year student like me or a returning student. I can't wait until we can all be on campus together but, until then, I'm quite enjoying being able to attend lectures in my pyjamas!