Ten Miles to a New World (2020/21 GYG)

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laurawatt
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Yassss I’m glad you like your flatmates and are settling in well! :hugs:
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Chemusen
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Fri Oct 2-

Yes, this is the only time I have for writing this update

I'm finding it pretty difficult to sum up the last two weeks, ngl, but it's been absolutely amazing. So much has happened since I last updated, such as Swansea going into a local lockdown...and two of my flatmates going back home as a result. Although one of them wasn't really here anyway, she spent about three nights total through going back home and coming back and leaving and coming back. Still, it's the 6 of us now, which is really quite nice actually because it means we can go places as a flat without it being pseudo-illegal. Having said that, we all went out to a lovely beauty spot Wednesday afternoon and got a couple of weird looks...regardless.

Freshers' was very interesting this year, but that doesn't mean it was bad. I actually do prefer my current position to being a second or third year right now because a) I'm online in the year that doesn't count in the end and b) I think I'd rather come in on this rather than have been free at uni and known what it was like then having to deal with having that taken away. Does that make sense?

Course started on Monday. We've already been set a 10-minute group presentation to be completed by a week Wednesday (joy, when you can't meet in person. Not that it really makes a difference in the grand scheme of things, I'm just complaining).

(I can hear drunk singing out my window. Lovely)

The uni have set up a big freshers tent called The Dockyard which is smart of them. It is right below my window, by all accounts, (OK, I'm three stories up but nonetheless) which I thought would get on my nerves but I've barely noticed it. I don't know when it goes away, though, I will say.

We're in a really strange situation right now. One of the flats on the floor above us is in self-isolation due to someone's parents testing positive for covid, but we don't have to, and I think this may be because nobody in the block itself has actually had a positive test? I'm not sure, but the rest of the block is operating as per usual, anyway. Anxious? Yeah. But what can I do?

BUDGETING BIT! And how much I hate spending money. I'm running my budgeting Thursday-Wednesday each week, and for Wk 2 (24-30 Sep), guess how much I managed to spend? Well, I'll tell you. £101.36. Now, a fair part of that was on one-offs I won't need to get again, but also, a fair part of that was negligent. For Wk 3 the total HAS to be kept under £70, which sounds so easy, but I know it just won't be. For a start, we're going to a pub in town tomorrow for, like, an hour (haven't even been to one yet, don't know if we'll get in as a flat, we're working out how to provide convincing proof of address), and the first thing I thought when they revealed this plan was "hnnn my budgetttt" which is pathetic and gets worse when you factor in that I have (some) money, I'm just scrupulous and don't want to spend it.

It costs £4 to do the laundrette when the cost of the washing machine and dryer is factored in. Which I intensely dislike. I intend to use the laundrette at about 9pm on a Monday night for the foreseeable future. I went in the middle of the day on Monday this week and though I got a machine, it was, fair to say, very crowded. The laundrette is bigger than I expected, to be fair, 16 machines and 16 dryers, and the app for it works (surprise).

I am not going to Tesco again. I am not going to Tesco again. I hope I make myself clear before I break this rule I've set myself. But I'm not going to the enormous Tesco that is really really full again. Thanks. (Plus, other places are cheaper and easier to navigate)

There's more to go into, like the homesickness, but this is such a long update I think that's a nice place to leave it right about now. Other than to say I missed my first 9am lecture by sleeping until 9:40, but shh this didn't happen I deny it ever occurred-

Lemme know if you wanna be tagged guys! Hope you're all ok. Look at the good news in the world instead of the bad, stay safe and stay optimistic that weird times will be over eventually. Also, attached below should be my timetable, for the sake of sending it. This looks weird because it is. Some of the classes don't happen some weeks, some of them change lengths depending on what needs to be covered, and the titles of the topics are just the current things being covered, and there is a chemical reactions unit that starts in a couple of weeks that takes over almost every class slot by the last week of term/





