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Monday, 20 November 2017

Second Year: Nice to meet ya'

'I am always drawn back to places I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods.'


Summer sprinted away with its last rays of sun and Autumn rocked up with chunky scarves, crunchy leaves (mmm) and a reminder that change is a thing of beauty. Welcome second year, it's a pleasure to meet you. 
House dinners, house parties, house outings. There's an ease, a relaxed atmosphere, a simplicity to living with friends. Those bitter, dark walks back from Uni feel like you're returning home, rather than to a vast flat. In Jesmond especially, the many houses populated with students has created a community away from the bustling city, whilst still providing us with a brimful of brunch spots, bars and bakeries. One could even say it's a less upmarket Chelsea...

 Living with 3 other Bridget Jones's has provided us with an abundance of anecdotes and not a dull day gone by in our cosy maisonette. 


One of the joys of moving into a house is decorating it, and I felt apprehensive when two of my flatmates proposed
a 'Mexican themed living room', although the reality is that most student houses are drab and need the colour. 
I went for a botanical theme in my bedroom, thinking it a sophisticated sanctuary until my flatmate walked in and called it 'the jungle'. (Not quite the image I was going for, but it gets us in the 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' spirit).


Meeting people seems easier than first year, as everyone seems more settled, natural and themselves... No faking it for the friendship this year sista! "Pop round for a cuppa" or wine nights on the terrace with amigos have become a regular occurrence. Second year also promises a high school throwback to house parties, and our Halloween hosts went to town with decorations, and provided a priceless party. My Jelly Belly costume seemed a great idea at the time, but squeezing down a packed, narrow corridor was problematic...  
Amongst these pastimes, I'm also juggling Uni work with a job in retail and boshing out the occasional newspaper article! It's too easy to lack motivation as a student, but perhaps I am being more productive than I realised... 
The "it's first year, it doesn't count" mentality is out the window and the pressure to produce perfect essays is piling up... We promise ourselves we will read (all three) books a week, have an essay plan smashed out in good time and to attend every seminar having done our secondary reading. Phew. That's a lot to cram in on top of the stress of supermarket shopping on a budget (put the peanut butter back, Holly).

In classic English student fashion, I've also scouted out some new coffee spots. These make reading 18th Century Literature that little bit less tedious, and I'd recommend trying it for the brain fuel. 
As the decent into Winter commences, the 'is it too early to get in the Christmas spirit' debate starts simultaneously. I for one am always ready for the festivities to kick in, and last night I was ironing in tune to a Christmas playlist whilst soaking in the smell of my Christmas candle... Oh dear. As my flatmate and I have our birthdays in the same week, we've begun party planning and making a 'festive fun' checklist for a whole week of celebrations!  
Just 8 weeks back in the Newcastle bubble and I can tell this year is going to be a good one.
This week I hung a quote from a magazine on my pin-board that reads;
'Enjoying the fullness of life around you'. 
It's quickly becoming my motto for second year.