Second year has come to an end. What a year it has been. As friends leave to go home for a well-deserved break there’s time to reflect on what I have been up to and achieved in the last two years. So here is a recap. This is what 500 days of Newcastle University looks like.
With my life packed in to a car, I set off on the biggest adventure of my life so far. Turning an empty room into a home; a city full of strangers into a place full of friends. I had a lot to learn, and was nervous about everything. We’ve all been there – it’s a big thing to move away from home. I wrote more about choosing halls and moving in in this post here.
You will meet so many people over the course of this week! Don’t expect to remember everyone’s names, and become close friends with them all, stay open minded and remember everyone is in the same boat as you! And of course don’t forget to have fun!
Meeting my architecture ‘parents’ who were (and still are) there to guide me through the ups and downs of life as an architecture student. Make the most of your ‘parents’ and mentors if you have them! They really are there to help, and can help you settle in to the school quickly as they’ll always be a friendly face to see when you’re walking around campus.
Daunting and terrifying were my thoughts before doing this crit, they are a big deal in the architecture school! However, you learn so much from them, and they become less intimidating the more of them you have. Now I see them as a chance to explain the depth I have thought about my work in. Take a look at my top tips for preparing for a crit.
A week away with friends to wind down from the end of second term. The full post on why you should go on an abroad trip is here.
Collecting all of the work together that you have done in the last year and leaving it to get marked was a nerve-wracking experience, but at the same time a very proud one. You can think back on all of the long hours spent making models and setting out drawings and see how far you’ve come.
And just like that first year is over! Packing everything back in to the boxes that you used to move in almost a year ago feels strange. So much has happened, so much has changed. The memories of the first year of university will always be special, and the friends I made will be friends for life! Spending the summer relaxing was the perfect recharge, setting me up for second year perfectly.
Being a member of the Architecture Society’s committee and becoming an architecture ‘parent’ meant I got to introduce the freshers to university life. It was great fun and kicked off a great year.
Spending a weekend away with the swimming team was great fun. Making finals with the relay team was incredible. It was a great break away from the studios and design work (though it’s always at the back of your mind).
The process of getting a house for my final year was very stressful! It taught me a lot about the realities of looking for places to live, being disappointed and feeling like you’ll never find a place that works for you. My incredible new house mates made it easier and I am very excited to move house in August. We didn’t get our dream house, but we are happy to be living together in a nice enough house, in a good location (second year taught me to always try and find the positives in a situation).
I have really enjoyed getting out of the studio this year, and in a mad week of cultural activities I ate out with friends, watched a play at the Theatre Royal, celebrated multiple birthdays and went to the cinema, making the most of being in the city! Finding good places to eat has become a bit of a theme this year, rarely eating at the same place twice in an effort to try out all that Newcastle has to offer. The culinary highlight of the year was eating in the SIX Restaurant at the top of the Baltic!
Organising and going on the abroad trip again was so much fun! A different city, different people, but just as many crazy experiences and things to do! I would recommend a visit to Budapest any day – cheap, easy to navigate, and good weather even in March.
The last of six crits in second year, this was the biggest yet. We put together large exhibitions to show off and explain the final group project of the year. Possibly the most stressful crit so far, but also the most rewarding! You got to see people walk through (and over) the spaces you designed and see how people interacted with the information you presented.
As we wrapped up the year of design, the Architecture Society threw its biggest Summer Ball yet. We handed over to the next committee, and can’t wait to see what they do next year! It was an amazing night, and was a huge send off for the third and sixth years who will be graduating this summer.
The last thing I had to do was sit my exams! Once we finished we visited the Botanist to try their cocktails and food, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Good food, good company and good weather made the last couple of weeks of term fun filled and relaxing. Taking the opportunity before summer to explore more of Newcastle was great – days at the beach, visiting Penshaw Monument and splashing around at Wet’n’Wild were definite highlights!
The final day of term was the opening of the Architecture Grad Show, where third, fifth and sixth years exhibit their final work of the year. It was bitter sweet, as the work that they produced was incredible but it was also time to say goodbye to the third years.
My ‘parents’ and other friends in third year gave me so much help that I am very grateful for and they will be missed next year.
As they go out into the world of employment I’m preparing myself for the toughest year of education yet, but hope with all that I’ve learnt in the last 500 days will play its part, and in a year’s time I can say that I will be graduating from Newcastle University ready to face the big wide world!
Writing a blog every month has been a challenge, but a good one! It’s made me understand the reasons I love Newcastle and encouraged me to make and record more memories! Second year has been a rollercoaster of ride, but the best year yet!