Today I moved from my home in North Yorkshire to the town of 'Royal' Leamington Spa, approximately 3 hours' drive away. My father drove us down, along with a packed carload of boxes and bags, despite my best efforts to pack minimally. I said goodbye to my mother early in the morning, as she had an appointment at the time I would be leaving, which was approximately quarter past nine. She was teary-eyed when I left and gave me a card to be opened tomorrow evening.
The University of Warwick turned out to be extremely well signposted on the main roads, and as we had been travelling mainly via the M1 we managed to avoid Coventry altogether and made it to the central campus - Dad had been worried about becoming frustrated by the tight, twisted roads in the middle of unfamiliar towns. I picked up my house keys and my new student ID card, classifying me as an undergraduate once again.
There was actually an open day on at the university today, and there were hordes of prospective students teeming over the campus. I asked a few what they were thinking of studying and found a wide range of answers (as you'd very well expect) and replied that I'd be starting on Monday when the question was returned, which garnered a few grins.
Leamington Spa was a short drive from the university, and I was reflecting on how rural and leafy everything seemed, certainly by comparison to Newcastle. As we entered the town itself, it became quite apparent that it was an area of no small wealth, at least measuring by the size of the houses.
We then arrived at my new home, an ex-hotel now managed by the university. Heading upstairs, I found my allotted room and was stunned by the size - easily perhaps six times that of my previous bedroom in Newcastle. From there we unloaded my things, and headed into town briefly to get something to eat. We returned, I said goodbye to Dad and then unpacked - not a difficult task at all given the ample space. I did however forget to bring any pillows, which I shall have to find in town tomorrow. Equally, despite the fact that my rental agreement says otherwise, the room has no hardline ethernet, which makes connecting my desktop to the web rather difficult. Doable through sharing my laptop's connection, but irritating nonetheless.
By the time I finished sorting the room out, it was about half past seven. I'd seen a few housemates by this point, and we'd agreed to all go downstairs an hour later to chat and learn more about one another. We are all postgraduate students (or at least have bachelor's degrees) and there's a nice mix of subjects in the house, both at Master's and PhD level. I've come across two other medical students starting with me on Monday, one of whom at least it seems like car-sharing will be an option with, which is extraordinarily convenient.
We ended up watching Dodgeball, after a recommendation by yours truly when we struggled to come to consensus on what to put on. One of the girls had brought a delicious cake baked by her mother, and I rather more lazily contributed a box of Celebrations in the hopes of ingraciating myself with my housemates - not that I particularly needed to, everyone is thankfully really nice and very laid back. I don't regret not being offered a place in halls of residence at all.
There's currently about eight of us here (of a maximum 21), but I'm sure more will arrive tomorrow and in the coming week. Tomorrow I'll go exploring a bit more in Leamington Spa itself and try to work out where everything is.
And buy pillows, of course.