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absolutelysprout
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glad to hear you've had a good few weeks!:hugs: yeah i've heard some people in our residences have went home since lockdown in cardiff was announced; can't say i blame them as i don't think we have any in person teaching at all until after christmas at the earliest!
tesco is expensive :sadnod: i went to aldi earlier and will definitely be going there more :yep:
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Chemusen
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(Original post by absolutelysprout)
glad to hear you've had a good few weeks!:hugs: yeah i've heard some people in our residences have went home since lockdown in cardiff was announced; can't say i blame them as i don't think we have any in person teaching at all until after christmas at the earliest!
tesco is expensive :sadnod: i went to aldi earlier and will definitely be going there more :yep:
That's interesting, actually, because Swansea is continuing its teaching plans entirely as they had intended to before the lockdown was announced, meaning all planned in-person teaching is going ahead. For those who left, their courses are entirely online anyway and this was the plan from the start.

I didn't mind the prices overly, the sheer size of the place is the main thing for me. Cannot find anything which means endless wandering around and that's not desirable in a shop right now (although, imo, that's not desirable in a shop pandemic or no pandemic)
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absolutelysprout
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(Original post by MidnightSymphony)
That's interesting, actually, because Swansea is continuing its teaching plans entirely as they had intended to before the lockdown was announced, meaning all planned in-person teaching is going ahead. For those who left, their courses are entirely online anyway and this was the plan from the start.

I didn't mind the prices overly, the sheer size of the place is the main thing for me. Cannot find anything which means endless wandering around and that's not desirable in a shop right now (although, imo, that's not desirable in a shop pandemic or no pandemic)
oh wow, you're lucky!! i think our seminars were meant to be in person but they've been moved online now due to stricter lockdown rules (though it doesn't feel like there's a lockdown at all here :lol:)
i do love a good amble around the massive tesco but totally understandable :lol:
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laurawatt
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Glad that you’re settling in! :woo:
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neko no basu
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Yeah I do agree with you about the whole perhaps it's better to be a first year now than a 2nd/3rd yr because you don't know what you've missed out on.

But, I heard that normally fresher's get loads and loads of freebies during this week but I haven't got any free stuff haha, wbu?

Stay safe and hope your homesickness improves soon:nyan:
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Becca216
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Glad you are enjoying it :woo: and I guess being in a 6 makes life much easier at the moment (hopefully you can all get into the pub together ). I am in an area under local lockdown, so can definitely relate how strange all the new rules are

I can imagine doing a group project is very strange and difficult without meeting the people, but best of luck

I'm not sure what shops Swansea has, but if they have a Lidl I would recommed trying there, all their stuff is super cheap, plus most of them have really nice (and cheap) bakery's

Hope you have a good weekend, stay safe :hugs:
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Chemusen
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(Original post by neko no basu)
Yeah I do agree with you about the whole perhaps it's better to be a first year now than a 2nd/3rd yr because you don't know what you've missed out on.

But, I heard that normally fresher's get loads and loads of freebies during this week but I haven't got any free stuff haha, wbu?

Stay safe and hope your homesickness improves soon:nyan:
That's funny of you to bring up actually- I hadn't when I wrote this last night but at the on-campus shop they were giving away free bags for freshers today so actually I now have

(Original post by Becca216)
Glad you are enjoying it :woo: and I guess being in a 6 makes life much easier at the moment (hopefully you can all get into the pub together ). I am in an area under local lockdown, so can definitely relate how strange all the new rules are

I can imagine doing a group project is very strange and difficult without meeting the people, but best of luck

I'm not sure what shops Swansea has, but if they have a Lidl I would recommed trying there, all their stuff is super cheap, plus most of them have really nice (and cheap) bakery's

Hope you have a good weekend, stay safe :hugs:
Oo I need to find the Lidl apparently it's in the city centre so that's always cool

Hope you have a good weekend too

(btw timetable attached above now)
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b00k
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Glad that you've settled in so well! Everything does seem a bit up in the air atm, I'm still waiting to hear my seminar and tutorial groups for most of my modules and I've heard there's a household at my college is isolating as well. Good luck with your budgeting as well! I actually need to figure out mine
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Matthew2422
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Tag me please! so you're doing a chemistry degree? I hope that goes well for you!
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Chemusen
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Tue Oct 13-

Procrastination time! I have a presentation due as a group on Thursday and guess who's barely done anythingggg but it's ok I only have to prepare a two minute segment or so which I can easily get done tonight and then we can get everything put together and sent off tomorrow afternoon.

