Confessions of a First Year – Guest Blogger Deanna Inkson, First Year Student, BA Anthropology

As of writing this post I have been studying at UWTSD, Lampeter campus for 15 ½ weeks or roughly 5 months. When deciding Universities I took my time to make my decision. My first view of Lampeter was an unofficial open day organised by the Head of Admissions with the Head of my course (Anthropology). The meeting went fabulously and I also managed to get a campus tour. I decided on UWTSD almost immediately after returning home. For several months excitement peaked but doubts also began to form, as many may have also experienced. Have you made the right choice?

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Deanna, First Year BA Anthropology student

Being a Fresher in Wales

Moving away from home for me from North East England to Lampeter in Wales was a big step. There is a whole new culture and language. Firstly there are a lot more hills in Wales (Lincolnshire is a reasonably flat county)! I really love it here and when I return back to my home town I miss it. I miss the hills, the colours, and the ability to see the Milky Way at night on campus. I miss the fresh air, the simultaneous groans from almost all (students and staff) as it rains (which happen quite often) and the simple country noises.

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The Lampeter campus is located in the town but with a surrounding rural, beautiful, setting

Student Life

At first you get excited by the prospect of living alone (away from parents in halls etc. if you so choose) and a sense of new found freedom in which partying on a Wednesday night becomes normal and drinking on a Monday is fine (again, if you so choose!). However, with this freedom comes responsibility and eager minds are excited to have lectures and explore this new world. Yes, the whole ‘eugh lectures’ attitude happens, everyone has ‘off’ days. But a balance is needed; partying after the satisfaction of getting a good grade after you have put the work in tastes much sweeter than if you know you didn’t bother trying.

Going to university places you in a completely different situation to college. You are almost thrown in head first to ‘adulthood’. For example, when I went out shopping to go buy toilet roll I instead bought a small shop and contemplated ice-cream flavours and prices for 10 minutes, left, got back home to halls and realised half an hour later (after the shops had closed) that I had forgotten the toilet roll!

UWTSD

Coming to UWTSD is a different experience, be it if you are at the Lampeter, Carmarthen or Swansea campuses. The support from the University itself is outstanding; here they know what makes students tick. If you have any troubles be it with coursework, mental health, accommodation, they can help. Here, you aren’t a number, you are individual person.

Individual people make for interesting friendships. If you are worried about not ‘fitting in’ here, don’t! There are plenty of different societies you can participate in and if we don’t have one you like then create it! I am currently part of a few societies but my two main are LARP (Live Action Role Play) society and Pagan society. Within both societies I have found friends and within LARP I have found lifelong friends. Last semester with Pagan Soc I went on a guided Tree tour through the local community Longwood (which has 4km of footpaths and 10km of bridleways); this was given by one of the group’s own members. I also lead a ritual along with the society’s president. LARP meets up twice a week for a ‘Tavern’ in the SU on a Friday and a Exec lead session on Saturday afternoons for a couple of hours (these are based around our ‘system’ which is our own ‘country’ with different playable races). If these societies aren’t for you then don’t worry we have plenty of sports societies such as Rugby (Male and Female), Football, Netball, Hockey, Dance etc.

Study

Academically, my course, Single Honours Anthropology, challenges me. It makes me think about stuff (literally, there is a lecture on stuff) and how we see the world. You also learn new skills and expand on previous skills such as referencing and essay writing. Learning here is learning differently from elsewhere. You have the support if you need it and the environment is great for learning, evolving and growing as a person. Each and every university experience for each person is different. Those worries I had before I started here; gone. I know I’ve made the best decision for me and it could be for you too.