The new year: work hard, play hard

Hello all, and welcome to my first Editor’s Note as Editor-in-Chief of The Bubble. I am so excited to be leading Durham’s wonderful online magazine this year, and I look forward to a year of fantastic articles and ideas. I want to give a warm welcome to our sparkly new executive team; our Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Kirsten, and the Section Deputy team, Irene, Hannah, and Kate. I’d also like to extend my welcome to our extremely talented editorial board. This year will be a fantastic year for The Bubble!

If you want to get involved with The Bubble this year, do join our society on the SU page. You’ll be able to write for us on any section. Head over to our Facebook group – The Bubble Contributors – to keep up with all the information about getting stuck in.

This is me! If you see me around, come and say hi!

If you’re joining Durham this year, welcome! And if you’re a returner, welcome back! There are plenty of things to look forward to. Here are my three top tips for Freshers and finding your feet at university.

1) Mingle

Talking to dozens of new people during your first week at university can seem overwhelming. But chatting with people at your college, during lectures, and seminars is the number one way to settle into university. It’s important to remember that everyone will feel the same; some might just be itching for a chat. You’ll undoubtedly make friends for life and having people to relax with at the end of a long day of studying is essential.

2) Remind yourself why you’re here

For some, the workload and style of university can feel very different to sixth form or college. It may seem complicated, and you might start to feel homesick. It’s important to remind yourself of your achievements and what brought you to Durham. To be here takes immense skill and intelligence, and it’s crucial to keep that in mind if you inevitably start comparing yourself to others on your course. You’re here for a reason.

3) Work hard, play hard

Although the first year can be slightly more forgiving, it’s not just plain sailing. Plenty of work will need to go into your studies, and adjusting can be difficult. If you keep up to date with lectures and prepare for seminars, there’s nothing to worry about. And rewarding yourself with nights out, hanging out with friends, and leaving time for nothing is essential. Scheduling downtime is possibly one of the most important things at university to avoid burnout.


For returners, getting back into the swing of things can be just as hard. After a three-month holiday, setting yourself on track can be quite the overhaul. My best recommendation is an academic diary. Making sense of everything on paper is a fantastic way to visualise what time you do and don’t have. It’s also a great way to start tracking study preparation and revision.

For some, it may be your first time living out and living on your own. Having your own place is a fantastic way to get a taste of life outside of education and puts what you’re working towards into perspective. It’s a great time to learn new cooking skills, sit around the TV, and argue over washing up. What more could you want from a house of your own?

If this is your final year, enjoy it. It’s mine too, and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. It feels like I was moving into college only yesterday and meeting my housemates for the first time. From isolating due to COVID with all lectures online to attending my final seminars in person, it seems like everything and nothing has changed. Be sure to take lots of pictures to look back on. I look forward to the year ahead for the studies, the experiences, and the memories to be made.

If there’s one thing to take away from your first week of term, enjoy your time at university. Whether it seems scary, exciting, or uncertain, it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn, network, mingle, and experience a truly surreal bubble in time before the working world. So have a wonderful term, and I wish you all the very best of luck.

Bubble Love,

Melissa <3


Featured Image: Melissa Rumbold

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