Wow, it's been a while. I guess I'll start by explaining how chemistry is right now, which in itself is going to require an explanation of the course which I haven't given yet. My first year isn't split up into organic/inorganic/physical as three distinct modules like most courses are (and like we are in 2nd and 3rd year, to an extent). Instead, we get three modules before Christmas named "Chemical Thinking", "Structure and Bonding 1" and "Chemical Reactions 1", each encompassing elements of each of the main three chemistry areas. The former two are ones we're doing now, while the latter takes over basically the whole timetable for the last 5 weeks of term. So, now that's done:

Chemical Thinking
This isn't the most interesting module, but it's probably very important in the long run. Last week, for example, we had sessions on how to use Excel properly with all the formulas and a workshop on chemical terminology, and earlier today (on a Tuesday! I'm supposed to have Tuesdays off ) we did a lab report workshop, which I switched off to part of the way through but I still have a long list of dos and donts for when we come to write our first lab report in...about two weeks, I think? We also have a maths session every week which comes under chemical thinking, but I don't have much to say about this, because in the first week, we had a test which we didn't get told the results for, and then the first proper maths session was last week but I kinda...uh...slept right through it

Structure and Bonding 1
This takes up most of what we're doing right now, and it encompasses a lot. So far we've covered simple things like hydrogen spectra (which has an equation now! It looks scary but it isn't) quantum numbers, hypervalence, formal charge, and yesterday we did VSEPR but explained better than it was at A-Level, and molecular polarity, or "why this molecule doesn't look polar, but is: a discussion". Tomorrow, however, we're doing hybridisation, which, after going through an hour's worth of pre-lecture videos on it, makes me want to lie down for a long time. I'm genuinely finding it hard to get my head around at times- like, I get it, but also I really don't get it, at the same time? We then start organic content on Thursday and meeting a new lecturer for doing it! Also on Thursday, we're being virtually inspected by the RSC, so that's going to be a joy, I'm sure.

As for uni life? Don't know her, barely left my flat. I'm not drinking for two weeks (today is day 9 of this) so that's...great, I guess, good idea for calming anxiety. I went to do my shopping this afternoon in Tesco (I know, I know. Shh) and spent £21, which I'm not amused with but everyone else seems to think is great, so that's that (tbf, some stuff I bought today I won't need for weeks now, like some herbs and rice and honey). I didn't however buy hair dye, and I want to dye my hair deep red. So...yeah, I will eventually, but not right now. My contactless on my card wouldn't work at the shop today, so I had to put it in the thing, and it still didn't work, so I was panicking like hell, until the woman looked at it and went "it's in the wrong way around" and I was s o embarrassed I just- don't, I feel stupid :burnout:

My rent money came out Friday, and turns out I have more money left for this term than what I thought I did, because the nice people have taken the deposit off the first term rather than the last, so that gives me a little more freedom than I thought, which is always nice, of course.

Things are going well here, anyway. Oh, but it's damn cold. It's cold in my room, and very cold outside now. It's stopped raining now (about time) but still, cold.

How's things with you guys? I gotta go make a presentation now, so that'll be fun, I guess...


