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New term, new flat, new plans!

by Maddie Lukes
25 September 2014

It’s September and I’m mentally preparing to go back to Roehampton. This year is going to be a big one. For all the third years out there, I’m sure we’re equally horrified at the prospect of starting our dissertations, as well as throwing a brand new schedule into the mix of our existing social, sporting and work lives. On top of that, I’m still working out how I’m going to balance my new responsibilities as Digby College President, as well as inheriting the Roehampton rowing team from the previous captain. I’m going to have to seriously up my organisational game!

Me in Cyprus 2012

At home in Cyprus

However, my apprehension about going back couldn’t be more different to how I was feeling this time two years ago. In August 2012 I was at home in Cyprus, preparing to move to London- a city I had only visited a handful of times before. I had spent the last seven years at a girls’ only boarding school so the idea of living with a houseful of people was not a daunting one, but the idea of sharing a house with actual real live BOYS was a totally alien one, and it was freaking me out! I remember arriving at Roehampton with my Dad, and being totally overwhelmed. Where were we meant to park? Where was my room? Which one was even my house?!

It was madness, but with the help of an organised Shaw flat-rep, I moved into Bede House. Standing there in the room that was to be my home for the next few months, I experienced a huge drop in my stomach. I had done it- I’d passed my exams and got into my first choice university. I’d packed and repacked, I’d speculated with my friends about the handsome singer/songwriter who would live across the hall from me, I’d travelled hundreds of miles, and now I was here. And Dad would be flying back home the next day, and I would be alone.

My room in Bede

My room in Bede House

In August 2013, at the start of my second year, I was living in my grown-up new flat near Whitelands. I had found friends, my feet in a new city, and although I was still looking for my singer/songwriter, I really felt I had found my place in life. In just one year at Roehampton I met several people who really influenced me, and turned from a slightly pessimistic, insecure school girl into a happy, confident university student. This was in part down to moving out and realising I could cope outside of my comfort zone, but it was also due to living in a city I had come to love, studying a subject I adored, and taking up a sport I have since developed a real passion for.

So right now it’s August 2014. Looking back at my memories from Roehampton, I’m determined to give this year’s freshers the biggest possible welcome and to ensure each and every one of them finds their own special place at Roehampton. If that place is on a football pitch, drenched in beer in the middle of Bop, snuggled up on a sofa with a new friend or working hard in the library, I really hope they find it, and that it makes them happy. I’m excited to see what the new term brings, as well as to meet my new flatmates when I move into Lee house!

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