The University of Durham

The University of Durham

We asked students about all the things a prospective student is dying to know before they start their University experience.

1) Can you remember what your first day of University was like? Were you in halls?

I was nervous before I got there, bit stressful trying to find a way to get to the halls by car as well, but once I actually arrived and got my stuff into my room, I was too busy trying to collect wristbands, t shirts etc, finding out where we were meant to be at what time, meeting flatmates... I didn't really have time by myself to get lonely/ miss home/ anything like that. Fresher helpers were really good at making you feel welcome, getting everyone talking.

2) Was Fresher’s week as good as everyone makes it out to be?

Having heard about the whole Durham nightlife, has-the-worst-nightclub-in Europe thing ....I wasn't expecting anything massive. But actually, yes, because although the venues weren't huge, there was a really good atmosphere- everyone talking to everyone. Also, because of the size- easier to make friends quicker because you are likely to see the same person on a night out twice at some point, even if they're not in your college.

3) How have you found the lecture-seminar style of learning compared to that of school? Is it hard to learn independently?

Low contact time in Humanities is hard- I spent a lot of time napping when I should have been reading. Long reading lists are also quite a boring way of learning- it's hard to keep your attention on what you're reading. Not monitoring attendance in big lectures is also a bit of a disaster because it makes it easy not to go. Seminars are good- you just need a lot more of them than there actually are. So i guess I'd say you have to be really independantly motivated for Uni in general.

4) Describe the city and its advantages/disadvantages.

Durham- Advantages- Everything within walking distance, Safe, Easier to make friends because of college system and you will always see people you at least half-know out, and if you're doing english- only about 4 people per tutorial group.
Disadvantages- Bad nightlife venues (Bad union nights), not exactly cheap, too small (if you like big cities).


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