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absolutelysprout
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gonna pretend i understand the chemistry terminology :rofl:
ah sleeping through your maths session :noway: totally understandable though, i have had the urge to nap through a few of my lectures :teehee:
good luck for your presentation, hope it goes well!
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Chemusen
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Tue Oct 20-

I woke up in time for my maths lecture last week! Only gotta do that every Wednesday through to December 9th now-

Anyway, hello. Wales is going into lockdown Friday, which affects exactly none of my life at present, as I'm barely going anywhere anyway. In fact, it may actually lead to me going out more, because the thought of less people outside makes me want to take up running again, which I'm very tempted to do. Thursday this week marks a year since I joined a running club, so what better time to get back into it?

I'd like to throw some praise at the university while I'm here, because they've been genuinely excellent. They've provided social spaces for students safely. They've been absolutely amazing with self-isolating students, delivering them enormous free food parcels. They've opened the library and loads of other spaces on a booking system. They've provided regular contact with us making sure we're supported and OK and we know where to go if we have issues. And you know something? While some universities have had cases in the hundreds, the case rate at Swansea Uni has fallen below the wider area's rate and apparently we've seen less than three cases per day over the last week. And now I've said all that, I'd like to rant about the fact that for some damn reason they're carrying out checks to make sure our windows are fitted correctly tomorrow, which obviously involves people coming into our room who've probably been around most of the other flats on the campus, which is exactly how you spread a highly infectious disease. This may be my OCD acting up though. Either way, I hope I'm in Tesco when they turn up and I will be disinfecting everything when I get back.

(Oh yeah, also, I read this morning that Edinburgh has had major issues with people purposely setting off the fire alarm. I don't know what that achieves but either way. In 5 weeks? We've had 1.)

Chemistry Time

Chemical Thinking
Our group had 28/50 for our presentation. Certainly not bad, but I'm a bit pissed off with myself because I think I dragged our group's mark down a little, because I cut out a section explaining the actual chemistry of a process to prioritise analysis of process because we were encouraged to do critical thinking, and we got criticised for the lack of chemical knowledge included, and that is probably my fault because I was very heavily analytical. Hnn. This gets worse, though, because today in class we had to analyse other groups' work, and when my bit was being played on the Zoom I went and hid in my bathroom in the dark because I couldn't bear listen to myself. Maths? I forgot what we did last week, but I know this week we're doing logs and antilogs, whatever the hell an antilog is, I haven't watched the video.

Structure and Bonding 1
Spectroscopy is intense. Today, both our structure and bonding lectures were dedicated to spectroscopy and then we had Kahoots in both and I'm very pleased to say I had 5th and 6th respectively, and I'll also tell you that the same guy won both. Incredible. Also, we did simple harmonic motion in regard to spectroscopy, and SHM was very much a topic I thought I'd left behind in physics A level, but apparently not. We started organic last week with lots of references to hybridisation, which I now understand on a basic level, which is apparently all we need for first year, so yay me, I guess. Lastly, Thursday's lecture is going to be on gases, but I've watched the pre-lecture videos already and based off that I shall tell you it includes the longest, hardest equation derivation I have ever seen- deriving the ideal gas equation from Newton's 2nd Law. We also need to learn that off by heart, deep joy.

I'm not sure what else to say, because it's not like much happened. OH YEAH I ran for first year student rep for chem. Lost, but that's ok, very good candidate won. I'm tempted to join the debating society, despite already being part of the chemistry soc, music soc, the LGBT soc (which has done nothing) and student minds society. I need to stop. It feels tempting to join loads of things when there's nothing going on, but I gotta bear in mind that one day, hopefully quite soon, there will be a lot going on, and then I won't have time for anything.

Random story, but the other day, I went down to the laundrette to transfer my laundry from washer to dryer and someone's washing machine had broke and flooded the place. One of my friends was there helping her out, but it was awful. The clothes were ringing and the water remaining in the machine was a horrible deep green colour which is...concerning. (Side note- we use Circuit Laundry. Me and Circuit are still friends...for now)

Oh yeah. I've felt a lot of anxiety recently over things, and I know this is exacerbated by alcohol. So I haven't drunk since the 3rd, but I'm drinking this weekend for my gran's birthday when we go on video call. After so much drinking during Freshers fortnight as it was this year and the first week of classes, the first week of this was legit difficult. I'd pop to the Costcutter for something random and think "hmm, I could buy alcohol while I'm here, couldn't I?" which I think was because when I drink I feel much better, it's the morning after that triggers my anxiety (I guess it's a trade-off for never having any physical hangover symptoms). Many thanks to a flatmate for suggesting giving up alcohol for a while here. It's helping. (Also, moment to tell you how much I love my flatmates here bc they're amazing and I'm so glad I'm here).

