So that was Freshers Week

There’s been so much going on this week, I could have easily written a post each day. For the most part though, by the time I’d walked back and forth to campus once or twice, and partaken of everything on offer, I was too exhausted to think about sitting down and writing anything! According to my final tally, I’ve managed to clock up 74km on my feet in the past week, and all of it on hills.

All in all, it’s been a good week, and I’ve been enjoying feeling more at home in Dundee and getting know lots of people at the university, both medics and otherwise. Being a mature student has been less alienating than I feared, although it is a relief to have also found some students a little close to my age, and even to discover that I’m not the oldest on the course (although, I haven’t yet met anyone that knocks me out of the position of 2nd oldest medic!).

The week started off fairly gently, but by the time we reached Wednesday and a compulsory Interdisciplinary Learning Activity with the dentistry and nursing students, the activities started coming thick and fast leaving little room to hang around.  Having spent the morning busy with the top secret ILA, we were then bussed over to Ninewells for an introduction to the Dundee University Medics Society (DUMS) and the medics freshers fair. Needless to say, I ended up giving away my email address to pretty much every subgroup there, including the women’s football team!  Another highlight was the opportunity to have a first attempt at suturing, hosted by the surgical society.

First attempt at suturing

Surgeon in the making?

In addition to having the chance to check out the various DUMS societies, we were all assigned medic parents – 2nd students who will show us the ropes… at least when it comes to partying!  We very soon had a chance to meet up with our parents personally as Wednesday night featured Shotomania, a medics bar crawl, an occasion which I enjoyed more than I expected, mostly thanks to my ability to divert the odd glass of vodka and coke elsewhere, and to sneak away early with a fellow fresher for a midnight toastie making session.

Thursday was a rather quieter day, a good thing considering the late night before. Having planned to attend the Gateway to Learning sessions organised by the Academic Skills Centre, I ended up missing both of them in favour of an appointment with my new GP.  Luckily I still had enough time to check out the daily offerings at the Chaplaincy, as I was particularly keen to visit the stands for the Botanic Gardens and Eco Awareness.  It was definitely worth visiting, for I acquired my best freebie of the week – a plant!

Botanic Garden Stall


Posing with plants!

Thursday afternoon was the moment of administration we’d all been waiting for – finally we had our slot for matriculation, and after an hour or two of standing in queues, I was officially signed into the university as a medical student!  Although the waiting part was rather boring, it did at least give me a chance to meet a few more of my fellow medics, and sign up for the Electoral Roll.

Friday meant that the fun was almost over, for we had our first lectures.  Just introductory ones, but serious lectures all the same, giving us an overview of what to expect for the new 8 weeks (a lot of lectures, on a lot of different subjects). I’m now also the proud owner of an anatomy labcoat and anatomy goggles. To finish the week off, I headed over to the Institute of Sports and Exercise (ISE) to visit the Sports Fair.  I can’t imagine doing such a thing when I went to university the first time around, in those days the idea of sports was an anathema, but having changed my views a little over the years (even if I haven’t increased in sporting aptitude) I found myself struggling to narrow down the choices available. In the end I put down my email address for far too many clubs, but the one I’m most keen on giving a go is the trampolining club, or more specifically, the new adult gymnastics classes they’re offering. I’m still debating whether or not to join the triathlon club, and whether to try cross country (I like the idea of all that mud!).

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Natasha is from the UK, but has been working as a software developer in The Netherlands for the past 13 years. She's moving to Dundee on a permanent basis with her 3 cats, and is going to be studying Medicine.