OK, this is really long and it's also 20 past midnight, so I'm off, not necessarily to sleep tho, I have no lectures tomorrow, I'll be awoken by the fire alarm which gets tested every Tuesday morning, which I adore for my mornings off

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absolutelysprout
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well done on the mark still, you'll have opportunity to do plenty more presentations :hugs:
glad to hear your uni's handling covid well!
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Chemusen
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(Original post by absolutelysprout)
well done on the mark still, you'll have opportunity to do plenty more presentations :hugs:
glad to hear your uni's handling covid well!
Thanks! How's things right now in Cardiff? I know someone who goes there who's said everyone's moving back home in her flat, but Swansea's sent an email specifically telling us not to do that
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Swansea University Enquiries
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(Original post by MidnightSymphony)
Tue Oct 20-

I woke up in time for my maths lecture last week! Only gotta do that every Wednesday through to December 9th now-

Anyway, hello. Wales is going into lockdown Friday, which affects exactly none of my life at present, as I'm barely going anywhere anyway. In fact, it may actually lead to me going out more, because the thought of less people outside makes me want to take up running again, which I'm very tempted to do. Thursday this week marks a year since I joined a running club, so what better time to get back into it?

I'd like to throw some praise at the university while I'm here, because they've been genuinely excellent. They've provided social spaces for students safely. They've been absolutely amazing with self-isolating students, delivering them enormous free food parcels. They've opened the library and loads of other spaces on a booking system. They've provided regular contact with us making sure we're supported and OK and we know where to go if we have issues. And you know something? While some universities have had cases in the hundreds, the case rate at Swansea Uni has fallen below the wider area's rate and apparently we've seen less than three cases per day over the last week. And now I've said all that, I'd like to rant about the fact that for some damn reason they're carrying out checks to make sure our windows are fitted correctly tomorrow, which obviously involves people coming into our room who've probably been around most of the other flats on the campus, which is exactly how you spread a highly infectious disease. This may be my OCD acting up though. Either way, I hope I'm in Tesco when they turn up and I will be disinfecting everything when I get back.

(Oh yeah, also, I read this morning that Edinburgh has had major issues with people purposely setting off the fire alarm. I don't know what that achieves but either way. In 5 weeks? We've had 1.)

Chemistry Time

Chemical Thinking
Our group had 28/50 for our presentation. Certainly not bad, but I'm a bit pissed off with myself because I think I dragged our group's mark down a little, because I cut out a section explaining the actual chemistry of a process to prioritise analysis of process because we were encouraged to do critical thinking, and we got criticised for the lack of chemical knowledge included, and that is probably my fault because I was very heavily analytical. Hnn. This gets worse, though, because today in class we had to analyse other groups' work, and when my bit was being played on the Zoom I went and hid in my bathroom in the dark because I couldn't bear listen to myself. Maths? I forgot what we did last week, but I know this week we're doing logs and antilogs, whatever the hell an antilog is, I haven't watched the video.

Structure and Bonding 1
Spectroscopy is intense. Today, both our structure and bonding lectures were dedicated to spectroscopy and then we had Kahoots in both and I'm very pleased to say I had 5th and 6th respectively, and I'll also tell you that the same guy won both. Incredible. Also, we did simple harmonic motion in regard to spectroscopy, and SHM was very much a topic I thought I'd left behind in physics A level, but apparently not. We started organic last week with lots of references to hybridisation, which I now understand on a basic level, which is apparently all we need for first year, so yay me, I guess. Lastly, Thursday's lecture is going to be on gases, but I've watched the pre-lecture videos already and based off that I shall tell you it includes the longest, hardest equation derivation I have ever seen- deriving the ideal gas equation from Newton's 2nd Law. We also need to learn that off by heart, deep joy.

I'm not sure what else to say, because it's not like much happened. OH YEAH I ran for first year student rep for chem. Lost, but that's ok, very good candidate won. I'm tempted to join the debating society, despite already being part of the chemistry soc, music soc, the LGBT soc (which has done nothing) and student minds society. I need to stop. It feels tempting to join loads of things when there's nothing going on, but I gotta bear in mind that one day, hopefully quite soon, there will be a lot going on, and then I won't have time for anything.

Random story, but the other day, I went down to the laundrette to transfer my laundry from washer to dryer and someone's washing machine had broke and flooded the place. One of my friends was there helping her out, but it was awful. The clothes were ringing and the water remaining in the machine was a horrible deep green colour which is...concerning. (Side note- we use Circuit Laundry. Me and Circuit are still friends...for now)

Oh yeah. I've felt a lot of anxiety recently over things, and I know this is exacerbated by alcohol. So I haven't drunk since the 3rd, but I'm drinking this weekend for my gran's birthday when we go on video call. After so much drinking during Freshers fortnight as it was this year and the first week of classes, the first week of this was legit difficult. I'd pop to the Costcutter for something random and think "hmm, I could buy alcohol while I'm here, couldn't I?" which I think was because when I drink I feel much better, it's the morning after that triggers my anxiety (I guess it's a trade-off for never having any physical hangover symptoms). Many thanks to a flatmate for suggesting giving up alcohol for a while here. It's helping. (Also, moment to tell you how much I love my flatmates here bc they're amazing and I'm so glad I'm here).

OK, this is really long and it's also 20 past midnight, so I'm off, not necessarily to sleep tho, I have no lectures tomorrow, I'll be awoken by the fire alarm which gets tested every Tuesday morning, which I adore for my mornings off
Thank you MidnightSymphony for your kind words about Swansea! I'm so pleased to hear that you have found Swansea to be a supportive environment for you and your studies, if there's anything you need help with then please do let me know!

P.s. the Lidl in town is in the Parc Tawe retail park, where you'll also find the big Iceland Food Warehouse (absolute goldmine for bargains!) - hope this helps!
- Mia
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Sinnoh
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Being in tons of societies isn't so bad because you can just ignore the emails, what you really don't want to do is have an actual position on too many of them.
hope the sober october goes well!
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absolutelysprout
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(Original post by MidnightSymphony)
Thanks! How's things right now in Cardiff? I know someone who goes there who's said everyone's moving back home in her flat, but Swansea's sent an email specifically telling us not to do that
things are going pretty good right now considering the circumstances self isolation for me finishes tomorrow so i'm rather excited :laugh: yeah, some people have been moving back and forth but cardiff uni have emailed us saying we shouldn't be going back to homes unless we've got a very good reason. i'm certainly not planning on moving back!
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Chemusen
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Being in tons of societies isn't so bad because you can just ignore the emails, what you really don't want to do is have an actual position on too many of them.
hope the sober october goes well!
I guess. I might look into debating society some more tonight.
Sober October ends early (on Saturday) so I have 2 more days of it which is cool

(Original post by absolutelysprout)
things are going pretty good right now considering the circumstances self isolation for me finishes tomorrow so i'm rather excited :laugh: yeah, some people have been moving back and forth but cardiff uni have emailed us saying we shouldn't be going back to homes unless we've got a very good reason. i'm certainly not planning on moving back!
Good to hear! How’s self isolation been? Have Cardiff been any good or have they been like one of those neglectful unis that give you nothing?
I’m not planning on moving back either- though, I am considering moving home a week early for Christmas provided we don’t have to self-isolate prior to going.
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